Home > health, motherhood, philosophy, Politics, Uncategorized > I found a tick on the kid Friday

I found a tick on the kid Friday

So Friday night, after bath, I was doing a tick check. We’d been out in the woods that morning and Thursday and I try to always do tick checks. I’d skipped it Thursday b/c she fell asleep and was doing a super-thorough (but silly, goofy, make-it-a-game) job of it.

And I found a tick.

For about a second I freaked, then got the “tick ID card” out of my wallet, checked, yes, it was a Deer Tick, a nymph, here’s how you remove it, put it in an old lip-balm container. Then, because it was supper time, I did a very cursory scan of my usual tomes on these things, couldn’t find a S.O.P. in the face of ticks, and did something a little lazy.

I shot a note to the mom’s list I’m on.

Now, I could have called the doctor (at 5 on a Friday) and I could have called my sister-in-law or even just done a really extensive online search. But I did the lazy thing.

I think I was expecting a couple of “This is the standard thing to do in the situation,” coupled with at least one or two Lyme Disease Hysterics emails. (We’ve got a woman on the list who is very very into the Lyme Disease Divide. More on that later.) But mostly I figured there would be a consensus… I can’t be the only parent in the world who has found a tick on her kid!

The responses came flooding in. Mostly “call your doctor”, which made sense but like I said, it was 5 o’clock on Friday. A couple of “insist insist demand antibiotics.”

And one woman wrote a TOME. She wrote to me privately to talk about the epic journey she’d had when her son was bitten by a tick. She gave me the breakdown of the Lyme Disease Divide — basically the mainstream doctors versus the “Lyme Literate” doctors. What she told me was pretty scary — the tests are wrong as often as they are right, but getting a “good” test is expensive and the medical establishment tends to refuse to do them. She wrote about how she sobbed and wept and spent hours doing research and how she was called crazy and unreasonable by her doctor and family.

I’d heard about some of this before — I try hard to avoid the whole Lyme disease thing because when I let it, it freaks me the hell out. I’ve been down the “crazy mom” road, though I was postpartum and had the excellent excuse of being postpartum. So I have sympathy though I wonder what she was doing since her son didn’t have any symptoms.

But what I find really interesting is that there doesn’t seem to be a consensus on what to do if your kid IS bitten by a tick. It’s like the medical establishment knows it’s failed at dealing with this disease. They don’t believe the “fringe” doctors but can’t come up with a decent alternative.

But every time I look at the so-called “Lyme Literate” doctors, I feel like I’ve entered into the world of what I call the “specious skeptics.” The folks who sound semi-reasonable when they point out that the doctors are wrong but still sound crazy when they try to say what they think is right. The vaccine-autism-link folks. The HIV-doesn’t-cause-AIDS folks. The antibiotics-cure-ulcers folks….

Oh. Wait. That’s right. Antibiotics DO cure ulcers. And there was a “crazy fringe” movement that insisted upon this fact for FORTY YEARS while the mainstream folks insisted they were nuts and hundreds of thousands of people died from bled-out ulcers. It’s only int he past twenty years that we have accepted what used to nutso theory as true fact.

And that’s what scares me about this Lyme thing.

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