Tuesday, July 08, 2008

How to save $143

A while back (like late April, maybe) I discovered a tick on Ryan.

Let me state, just for the record, that before discovering this tick, I'd never seen on in person before.

I had NO IDEA how to get it out other than hearsay, and so I decided (after taking a few deep breaths and staving off panic) to do some internet research.

The tick had been there for at least two days because I'd thought it was a mosquito bite that he'd scratched and made all red.


Two days later it was big enough to see that it was a tick, and I freaked out.

So my internet research said that if it had been more than 24 hours, take the person with the tick to the doctor to have it tested for various illnesses. Since I'd never seen a tick, much less removed one, I decided that taking Ryan to the doctor was a very good idea indeed, and called the doctor's office.

They were rather blasé about it (which should've been my first clue) but humored me and set up an appointment for later that day.

At the doctor's office the doc (a man I really like and respect--we tried five other doctors before finding this man) simply got a pair of tweezers and pulled it out, then flushed the offending bug down the toilet. I was shocked at how far the skin stretched before the little bast*** popped out, as well as the audible "pop" that it made. I swear the skin pulled out about 1.5" from where it normally is. That shows not only how elastic skin is, but also what a good hold that little disgusting bug had.

The bill came today and it's $143 after insurance. I'm not a happy camper, but there's not much I can do. They didn't even give him a bandage. Sigh.

I'm going to consider this an expensive lesson in tick removal, and here's my advice if you've never removed a tick:
it takes a LOT of constant, even pressure with tweezers to get a tick out of the skin, but keep trying, in one firm but gentle and slow pull.

Apparently the only concern in this area is Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, but it's not common at all.

Now you know, and hopefully in the next day or so I'll post some pictures of our vacation in Idaho.


LisaK in Idaho said...

Is it a local tic or an Idaho tic? We also have some Lyme Disease here. I probably would have taken my child to the doctor too.


Not to freak you out, but something to keep an eye out for.

Penny said...

FYI - When removing a tick with tweezers, you've got to make sure to get it all out - if you leave behind a leg or the head or something else, it can get infected.

Another way, easier, but not as fast, is to put a thick coat of vaseline on the area. In a few hours the tick will suffocate and let go.

Anonymous said...

You should have called. I'd have done it for free and given you the tick back in a little jar to keep until all possible side effects were past.

Kathy said...

Ooo, ticks! I hate ticks! I am so glad we don't have them here.
Sorry I haven't been 'round lately, Cousin! I have been so busy with lambs, and now these kittens everywhere! Hopefully, we can keep up contact again. :)