Friday, May 02, 2008


So what do you tell your barely five year old after you find a bloated woodtick latched to the back of her scalp that you have to remove with a tweezers, particularly after you're worried you missed the head and have to take her to urgent care to get a second opinion and a first strike prescription in case she shows signs of Lyme's Disease?

1.) I'm sorry honey. That probably hurt. Woodticks are gross, but you'll be fine. I know you were scared, but you pulled through like a trooper.

2.) Uncle Andrew and I used to have a third brother, until he was bitten by a woodtick and grew big woodtick arms out his sides, and then ran off to live in the woods with his woodtick girlfriend. That's why boy woodticks have suspenders and girl woodticks have necklaces.

3.) If I missed the head, they'll put another woodtick on you so that the heads can fight it out. Usually they fight until both of them die, that's why you use two.

4.) I'm keeping the woodtick. His name is Woodticky. He's a goth Webkinz. I'm going to decorate his room and buy him stuff.

5.) Wow...look at that. He's got a piece of your skull in his mouth.

6.) Once a woodtick bit me and I got Lyme's. Then this nerve in my face swelled up and I got what's called Bell's Palsy. I had to wear sunglasses because one side of my face wouldn't work and my eye stayed open and if I ate or drank on that side, the food or water would fall out.

7.) You probably have to get a shot.

8.) Did you hear the joke about the little boy who came inside for lunch and his mom asked if he wanted fruit and he said, "No, I already ate the grapes off the dog."?

9.) Do you think the tooth fairy left a woodtick under your pillow because you won't get rid of that loose tooth?

In my defense, I said #1 as well as #2 through #9. I think I said some other horrible things as well (with the excuse that she needed to get used to it, because by the time she turned 7 or 8, it would be coming from me, Kyle and Dan'l) - it was a long night in urgent care because my sister and mother, the nurses, wouldn't answer their phones. And to make it up to her, we finished off a 10:00 p.m. evening with a bit of DQ. But that thing was really pretty disgusting. She told Pooteewheet that she thought she'd felt it roaming around her head on Tuesday. Ish. She's now very clear that you should report any bumps on your head.

Here's the disgusting little bastard in person, in a date-stamped spice jar full of rubbing alcohol in case we need to do a Lyme's test later.


PTW said...

Actually, this morning Eryn said she found a bump on her head that went "back and forth," and she was pretty sure, now, that it was the tick. She didn't tell anyone because she thought it was just a bump. I didn't ask her why she thought the bump would go back and forth. Basically, she was wiggling the little bastard back and froth from the point at which it was attached to her head. That's just disgusting.

boringsahm said...

I would have went with #2.

That is scary but glad you got it!

Sank said...

One small piece of consolation, wood ticks don't carry lyme disease. That comes for deer ticks which are much more insidious as they're tiny. Wood ticks are pretty benign. Gross for sure.... Never forget flyfishing WI in spring. sat down in the grass along the river as I wasn't feeling well. Fell asleep for an hour. Woke up with 14 attached to my head and arms.

LissyJo said...

I'm pretty sure you used the woodtick brother story for me when i had woodticks back in monti as a kid. It was supposed to be my sweet revenge to tell stories like that to eryn, but i just can't. Obviously you can because you have no heart.

Too bad i wasn't working UC--I am today. Did she freak out? Or did DQ make everything better

tonka_boy said...


But it's a good joke.

I hate ticks. In fact, I hate all parasites. There's nothing more disgusting than the concept of living off a "host".

Anonymous said...

Speaking as somebody that prolly has Lyme's...yeah, no fear from the Wood ticks. It's the invisble deer ticks that you'll never be able to see that you should be wary of :)

She says said...


I know of no other person who has a category for "parasites" on his/her blog.

Kudos on that.

Anonymous said...

No worries, that's definitely a wood tick and she's not getting Lyme's from that but there are plenty of other blood borne diseases that they do carry and you should pay attention for any change in her health over the next 30 days.

I myself have contracted Lyme's and while I haven't had any serious side effects following the thorough antibiotics treatment, it still does worry me.

I hate ticks and sadly they are attracted to me. We did 23 caches in Itasca County this weekend and of the four of us I was the only one to have ticks on my person... WHY?!

Scooter said...

Obviously people hate the poor common dog tick. So misunderstood. But ticks no doubt freak me out worse than they do Eryn. I caught Lymes back in 1987 (I lived in Minnesota and schooled in the Albany area of NY, the two hot spots for Lymes) and came down with Bell's Palsy - basically a facial stroke that meant I had to wear sunglasses so I wasn't winking at everyone, and eat on one side of my mouth, because the food fell out the other side. It was resolved with a pile of antibiotics that made me "moon faced". Now I'm paranoid one of those little bastards will bite me again.

Sank said...

My neighbor had Bells Palsy.. That would be no damn fun. I hate stink'n ticks. My 13 year old contracted Lymes. He figured it out himself after week at summer camp. He had the classic bullseye on his arm. Look Mom, I got Lymes. We were in California on vacation and the Dr there hadn't heard of it. Lucky the intern was from Wisconsin.