Michael had chocolate all over his shirt yesterday when I picked him up. Normally, I don't care, but I was wearing an off white shirt that I really didn't want to ruin, so I stripped off his shirt and then tried to replace it with a clean one. Well, the little stinker decided he wanted me to chase him, so he ran away from me. He also ran straight into the sunlight. When I went to corral him, I noticed a little dark spot on his back near his arm pit. On closer inspection, I discovered it was a deer tick.
Ewww, yuck, gross, ick!
When I was a kid, we used to get ticks all of the time. But, back then we only ever found the big kind. Now, on the gross scale, the big ticks are much, much grosser. Every time I think about them I remember the day my mom found 12 of them on me. I cringe just thinking about it. The only "good" thing about them is that on the East Cost, they rarely cause any harm other than nightmares and the occasional skin infection. So, we used to just pop them off and burn them in the sink. (I know it's not necessary to burn them, but it's oh, so rewarding.)
Despite both my father and sister having had Lyme Disease, I've actually never seen a deer tick. With the amount of time I spend outdoors, I'm sure I've had some on me, but I've never noticed one before, so I've never worried about what to do if I find one. Chances are, I'd pluck it off, destroy it, and watch for symptoms.
I tend to be a little more cautious with Michael, so I decided to give the pediatrician's office a call to see what they would recommend. They must have been having a busy day because it took about 15 minutes to get through. Once I got through, the receptionist put me on hold so I could speak with a nurse. Instead of using Musak for hold, they play the local news radio. Normally, I prefer that, except that yesterday they were discussing Swine Flu. Like I didn't have enough to worry about with tick borne illness, I also got to worry about pig borne illness. Nice.
The nurse suggested that I remove the tick, clean the site, and keep an eye out for symptoms. It's good to know that I am up to date on my tick bite care. Michael was very cooperative and I removed the tick without any problem. So far, the site looks good. I'll keep an eye out for the rash and other symptoms. Hopefully it won't be an issue. I hate having to fight antibiotics into Michael.
You know what's interesting though? My reaction to the little critter. I really am horrified of the big ticks. I really do cringe when I think about them. In fact, I'm sitting here feeling little creepy crawlies all over me as I type this. But, I was perfectly calm with the deer tick. It was so tiny. I had no problem examining the site or removing the bugger because it just didn't seem that bad.
It just goes to show how irrational my fear of creepy crawlies is. Big, harmless ticks? They freak me out and make me panic. Tiny, potentially harmful ticks? Eh.
Hey, I can't be logical all of the time.