Saturday, April 14, 2012

Tick Season 2012

It’s tick time again in Maine, time for a nightly check.

I went fishing in a stream in Camden yesterday and came home with more than I bargained for. I caught lots of trout, which was nice. But on the way home, I smelled something foul. Yes, I had stepped in dog droppings and it was jammed in the lugs of my shoes. This made for an unpleasant ride home.

Then this morning, while putting in eye drops, I noticed something on my neck that wasn’t there before. A closer look revealed little legs…a tick had embedded itself in my hide.

The home health book said to cover it with petroleum jelly prior to pulling it out with tweezers. But all that did was make the thing slippery. It was deeply imbedded and I knew that just pulling out the body would lead to far worse problems down the road. So I called a sharp-eyed friend and he said I could come over and he would try and remove the tick, intact.

But the thing was so deep that parts of the head and mouth remained. He had to use several different tweezers to dig and probe. Again, this was unpleasant for me.

I had been, up until last night, faithful about doing a body check before retiring. But I was so tired…I decided to let it slip. What a mistake. The one night that I failed to check resulted in a deeply-imbedded tick.

Anyone in the State of Maine is susceptible of being attacked by a tick, a tick that carries a potentially-debilitating disease, Lyme disease. So the slight inconvenience of stripping and inspecting every inch of skin each night is far outweighed by the potential results of not checking.

And now when Monday rolls around, I must make a doctor’s appointment and bring the tick in for inspection. It is always important to save the tick for the doctor to inspect. It is more than likely that I will once again need to take a prophylactic dose of antibiotics. This always raises heck with the stomach but again, it beats the alternative.

So please, my friends, take care and do check yourself every night for ticks. It could literally save your life.

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