Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Of Ticks and Tooth Extractions

Golden sunshine pours through the patio doors casting a warm glow over the dinner table, the serenity of the setting giving no indication of the events about to unfold. It’s 5:30 p.m., in Chilliwack, BC, and Jayden, Justin and I are just having dinner with my parents. Yesterday morning Jason had all of his wisdom teeth pulled so he’s unable to eat, or much less function at this point, and is still recovering at his parent’s house where we’ve been staying the last few days. 

Reaching over to help Jayden open his yoghurt I suddenly notice something black behind his ear. Quick as a flash, I pass Justin, who I had been holding on my lap, to my Dad, and take a closer look. Hmm... a small black bug. 

Feeling with my fingers, I quickly notice it’s attached. “Hold still Jayden.” I tell my wiggling boy, and swiftly get to work extracting the insect. 

“Must be some kind of blood sucker,” I tell my parents who are hovering nearby. Upon removal, I ask my Mom for a ziplock bag and then carefully place the still moving critter inside. 

“What are you going to do now?” She asks. 

“Let’s close first, and then I’ll do a little research and find out what kind of bug it is.” 


After dinner I get to work researching and quickly discover the bug is called a deer tick, which are commonly found in New Jersey. Since they are possible carriers of Lime Disease, it’s recommended to take Jayden in and get him checked. 

Since Justin is exclusively breastfed I can’t leave him with my Mom so with my two boys, diaper bag, purse and bug in tow, I make my way to the Doctor’s Satellite Clinic. Noticing an empty parking lot on arrival, I doubtfully make my way to the door, only to be met by a sign that the office is closed for Mother’s Day. Really? Mother’s day isn’t till Sunday! 

Since the ER is right next door, I remain parked, and proceed to get the two kids out of the car. A little leery of visiting the ER on a Friday night, I am pleasantly surprised to notice how quiet it is. 

After checking in at reception, we are directed to wait by the Triage Nurse’s window. While we wait, I watch as a Mother and Father push in a girl in a wheel chair who looks about my age. Jayden looks on with big eyes as the girl, dressed in her pajamas and crocks, alternates between sighing, quivering and moaning. Instructed to stand by the nurse for a blood pressure reading she collapses to the ground. Seconds later she’s surrounded by nurses and paramedics and carefully placed on a bed and wheeled away. 

“What happened to that man, Mom?” Jayden whispers loudly. 

“Umm, that’s actually a lady Jayden, and she’s sick.” 

“Oh.” He looks at me with wide eyes. Balancing Justin, I reach over and give him a one armed hug. When the Triage nurse returns we’re next and I quickly explain our predicament. 

“Is the tick still attached?” she questions. 

“No, I removed it, but I did bring it with me.” 

“Oh good.” 

Reaching into the diaper bag, I feel for a small box. Extracting the ziplock bag I notice Mr. Deer Tick is still alive and kicking. After a quick peek the nurse files him away. 

“The Doctor will most likely want to send him off to get tested for Lime Disease.” She tells me. 

Once the paperwork is done, we’re directed to Waiting Area B. To keep Jayden entertained I make up stories about a wolf dog that howls during thunder storms. He is quite intrigued and every few minutes adds some of his own imaginative details. 

Starting to run out of ideas, I’m glad when I hear a man with a chart calling Jayden’s name. The wait isn’t over yet though. Walking past all types of injured and sick, barely visible behind blue curtains, we are directed to our own waiting area. 15 minutes later, the Doctor shows up and I explain the situation all over again. After asking a few questions, he decides to prescribe antibiotics immediately. 

“We will definitely get your bug tested, but just to be safe, we’ll treat it like it had Lime Disease. The test results take about 5 days, so better safe than sorry.” 

After making sure the prescription is for a liquid, I pick up my diaper bag, baby carrier, and purse and we make our way outside. Balancing Justin’s baby carrier in one hand, I hoist my bags onto my opposite shoulder and reach for Jayden’s hand just in time to cross the street. 

The night is not over yet as we now need to get the prescription filled. At Pharmacy #1, Jayden starts to fidget and complain that he needs to use the bathroom. Since the bathroom is locked, I first need to find someone to open it. Lugging around a growing baby in a heavy car seat is getting tiring. 

By the time Jayden is done in the bathroom and we’re back at the pharmacy counter, the pharmacist apologizes and says she doesn’t have the right ingredients to make the antibiotic. 

“I’ve faxed your prescription to the next nearest pharmacy, so hopefully it won’t take long there.” 

Sighing, I drag everything back to the car, and head out to Pharmacy #2. There I get everything out of the car again, carry it all in, and wait. Thankfully it doesn’t take long, and it’s finally time to go home. By now it’s after 10:00 p.m. and Jayden quickly doses off in the car. 

Back at Jason’s parents, I gently wake him up and then carry everything inside. After giving them and Jason a detailed report, Jason asks me to check his mouth. Peering in with a flashlight I notice a big jelly like, blueish sack dangling over his teeth. 

“Great.” I moan. “Is it sore?” 

“Yeah, even with the max amount of Tylenol and Advil I’m allowed to take, it still hurts a lot.”

 “If it’s not improving by tomorrow morning I guess I’ll have to take you to the Doctor.” He grimaces and nods. 

Later that night, after thanking God for his provision, and praying for healing for Jayden and Jason, my exhausted head hits the pillow. As I sleep, visions of ticks and tooth extractions dance through my head. Oh what a night!


  1. Yikes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Aw poor things, Hope everyone is feeling better!!

    - Natalie

  3. It surprises me that you made such work of that tick bite. Ticks are TOO common here in holland, especially the kind with Lyme disease. We only remove the bug and keep an eye on the spot, it's only when it gets a red ring around the bite spot that we know it's time to get it checked out. Sheila had one on her head a few months ago, we didn't even get it all the way out, but when we phoned emergency they told us not to bother coming in. Only to keep an eye on the spot.