Monday, June 19, 2006

Close Call in the Tickle

Ticks are everywhere. Stories about ticks are nearly as plentiful. Until recently, I've had a fairly healthy respect for ticks and have looked up images on the internet (such as this one here) and kept my eyes out for ticks. Since moving out to the woods, I have been moderately diligent about 'tick checks' for myself, Richard, and whoever is here helping out (mainly SK and Toby so far). I have felt a couple crawl up my leg and brushed them away, and that at least gave me the idea of what they looked like in real life. How I got to be my age and never have seen one (or paid attention to them anyway) I do not know.
So a couple weeks ago, I was standing in Richard's office talking to him, and he glanced up and said "What is THAT? I think it's a tick" and indeed it was... he pulled the dreaded creature (this was a regular wood/dog type tick) and I immediately went to take a shower and check for more... which I did not find, thankfully! Since then, every time I'm not sure whether a dark dot on me in a hard to see place (like my lower back for one example) I run to ask "Do you think that's a tick!?" which the answers so far have been "No, just a freckle" or "Looks like a mole to me" or "Hmmm, have you showered yet today?".
At Fiddle Camp Friday night, we were getting ready to turn in, and even though I'd spent the entire day and evening in sandals, I decided I'd need to sleep in my wool socks... don't ask me why this was important because the temperatures this weekend were SO warm! Anyway, as I'm pulling my socks over my feet I realize they are a little dirty (from being in sandals) and I go to brush the crud off but there's this one piece that will NOT come off... 'OH NO' I say to myself... 'I think it's a, a, a----' "Richard, IS THAT A TICK ON MY FOOT?!?!" to which he answers "Well, yes, I think it is a tick".
My fabulous husband pulled the creature out of my skin (it was slightly attached but hadn't been there too long) and after we carefully checked each other for possibly more, we calmed down and went to sleep.
Saturday morning, I again inspected myself for ticks (you're probably wondering if I do anything else with my time these days besides tick checks and fiddle tunes) and found OH NO, a tiny black dot... could it be a deer tick? I still haven't seen one of these, but I hear they are very small, and look like a black dot. It's time for our first workshop and I decide that I'll be safe enough waiting until after the workshop to seek out the camp nurse for a definitive answer.
After the workshop, we look for the nurse, only to realize we don't remember her name, or what she looks like. So, we walk around a little bit, go to a cabin that says "Nurse" on it, find no one, and head back to our Loon Nest. On the way there, I was a woman who I thought could be the nurse... Richard ran to her and verified her position as indeed 'Camp Nurse' and we had her look at my 'possible tick'. Nothing. Just a little black spot, no tick. Phew. Relief.
The rest of the weekend was uneventful in the tick department, and I'm sure I'll become less paranoid of ticks as time goes on. We do live in the woods, and we love being outdoors so we're going to have to accept the fact that we're risking exposure.
We'll continue to be mindful, keep an eye out for suspicious characters attaching to our skin, and keep asking "Do you think that's a tick?"

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