I found a tick in my leg today. Sorry – I know that’s gross. As I’ve sat down, it’s just the first thing that came into my head… and, you know; obey the writer’s instinct. In other words, not my fault, sorry, I’m outta here.
It’s also the second time I’ve had a tick. The first time, I was a kid in Maryland. I found it above my knee sitting by myself watching tv. I remember I knew what it was instantly. And I didn’t panic. I must have been no more than ten. I went and got a match and lit it, then blew it out. Oh yeah – the burn the tick off your leg trick. It was pretty badass when I think about it.
This time I was in the shower. I looked down at my upper calf and saw a raised red patch. Oh, I’d been bitten by something – a mosquito or a spider. Then I saw a dark part in the middle of the red. Was it a scab? I tried to brush it off. That’s when it hurt. Until then I hadn’t felt it at all. And the dark thing didn’t come off.
Oh shit. Don’t panic. Something in my leg – a piece of wood or plant of some kind. A plant with little legs. Don’t panic still. Call Jack. ‘I’ve got something in my leg!’ Very close to panicking.
He knew what it was straight away. I sat down in the shower, water still running, when he went to find the tick remover. He’d been worrying he had one in his head last night and had asked me to check. Fin gets lots of ticks, even though she has the drops so she shouldn’t get them. The drops don’t work though or the ticks are drop-proof; I’m not sure which. There are a lot of ticks this year, ever since we had that hot spell in February. Plus we are surrounded by white, wooly maggots, otherwise known as sheep. Poor sheep – they have to be covered in them. So, because Fin gets a lot of ticks, we have a tick remover for Fin; a kind of metal hook. You put the tick in the middle of it and twist the metal thing around. The tick comes out cleanly without leaving some of its parts in the skin. Since broken tick’s not a good look.
After a bit of searching (turns out I had left the tick remover in the living room after declaring Jack’s head tick-free – I didn’t know I’d need it for me!), Jack came in armed with it and a flashlight for our impromptu tick removal session. I sat in the shower tray, and held the flashlight and my breath. Oh, and I closed my eyes. It’s just better that way. Anyone else’s skin; I would have enjoyed watching every second of it.
It was stingy. I discovered the tick gives you a good fight with a last minute biting session. Then, ‘Done,’ Jack said.
I looked down, expecting a wound. No wound or blood though, just a red patch on my skin. Ten hours later, it’s a growing red patch. A growing red patch I’m watching for a bullseye pattern: erythema migrans. Yep, I’ve done the symptoms research. Come and get me Lyme.