Thursday, May 09, 2013

damn ticks

Waiting area at DHMC. Poor kiddo got his first tick bite recently (that we found, anyway) and yesterday developed the rash around now we're starting a couple weeks of antibiotics to treat for Lyme Disease. =(
(As an interesting juxtaposition to my last post.....) One of my bigger apprehensions about moving to New Hampshire was ticks and Lyme disease. The thought of tiny bugs that bury their entire heads into your skin and hang around for over a day sucking your blood is incredibly creepy on its own, throw in the risk of catching a potentially life-long physically debilitating illness and yeah ticks scare me. I figured we'd have to deal with a few ticks while here, but hoped that with being diligent about checking for them and catching them early we'd have a low risk of having to deal with Lyme itself.


Donovan got a tick a week and a half ago. Zach found it (right by his right ear), I pulled it out, and was proud of myself for doing so with the nasty little bugger (seemingly) intact. That night I looked up symptoms of Lyme disease as a reminder of what to look for.  The thing about Lyme is if you catch it early it's treated pretty easily with antibiotics, but if you don't recognize the early stages it can become a chronic illness. So as I often do, I spent a night feeling all sorts of freaked out about the whole thing, then came to that place of realizing there's only so much I can do, and worrying about the other stuff is pointless, so I should just keep an eye out for symptoms and not stress about the rest.

For a while D seemed fine, he had random colds and things but nothing out of the ordinary for a 5 year old. I kept checking his tick bite to look for a rash (one telltale sign) and asking how his joints felt. Everything seemed fine...till last night when I noticed a big red patch around the bite spot. It was still there this morning, so we saw a doctor this afternoon and he confirmed that it indeed looked like a classic Lyme rash. Ugh. D started a course of amoxicillin tonight, which he'll take for a couple weeks and hopefully that will be the end of that. I'm just glad he got the rash so we could recognize it and get it taken care of. I'm still kinda freaked out about if any of the rest of us gets it at some point, and most of the symptoms are kinda general so unless you have (and recognize) the rash or the joint pain it can be easy to overlook.  But again, not much we can do other than try to be vigilant. I am kinda considering dousing all our clothes in permethrin and suspending my usual avoidance of DEET repellants...

So I guess our New Hampshire health curse struck again. Related aside: this was my third trip to DHMC this week alone. I was also there on Monday for my first follow-up MRI (to check on my incision site and get a baseline image for monitoring the spot in case of tumor regrowth), and on Tuesday to talk to my doctor about the MRI results (as expected-- everything looks fine, I'll be back in another 6 months to check again). I'll say this, in our experience DHMC is a really nice hospital and they have a pretty awesome setup especially for kids. But I'd really like not to have to keep going there so often. 


  1. Bravo on being diligent and aware! You both caught it and are getting it taken care of. Pats on the back, en serio

  2. And now one of the other neighbor kids has Lyme as well. Apparently global warming is moving those dang Lyme Connecticut ticks up here.



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