Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Hitch-hiker!

This past Saturday morning I had something happen, something I saw, that I had never ever in all my years on the planet seen before!

Here's what took place.

Those of you who have been following my blog for a long, long time now - Skittles (Barb), Paige, Mau, Mary Ann, both Terri bloggers (Quebec and Minnesota) and a few others -might recall that three years ago I was having a really rough time dealing with a condition called Shingles! I had contracted them back in August of 2006 and it took me until late in the spring of 2007 before the pain began to ease up on those puppies. Probably one of the absolute most painful things I have ever had to deal with is about all I can say about having a dose of them!

Well Saturday morning, I noticed that my right side of my stomach -from just below the bra line down to my waist -was very tender to the touch. Now that alone is a remnant of the shingles and I often have a feeling there that I have a big bruise. But this, on Saturday, was different. A much stronger pain and some sharp stabbing stuff that is how the shingles act on you when they are in full gear.

So I ran my hand down my side and to my surprise, I found what felt like a lump. So I pulled my shirt up to take a closer look and to my surprise -shock and horror would be more accurate to describe my reaction -there was this little bug of some kind obviously hard at work trying to burrow into my skin!

I called Mandy to come into the bathroom to show this to her and she -fairly calmly considering the reaction she tends to have when she just sees a daddy-long-legs -she announced that I had a tick there and for me to hold still and she would pull it off.

So she did that and I figured okay, all is fine -the little sapsucker -aka the hitch hiker -is now gone. History.

Well Mandy wasn't letting go of this all that quickly. She began insisting I call the emergency room and go over there to have them check it out and make sure she had got it all removed. When I balked at that idea, she then insisted that I at least call our neighbor and my good friend, Kate -who is an RN -and ask for her advice on the matter.

Well, just to get Mandy to back off and leave me alone, I did finally call Kate on Sunday but not really about the tick as I had surfed the web big-time Saturday night and read everything and anything I could find on ticks and what issues they can cause, etc. And I figured that everything was okay -at least for now.

Monday morning though, I decided to be on the safest side though, I would call my family doctor and tell her what happened. That way, I figured that if it had been on my body, pumping whatever stuff they pump into people enough that could make me sick, it wouldn't do that for at least 2-3 weeks or so and by letting my doctor know about this, then if something more did happen that a tick might cause, she would have a bit more of an idea of what had transpired and how to treat it. All that kind of stuff ya know.

Well I think the only thing that the tick did was to wake up the nerve endings that had been sensitized from the shingles cause boy, Sunday and today, those babies have been hurting my side like crazy!

I'll betcha that any little thing I might do -extra exercise like using gym equipment like maybe a pull up bar or any other things that would put extra work and pressure on my abdominal muscles would probably make those old shingles react in pretty much the same way.

All the more reasons then for me to stick to my walking the dog for my exercise -even if it does take me out into the woods and I run the risk of encountering another hitch hiker.

At least now I know what a tick looks like!

Would you believe that as old as I am and as long as I have lived out in the boondocks (which is pretty much what this area is) this is the very first time I have ever come across a tick much less had one land on me and try to take a chunk of flesh out of my hide! (Or suck my blood out till I might be darned near bone dry!)

Learn something new every day -even when you are 65!


Sylvia said...

Jeni, you are lucky to have lived this long without encountering a tick. They are nasty little critters. When I was growing up and lived in the country they were a commen occurance. I swear I could tell the moment one happened to land. There are some species of ticks that are really tiny little things and when we went to pick blackberries, our pant legs would look like they were full of dandruff but it was what my mother called "seed ticks".

wsxwhx745 said...

IS VERY GOOD..............................

TechnoBabe said...

When we lived in Virginia, the kids would get ticks on them. It was a ritual to check from head to toe when they came inside and found ticks on them regularly. On me too. We would light a match and blow it out and hold the warm used match on the tick and get it to back out so we would get it all. It is a good idea to check around when you get back from your walks.

HalfCrazy said...

Ticks! WOW, they're the nastiest ever! I once saw them on my dog and I totally can't sleep after that, fearing there just might be more of them!

Hope you feel better as days go by! And no more tick attacks, I hope!

Suldog said...

Ick! Tick! Jeez, Jeni, I've seen them on some other animals - dogs, for instance, and I once pulled one off of a turtle, believe it or not - but never have seen one on a human before. I'm such a city boy...

Tee aka The Diva's Thoughts said...

That would freak me out.

Maggie May said...

They spread Lyme Disease in certain areas. I would go get a check up just to be sure.
We have them in England & I used to pull them off the dogs.
Hope it doesn't set off the Shingles again.

Nuts in May

Travis said...

Yikes! I've never had one either, but I'm a city boy.

terri said...

Yikes! Ticks are very prominent here, especially in the spring. The kids and I once went walking out in my brother's back acres and came back just crawling with ticks. (They really like to hang out in the long grasses. I wonder if when you and Alex went walking you might have picked up your hitch-hiker?) And those little suckers gross me out like you wouldn't believe! Blech!

Jocelyn said...

Here I've been meaning to hop over for ages to say hi, as I've been the lamest blog reader ever...but then you beat me to it and left an amazing--as always--comment for me.

Anyhow, that you haven't seen a million ticks amazes me. You've been lucky! So the rash left behind isn't the "bullseye" associated with Lime's Disease, ja?

Anyhow, there's also the possibility that you're having another flare-up of Shingles, which, despite what some of the medical lit tells us, CAN happen. It's happened to my mother-in-law and husband...so maybe you were having a re-flare and then, in a weird coincidence, had a tick on you, too?