Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Ticked off!

We traveled to my brother's place in Iowa this past weekend for his daughter's wedding.
Since the bride is his only daughter and they have come to Utah several times to see us, it only seemed fair that we all (my other two brothers and I) truck on out to the cornfields to visit them for this great occasion.
We all met up Sunday for church and a backyard pizza picnic in hot and humid Iowa.
Bryan has five acres of land in Fairfield, most of it wild and growing free — just like he likes it.
So we were outside visiting and eating after we'd all hiked down to his pond at the back of the property and through the various meadows and green space he and Patty have.
I sat in a wooden chair eating my pizza and watermelon and didn't really think too much about the two cans of Deet Bug Spray sitting on the table next to me.
I didn't notice many mosquitoes so I didn't apply any spray.
I was comfortable and blissfully unaware, apparently, that Iowa is currently seeing an uptick in the local tick population.
I stood up to talk to my older brother when my younger brother reached over to flick a tiny black creature off his shirt sleeve.
"What's that?" I asked.
"It's a tick. They're all over here," Darrell said. "You'll want to check yourself when you leave. They're bad news."
I shuddered.
I'd only been worrying about snakes and spiders as Bryan's yard includes a lot of area that would provide great cover and refuge for such creatures.
Ticks were a whole 'nother story.
Growing up, I'd heard about them on the occasional camp-out. I knew something about needing to poke them with a hot match if they climbed on and dug into your skin.
I knew they were carriers of dread disease.
But it wasn't until the next morning that I noticed this creepy black thing stuck onto the back of my hip. It had little waving legs and a horrid personality.
I screeched.
Marc looked at it and grabbed his laptop to look up solutions.
I screeched some more. "Get it off me!" I ordered.
Marc was busily searching the Internet while I tried not to grab at it.
"Do you have any tweezers? It says to pick it off with tweezers," Marc told me.
I picked up my makeup bag and pulled out a set of toenail clippers. Close enough.
I locked them around the tick's head and plucked him off. (What I did with him after that I don't know. I think I tossed him into the toilet or the sink.)
So he's gone with only a tiny speck of blood left.
He's gone but the nightmares remain. I haven't stopped checking for more since: in my hair, between my toes, on Marc.
I mostly hope I didn't bring any home to Utah with me.
The only good thing is, if I start showing symptoms of Lyme Disease, I'll know exactly where I picked it up.

1 comment: