Saturday, July 7, 2007

Horrors of the Wilderness! (gross-out warning)

OK, this is a small plastic bottle, formerly home to little rainbow sprinkles. It is now the crypt, the coffin, the bier (and oh, could I use a beer) for the LOATHSOME AND RANCID DEMON OF THE WOODLANDS!

This, my friends, is a Tick, a common wood tick. NO, not the nasty and foul deer tick, purveyor of dreaded Lyme Disease. This is the common tick, purveyor of yucchy icky nightmares &c.

Its appearance has delayed my writing of the wonders of my wilderness experience with the Noble and Impressive Bicyclists because....last night, when I got home from a delightful evening babysitting with my adorable little punky grandsons, I was getting ready for bed and I glanced down and thought "Hmmm, those brown moles are......." But no, my friends. MOLES do not have LEGS. (All right, for the smartypantses among you, the fuzzy little moles who live in fairytales books and stuff ... and under have legs, but cut me some slack here!)

These things are small. What they do is, they attach on to a warm host (now, up until now I always felt complimented if someone said I was a warm host) and they suck blood. And then they do all manner if truly ishy things like burrow their head into the skin and then, depending on whom you ask, lay eggs through their tongues and you fill up with them until you give birth to a Comic Book Super Hero or something.

The truth is less dramatic. Seems they DO burrow their heads in, and if not removed it can become infected and the worse that can happen is, your legs fall off or your toes bloom or some such thing. The deal is, you want tol remove them entirely, head and all. This calls for calm care in getting them to detach themselves. I had heard (from Donna, my traveling companion) that if you put a cotton ball soaked in dish detergent they pull their little heads out and wander off going "blechcc bleecchcch" and blowing bubbles out of their little proboscisesseses.

However - see where I said "calm care"? That does NOT include shrieking, scaring two cats out of their wits, grabbing a tissue and pouring half a bottle of Dawn on it, applying it to said tick for .4 seconds and then just grabbing it with the tissue and PULLING! {eeeeeeeeeewwww-shudder} Well, I got it off and made poor Mr. Dearling (roused from a deep sleep) charge down the basement in search of a "LITTLE CLEAR BOTTLE!". Our usual teamwork worked - he found an empty little flat spice container, I found a little clear plastic bottle of sprinkles - a quick transfer of sprinkles to flat container and tick to bottle (on his Dawn-soaked tissue) was achieved.

Then followed a quick read online which suggested application of alcohol (and some kind of warning about being SURE to get the head out of the skin) and I rushed back into the bathroom and slathered detergent and alcohol all over it. It looked like a red blotch the size of a quarter with a wicked little black thing sticking out of it. Mr. Dearling said it was "reddish" and he didnt' see anything in it.

I eventually got to sleep; upon waking I rubbed it again with alcohol and Mr. Dearling called the doctor - the upshot is that, while I would love to continue expounding, I'm going over to Urgent Care. "Just a precaution", the crisp cool voice of the nurse said on the phone. I told Mr. Dearling I don't care if they have to get it out with a melon baller, I'm for it.

So the Beelzebub Demon (in his plastic sprinkles bottle) and I are going to Urgent Care. When I get home I'll tell you about the wonderful Adventure I had with the cyclists. {{shudder}}


Jane said...

Oh, man, I HATE ticks! We went hiking in a nearby park and brought home a few. But the worst was Jim finding one on my HEAD two days after we'd been in the woods. That's AFTER two shampoos!! ick ick ick ick Hope all goes well.

Joy said...

I'm going to gather that you have a bit of a phobia about bugs? Ticks will generally let go if you apply a lit incense stick, cigarette or even a hot match head to the part of them NOT burrowed into your flesh. Funny, they don't like being burned, isn't that odd? Nail polish also works, but takes longer. The advantage to the nail polish is that you can amuse yourself painting green sparkly spots or somesuch with it while you wait for Mr.Tickie to depart. The advantage to the fire thing is that you feel all macho while doing it.

Elizabeth said...

We all had ticks when we camping at Hartman Creek SP near Waupaca last summer. (Was that last summer? Can't keep track...) None of us had any lasting ill effects from the bites, but I watched my site like a hawk for weeks.

Flymaine said...

I can't remember a day when I have not found a tick on one of the (5) dogs. At first it freaked me out, but now I am dull to it. It still wakes me from a sound sleep when I find one crawing on me, but thankfully that does not happen often.

Hope all is well with you tick encounter!