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Tick… tick… tick… BOOM!

This just in:  TICK BITES MAKE YOU FAT!!!!

I know it’s hard to believe, but it’s true.  Follow along.

Last Sunday my Boy Child slept all day.  Not surprising since he was at a sleepover the night before and I’m pretty sure they didn’t get any sleep and he was probably nursing a sugar/caffeine hangover to boot.  It wasn’t until late evening when I couldn’t rouse him for a shower that I realized he was burning a 102 temperature.  Great!  I hate being the parent of the kid who just went through a sleepover oozing sick germs on his friends.

Monday he threw up once and was running a low-grade.  Normally I would put on a movie, give him a barf bucket, make extra coffee and wait it out BUT, it just so happened that he was on “tick watch.”  Meaning: he had (because of his beauty and delectability) attracted the attention of two hungry ticks about two weeks prior.  I always try to keep a mental note should there be illness within a few weeks of tick bites.  I dutifully took him to the doctor and was reassured that his bites were small, rashless, and probably unrelated.  We went home.

Tuesday was a boring day of taking care of Boy Child’s low-grade fever and headache.

Until the 104.8 (or 104.4 by the second thermometer, although I kind of gave up and ran for Motrin at that point) fever.  That was exciting.

Wednesday morning it was back to the doctor.  Thanks to his fever (or maybe the puking and almost passing out in the ped’s office) he earned a trip to the lab for some bloodwork.  I must add that this bloodwork did not go so smoothly and when the woman asked, “Why’s he so sick?” I wanted to ask what bloodwork could be done to show why she’s so obtuse.  If I knew what was wrong, wouldn’t I skip the part where they stab and jab the skinny child in search of a vein and blood repeatedly?

We go home to wait for the results.

That afternoon the doctor calls.  There were some problems at the lab.  “You mean because Boy Child continued to puke and pass out at the lab?” I ask.  No.  His blood samples all clotted and “What?”  He’s continuing the puking, passing out routine?  OY, bring this child to the ER for some fluids and a repeat of the bloodwork that was all FUBAR.

After an hour wait in the ER waiting room (one in which I was very calm and never once snapped at the triage nurse about the fact that my child is still actively collapsing whenever he tries to stand yet we are waiting behind the couple so worried about the scratch on their child’s nose; and no, I never threatened violence, but I may have asked to use their phone to call another hospital to ask for a reservation) we are happily in the pediatric ward being pumped full of fluids, new blood on its way to the lab, and a chest x-ray has been taken (because, why now does he have a cough that hasn’t been there before?!?)

First results:  Something in the lung.  Whew **wipes brow** Pneumonia.  I’ve played this game.  Antibiotics and we are on our way!

Second results:  Bloodwork doesn’t match.  Some bacterial infection way-so-much-more-than-a-blip-in-a-lung is happening in his body.  Crap.  We are here for the night.

Fast forward several more nights, needles, high fevers, dizziness, headaches, several bags of fluids and several antibiotics later…

EHRLICHIOSIS

Heard of it?  Me neither, but pay attention.  It’s a tick borne illness and it ain’t pretty.  Here in the midwest we didn’t have enough of a winter and we are likely to all be carried out in the night by insects of one sort or another this summer.  Ticks are one of the many creepy crawlers that are threatening to make the Mayans’ predictions come true!

In all of his 10 1/2 years of life my Boy Child has had 5 tick bites.  Two of which were two weeks ago and here he is in a hospital for four days being pumped full of crap to kill this bug-crap.  Have I mentioned how much I hate nature and the outdoors?!?  I’ve already informed my children that they are not allowed to partake in any summer activity unless it only involves concrete and chlorinated water!

We are home now.  Boy Child will make a full recovery.  In fact, after 20 minutes at home he had already incited a war with the Girl Child who hasn’t slept in days convinced of his imminent death.

So at the end of this dramatic tale you are wondering about my link between ticks and obesity.  You really don’t care nearly so much about the health of my spawn as the girth of your middle?  Well, think about it.  When was the last time you were in the throes of drama and trauma and thought to yourself, “Damn, I wish I had a carrot to make myself feel better!”

Mommy stress equals vast quantities of chocolate, beer batter, creamy things, fried things, and copious amounts of alcohol (not that namby pamby lite beer or skinny girl shit either!) The stronger my boy gets, the more I swell like a tick burrowed into juicy flesh.

Just try to get between me and these chocolate chip cookies!  I’ll bite you like a zombie tick on steroids!

~~Delaney Rhea

By the way, I use quotation marks casually and refrain from assuming that my words are those of any medical professional… my version and reality have one thing in common… they occur using the same alphabet.

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6 responses »

  1. I’m glad he’s home and feeling better!! Scary stuff! Brett had Lyme’s Disease when she was a 2nd grader from a tick bite, our poor, juicy, kids!

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  2. Please be aware that ticks can transmit several diseases at once. Many doctors under-treat tick-borne diseases which can cause more severe illness even well after the tick bite. Getting proper treatment early in the infection is crucial.

    Other tick-borne diseases besides two types of Ehrlichiosis are Lyme disease, Bartonella, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Babesiosis which is similar to malaria. When I was bitten by a tick, it transmitted five diseases.

    Unfortunately tests for these diseases are not completely reliable. It is possible to have them and test negative. Keep a close watch on your son. If he was given Doxycycline, make sure he does not have any dairy within two hours of taking it or it will not be absorbed properly. Also, make sure he drinks a full glass of water when he takes it and does not lay down for at least an hour or he could ulcerate his esophagus. This happened to me, and it is very painful! Doxy can also cause severe sun-sensitivity even when wearing sunscreen.

    If you need more information on tick-borne diseases, feel free to email me at ko_@bellsouth.net (the _ after the ko is an underline).

    I hope your son makes a quick recovery!

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  3. Pingback: The sign said: Long-haired, freaky people need not apply « The Maniac's Menagerie

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