Ticks.

Hello and Happy Tuesday! 

This afternoon I spent some quality time with my dear friend “mon amie Sylvie”. We know each other from VHS French courses that we attended together. Great times and we stayed in touch all this time. She is so sweet and after she showed me her amazing house, garden and pool! we took a little walk with her dog to the local playground so Petit Joel could play around a bit. If you are from Coburg and have kids, you most likely know the playground just close to Seidmannsdorf. This is a great place for kids to run around all day and play their little heads off. I have been to this playground when I was a kid; however, a lot has changed – to the better. If you get a chance, do check out this place. We will be back for sure as well! 

So petit Joel was in awe most of the time, climbing on everything, going down the slides and back up. Nonstop. Needless to say, he is out cold and most likely dreams of all the amazing tunnels, slides and whatnot. As soon as we got there, he took his shoes and socks off. He sees me doing it all the time; I walk either barefoot or wear TOMS in summer. Since the playground was mostly sandy, it was no problem. He ran around all over the place and at night when I bathed him I found a tick on his leg. This was not his first one. He had had several, since we are in nature a lot and take advantage of the great outdoors. It did not freak me out. I have had many ticks myself and I am aware of the effects of Lyme and other diseases one might get from being bitten by one of these things firsthand with a former neighbor in the US. She had full-blown Lyme disease and it was horrible to watch how she lived, her hands all stiff and needed to take medication every day.

When I grew up, my mom used to tell my siblings and I every night to check each other for ticks once we took showers. When you know what and where to look for and take the necessary precautions it is all good. I remember even a time when I worked as a cop and we had to search for a knife (evidence) in the woods. When I returned home that night, I had 15 ticks all over my body. Even at spots were I certainly did not expect it. Damn you, horny ticks! Tick bites make a lot of people nervous but actually, it is not that scary. However, one tick I removed and the head was still stuck in my leg. I did not see it and got a pretty big infection after a couple of days. So bad that I needed to go and see a doctor to get a vaccination. I am fine. It happens. I never felt any muscle aches or pains, I never had a fever. Just a big rash around the area where the tick bit me. The key is to get treated in the early stages after the bite. “What am I going to do if I don’t know right away that I have been bitten by a tick?” Well, you will know. It will itch. You will scratch and when you look at it you will see that it is not a regular bug bite. 

When I play with my son in the grass, I usually make sure he wears socks or long pants. But this is of course not always happening. It is hot outside. He wears his short pants and sandals, or is barefoot. So at night I always inspect him closely. Check his head, his ears – especially inside his ears [the other day, he had a tick behind his ear that still crawled and I just happened to see it], legs and arms. And of course I throw all his clothes in the clothing bin every night to be washed. Sometimes, ticks stay on the pants for days. “Where do ticks hang out usually?” They love grass – especially long grass, woods, yards and leaves. When I go hiking or walk thought the woods I usually tuck my pant legs into my socks. There are some repellents and even vaccinations you can use precautionary but I have never done that. Neither has my son. 

So I found this tick on my son tonight. Usually, you are fine if you find the tick before it has been attached to you for at least 24 hours. I removed it with a small fine pair of tweezers because it has not even had the time to fully bite and suck blood. I made sure to totally crush and kill the tick after I removed it. Remove the tick slowly so you won’t leave part of the tick in there. Sometimes, if the tick is in a little deeper I use this:

With this card, the tick can easily be removed. If there is still a little part of the tick in your skin, observe the area and if there is any pain, swelling or redness see a doctor! After I removed the tick, I cleaned the area, applied  Arnica    Gel and put a little bandaid on the bite. Done! 

After the doctor gave me the vaccination he told met that after I have been bitten by a tick and it had been removed completely I still have to make sure I don’t develop any rashes, chills or fever, weakness, muscle pain, severe headaches or even confusion [My husband would say now that I most likely have been bitten by thousands of ticks as confused as I am sometimes!] Well, if you develop any of these symptoms you should definitely see a doctor ASAP. Most likely you will get some antibiotics. Most importantly, listen to your body. If there is something wrong or off, your body will tell you. 

SideNote: Cats and dogs get ticks as well and they do get a lot. I have seen some when my aunt removed them from their dog. They are huge. [and disgusting, yuk!] However, it is important that you remove them as soon as possible. The animals are just as susceptible to Lyme and other diseases as we are. I had two cats once and they had to wear their tick collars. I always made sure to brush their fur to see if they have any ticks. 

Do you have any remedies or insight on ticks? Do tell. I would love to hear from you. 

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