On this frigid April day I never dreamed I’d have reason to write a sequel to my most recent post, “Between the sticks.” I expected to be writing about what’s going to happen tomorrow.
This morning I took my husband for his annual check-up with the dermatologist. Right away, Dr. J asked Peter if he’d been alright, had anything to report?
“No, I don’t have anything, but I’ll be she does, ” Peter said, nodding at me. The doctor and his nurse laughed, as they always do, at Peter’s quick humor.
Dr J looked to me for answers. I told him about the several spots on Peter’s head, ears and arm, and some on his back. He nodded and began checking methodically. It was so cold in the exam room that the nurse hadn’t given Peter a gown. “Too cold,” she said, “doctor will just pull your shirt up in back to examine you.”
Turns out, Peter had put two shirts on — another cause for chuckles — so pulling them up was a struggle. Dr. J took one look at his back, one spot in particular, did a double take and said, “That’s a tick!”
“A TICK?” I yelped.
“Sure is,” he said, as he asked the nurse to fetch tick-removing supplies. He numbed the area, pulled the little bugger out, then drowned it in alcohol. Then he wrote a ‘script for Doxycycline Hyclate. “Better to be proactive and start this right away, than to wait six weeks for the lab analysis to finish,” he explained.
Lyme Disease is the unwanted gift a tick bite brings to people and their pets after they’ve feasted on infected deer and mice. I felt foolish for having seen the spot but hadn’t realized it was a tick. At least it wasn’t engorged and, really, it looked like the other two spots I’d noticed. Thank goodness they weren’t ticks as well.
Peter and I don’t need anymore stumbling blocks right now, but try explaining a tick and what its bite can cause is like explaining why pigs don’t fly to a two-year-old.
“No more picking up sticks in the woods,” I told him.
“Why?” he asked. I explained ticks live in woodsy areas. I explained that we give Nobby tick medicine every month to keep him safe, and Nobby doesn’t even have access to the woods.
“But I don’t go in the woods,” Peter said. “I never do.”
I rolled my eyes and didn’t try to explain further. Too much information is as bad, in our case, as no information at all.