Wednesday, June 25, 2008

So What Makes Julia Tick?

It was another typical morning. Nataliya and I slowly dragged ourselves out of bed after resisting much-needed sleep the previous night to catch The Daily Show. As I was getting ready to leave for the day, I heard Nataliya call me into Julia's room. By the urgency in her tone, I rushed upstairs.

At first glance, Nataliya's first impression looked correct - overnight, something seemed to to have grown out of Julia's head. The thing's color appeared to match Julia's scalp and was as large as a watermelon seed. To me, it looked like a seed had gotten stuck in her hair. I tried to pull it out of her hair, but it wasn't sticking to her hair, but rather to her scalp. Turning the "seed" over, I could see legs. This thing was acting like a tick, but I'd never seen one so large.

Going with the assumption that it was a tick, the first (lyme) thing I could (lyme) think of was getting (lyme) this thing off of her. I remembered hearing that ticks hated vinegar and they would release their grasp to escape if exposed to it. All that managed to do was to make her hair stink. I tried pulling it out with tweezers, grabbing it as close to the head as possible, but it held fast and I stopped in fear that I'd just tear the bug in half and make the situation worse.

Unsure of what to do, we headed to the emergency room at Englewood Hospital. She was seen pretty quickly and they confirmed that it was a tick. After a quick examination of her basic vitals, they brought her into the ER and pulled the tick out with a tweezer -- basically the same thing I was doing, but the nurse pulled a lot longer than I did.

Dropping the bloated tick into a jar, we were sent on our way. The tick's journey will continue in a lab, where it will be checked for lyme disease.

Stay tuned... We find out the results of the test next week.

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