First Tick of the Year — 2013 Edition

In addition to misapplied possessive apostrophes and upset people in the newspaper, another thing we’ve been following on PDD for quite some time is the first tick to show its face each year. This little bloodsucker latched on to me today on the Lumber Camp Trail at Pattison Park.

And here’s the rundown of past tick posts:
March 26, 2012
April 14, 2011
March 29, 2010
May 8, 2009
June 8, 2008
May 11, 2007
June 6, 2005


Jim Richardson

about 11 years ago

I just had car trouble on Friday in Wisconsin outside of Spooner. I stood by the side of the highway for 20 minutes waiting for the tow truck. During the brief ride to the garage, I picked 6 ticks off me (shudder).


about 11 years ago

We flushed the same tick down the toilet three times yesterday. I figured if it surfaced again we were going to have to keep it as a pet. I was going to name it Timmy.

Barrett Chase

about 11 years ago

*the first tick to show its face each year.


about 11 years ago

My family and I were exploring Ely's Peak in West Duluth and then stopped at Ski Hut in East the shop I felt something itchy and found a tick on my stomach. The shop owner/worker helped me tweeze it out (it had attached already). This was on May 26 (Sunday).


about 11 years ago

Hello, everyone. It's time for my annual Lyme Disease Rant/Warnings.

In June 2005, I discovered a very large bug bite on my back. It was not a 'bulls eye' but rather a red, swollen, huge bite. Mr. Emmadogs wanted me to go to the doctor, but in those days, my dog Emma and I ran Hartley and Amity, and I figured you can't go to the doctor for every bug bite around here. There was no discomfort, no itching, and again, no bulls eye.

Flash forward to March 2006. I had to take a leave of absence from work due to the extraordinary amount of pain I was in.  I had also developed extreme vertigo (Thanksgiving Eve 2005 in the ER) and scary heart palpitations (Memorial Day 2006 in the ER). I had been in rehabilitative therapy for months, and was spending $1200 a month on massage therapy, Pilates, and other recommended pain management techniques. Then I started developing cognitive problems.

Finally someone (out of the several doctors I was seeing by that point) recommended a Lyme test, which was positive. August 2006: infectious disease Dr #1 said 'sorry, it's chronic, late stage Lyme disease, not much we can do for you."  Second opinion Dr Kevin Stephan, who saved my life, literally, put me on a six-month course of medication.

I was able to get the Lyme test because, despite having missed so much work by then, I still had a bit of sick leave left, so I hadn't lost my job and my health care yet. Otherwise ... the beginnings of real disability would not have been curtailed by a delayed Lyme diagnosis.  As it is, I have chronic pain and permanent muscle damage from this.

Therefore, don't assume if it's not a bulls eye, it's not a tick bite.  If you develop weird mystery medical symptoms, ask for a Lyme test. If you get a bad infectious diseases doc, ask for Dr Stephan.  And check out the Lyme support websites for accurate information that you will not get from the CDC.

Stay well!


about 11 years ago

I hate ticks. Mosquitoes are annoying, I should be traumatized by them, I got mosquito guts on my eyeballs when I was a little kid. They were swarming me, I shut my eyes hard, squish. Very gross. However, they still just annoy me today, no freak outs. Ticks on the other hand, they do creep me out. I know it's just their nature, but they seem malicious, always crawling toward you. When I was a kid I flicked one off in the back of my dads truck after a camping trip & it came creeping back at me. I impaled it on a fishing hook & it continued to move. You never see them till they are on you. Searching Tick on Google is also a bad idea, seeing one is bad enough, seeing a poor dog infested by hundreds, the stuff of nightmares. *shudder* 

Also what gives, as a kid in the 1980s and early '90s I'd be all over the wooded hillsides of Duluth and never once did have a tick on me, but now it's like I second guess after I've been in my backyard. Is it literally because we see more deer in the city, or was I just really lucky as a kid? 

Now I need to take my mind off of ticks.

about 11 years ago

I'd like to second emmadogs.

Lymes disease sucks.


Protect yourself.


about 11 years ago

I wanted to post this, especially in response to Paul's tick bite on the new stretch of the SHT (go get checked for Lyme, please, Paul!)

The New Yorker: The Lyme Wars

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