Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The end of Nature Girl as we know it

If only they were this cute...

FORGET my foray into nature: never, ever again! Early Monday morning I found a tick feasting on my sweet, sweet blood. I was half-dressed (sorry for the visual) brushing my teeth, and noticed a red blotch with a black center below my left boob (breast, bosom, whatever). I then did what any sane, rational person would: I investigated and then began screeching. Duh.

Me: “Get up, GET UP GET UP GET UP! HELP ME!!!”
Matt (under the covers, half awake): “Whatftf?” (muffled) (Okay; fine: it was 5:30 am.)
Matt: “Calm down.” (Me interrupting: “No! YOU calm down! GET UP GET UP GET UP!”)

Matt then proceeded to sloooowwwlllyyy get out of bed and ever-so-slowly look for tweezers, and then slooowwwlllyy remove the tick.

Me: “What is taking so long?! What is going on?!”
Matt: “I want to make sure I got the head, that’s all”
Me: “You are POKING ME!”
Matt: “Do you want to make sure it’s out or don’t you?”
Me: “I think I have Lyme disease.”
Matt: “You do not have Lyme disease.”
Me: “How do you know?! UH?”
Matt: “It wasn’t a deer tick.”
Me: “It wasn’t a dog tick.”
Matt (pausing): “Well, maybe it as a baby dog tick.”
Me: “What do you know about ticks?!”
Matt: “Humgrh whaft sbiff!” (He was back under the covers at this point.)

So there you have it. Between our collective intelligence, we neglected to save the tick and instead flushed it. My doctor refused to give me antibiotics and said I should “watch for symptoms.” I argued not everyone gets a bulls-eye rash and symptoms of Lyme disease are remarkably similar to those of Crohn’s (fatigue, aches and pains). She wouldn’t have it, told me to calm down, and said this is the accepted protocol. I told her I have enough wrong with me, I’m usually not a hyperbolic hypochondriac (that title is reserved for my father who sent me Cipro when I was in college in downtown Manhattan during the Anthrax scare following 9/11, amongst other things) but I don’t need something else to worry about, now hand over that prescription pad, mamma needs some doxycycline.

Well, she essentially told me to get out.

She did say if I started to display symptoms to give her a call and she’ll be happy to prescribe me the antibiotics. Well, well, well…I’m thinking that on Monday at about 2 pm I’m going to get a bit feverish and achy….


  1. I figured it would be just a matter of---hours---before you wrote up this little escapade. I was right! YOU NEED TO CALM DOWN! MONG

  2. I respectfully totally disagree with your "doctor" in taking a "wait and see" approach. Take it from me, who had IV daily antibiotic therapy for 3 months. Lyme Dx needs to be treated early with antibiotics. Give me a call with your fax number ASAP


  3. Ticks are disgusting, but where I live, we pull them off on a regular basis. Surely you've heard the country classic "I Want to Check You for Ticks." Not joking. Google it. I think it was the second choice last year when the county voted for a new anthem.


  4. Greta,

    I can honestly say - with relief - that I've never heard the song Ticks until just Googling it now. Maybe I sound like a self-righteous city slicker (or suburban slicker?), but I can say that is why I avoid country music! (Or most things on the radio.) Yowza!

    I know I'm being melodramtic, but what's the fun in being perfectly sensible about everything, I say! ;-) And it wouldn't create a good story, to boot. I think it was just jarring because I haven't had a tick in 15 years or so...but back then we pulled 'em off regularly.

    Regardless, thankfully for everyone who knows me, I've calmed down since then. Not so much so, though, to enjoy a good ol' country tune about checking your lover for ticks.

  5. It took me longer to post this than I hoped--I meant to respond to the first comment at the top regarding your speedy write-up of your tick adventure. I thought of it the next morning as I read the column of my favorite NY Times writer, Gail Collins. After describing her bout with breast cancer she concluded, "I've never believed that everything happens for a reason. But I do believe strongly that everything happens so that I can turn it into a column". So Kathryn, you are certainly in good company!!!

  6. Cyndy,

    Just read Gail's latest column, which you quoted. She is perfection!: love the dry wit. For anyone else you may stumble upon this, here is a link:

    And, heck, I would have permanent writer's block if I couldn't write about the mundane!