Um.  Not my most favorite topic.  I have quite a disdain for ticks!  I remember as a child helping my mom pick ginormous ticks off of our dogs and then squash them on the driveway, leaving little blood stains all over our drive.  Gross, eh?  I sort of enjoyed doing it as a child – but not so into the tick squashing now!  

Although it appears my children may have inherited that trait.  When Asha (our pooch) gets a tick, they are most happy to remove it and squash it with a rock on the driveway!  I know they didn’t get that from their father!! ;-)

Anyway, we have recently had a little run-in with ticks.  The kids were on school holidays last week for just one week.  We snuck away for a quick 2 day trip to the game reserve about 3 hours north of us.  (One of the perks of living in South Africa!)  We LOVE the game reserve and look for any excuse to get up there!  My children are all old enough now that they pack for themselves.  I do go over their bags, to make sure they have packed undies, etc, but they all do really well usually.  As we walked out to the car, I asked each of the kids, “do you have shoes?”  As it is not uncommon for my children to run around barefoot.  They acknowledged me….  and I assumed they all were shoed!

We arrived at our friends’ house for the first night and Nate can’t find his shoes.

Then he remembers he didn’t come with shoes!  Seriously??

We are going to a game reserve with wild animals and you don’t have shoes?

There was nothing we could do, so he walked around the picnic sites (which are frequented by wild animals) barefoot for those two days.  I honestly was not thinking about ticks at the time.  We were more concerned about all the thorns, animal feces, etc that was all over the ground… so were helping him maneuver around these land mines.

We returned home after a lovely 2 day excursion with the leopards and wildebeest…  Life returned to normal.

About one week later, Nate started running high fevers.   We had all been struggling with head/chest colds, which he now had, so I just thought that was the cause.  Then he told me his groin was hurting.  I investigated and found a large, very painful lymph node in his left groin.  I looked all over his leg to find the source of the infection that would be causing this large node.  Found nothing.  The next day the groin was even bigger… now with a lump around the lymph node the size of an egg!  He could barely walk and was having high fevers.  He then mentioned that between his toes was sore.

I looked and sure enough.  There was a little circular white area surrounded by reddened flesh.  The tick was long gone, but evidence was left behind.  We booked a doctor’s appointment and the doctor confirmed that it was indeed tick bite fever and in addition to that, he also had tonsillitis and bronchitis – leftovers from the head/chest cold he had.

He is now on day 3 of antibiotics and the fevers are gone.  The groin is slowly reducing in size and he might be well enough to head back to school tomorrow.

What have you learned, Nate?

Shoes are a good idea, Mom.

4 Responses to Ticks.
  1. Grandma Reply

    Way to learn the hard way Nate

  2. Joyce m Reply

    Oh my stars! Poor Nate to get slammed with 3 health issues at a time. He must have been miserable. Glad he is improving.

    • Michelle Reply

      Yes, thankfully he is almost back to his normal little self now. He had this momma a bit worried, so glad that is all over with!

  3. Laura Hit Reply

    Ouch! Poor dude!

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