Well bright and early this morning Madison walks up to me with both hands on her neck asking me "when did I get a button?". I lifted her hair to discover that her "button" was an embedded tick! I'm not sure exactly when the disgusting little bugger crawled onto her body but I do know that I checked all weekend and that it was not there last night which means it was either in my house or on her body and I just didn't find it in time. I've plucked ticks off of our various pets a number of times but when I found it on my little girl I completely forgot everything I needed to do and instead ran her over to my parent's house (thank God they are next door) for help from my mom! Mom smeared the tick with Vaseline and waited for it to back out (various feelings on this method). Unfortunately it never backed out so she grabbed tweezers and tried to pull it. The body came off but the head stayed embedded. I of course started freaking and was debating between just taking her to school and calling the doctor from there or staying home from school to take her to the doctor's as soon as they opened. After I calmed down I decided to call from school and see what they said. The nurse on the phone informed me that since the whole body was removed the head would die off and that I just needed to look for signs of Lyme for the next 30 days. No need to go into the office.
The signs to look for are:
- a bulls eye rash which can appear anywhere on the body, not just at the bite site. It might also not appear at all in some Lyme patients
- a low grade fever
- joint and or muscle aches and pains
I've also looked up different recommendations for removing ticks. I learned that you are NOT supposed to use petroleum jelly or a match (well the match I thought was kind of a given). Instead use a pair of tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible. Pull on it without twisting or yanking until the tick releases itself. Place the tick in a jar with alcohol or a baggy in the freezer and save it in case you get sick and need to id it later.At this point I am considering spraying our backyard in order to keep this from happening too often this summer but if you have any other ideas for ridding the yard of ticks I would love to hear them.
Some helpful sites on ticks and Lyme are: