Soooo…Yesterday morning started like every other. I get up, go to the bathroom – but I notice as I lift my shirt that I have this little black speck on my belly. It looks like a tiny seed bead. My daughters and I had spent the better part of the previous afternoon making jewelry on my bed, so you KNOW there were beads scattered everywhere. I pick the little sucker off my stomach and P-TOING! flick it away. I’m still kinda half asleep, and when I look again, I notice there’s a purplish mark where it’d been. DAMN cheap beads. So I lick my finger to wipe away the stain. Lick, wipe, lick, wipe. But it doesn’t go away.
Hmm. I look more closely – and am jolted awake by the realization that THAT tain’t no cheap bead, that mustabeen…. a BUG. Oh MY GOODNESSS. I peer around me on the floor, looking for the tiny black speck, and there, lo and behold, it is. I press it to my fingertip, raise it to my eyes. It looks like a teesy tiny seed, but when I look reeeeeaaaaaaaaallllly close, I can indeed see. it’s got LEGS.
My husband comes running. He isolates the thing in a small lidded jar. I then place the jar into a ziplock bag. B/c YOU CANNOT BE TOO CAREFUL. I call the doctor, they are about to put me on hold, when I announce “I have just been bitten by a deer tick.” They patch me right through. And so the ladies & spent the better part of yesterday rectifying my “little problem.”
You can see from the above photo how a sleep-ridden mind could indeed mistake this tiny bullseye mark for say… a freckle. or Cheap bead stain. Fortunately (or unfortunately) I found the tick on me, so there was no mistaking it. After a few minutes, anyway.
Here he is in the babyfood jar. I was feeling brave – this was taken w/out the additional plastic sheathing.
Now, here he is this morning. I am thinking he is dead. GOOD. He was waaaay bigger when I plucked him off my stomach. [Yes, I did have to tell you that.] That is a pencil point next to him. YES he is UNBELIEVABLY TINY. So WATCH OUT.
I did some online research and have concluded it was a nymph (juvenile) which bit me. The adults are quite a bit larger and more leggy. The nurse practitioner shone a light on him yesterday to establish his identity and color. Although he looks black to me, in the light he was indeed a reddish-brown. Perhaps from the blood he had stolen. Bastard. The nurse asked us what we were going to name him, so I chose Evil. which seems to fit him nicely. She gave me a prescription for a one-time mega-dose of Doxycycline (which I took last night) and said that I should be fine.
So, yesterday – b/c we have instituted this NO DRIVING DURING THE WEEK rule at our house – the ladies & I had to walk into town & back to get to the doctor’s office. Over 10 miles. As a treat, we meandered back via the Reading Terminal Market, and then South Street, of course treating ourselves to some TREATS. When you get bit by a damn deer tick, you milk it for All it’s Worth. Needless to say, everywhere we went, my younger daughter would reach her hand right into my purse, pull out that crazy ass bagged jar and announce to all & sundry MY MOMMY WAS BITTEN BY A TICK and HERE HE ISSSSSSSSSS. After the first couple times, I knew the routine & would head her off @ the pass. Somehow, I didn’t really want to share the whole story (along w/ specimen) w/ the girl at the cheap earrings shoppe. I am sure she was grateful.