I picked up a sweet case of Lyme disease a few years back. I almost died, but was saved by a Doctor named Kuntz. No matter how you pronounce his name (I think you know how I do), you’d think I learned my lesson. Apparently I didn’t.
What I should have gotten from the incident is to BUNDLE the eff up when outside! My issue is I HATE THE HEAT! I also work at breakneck speed, which means I build up a lot more heat that is quickly transferred to sweat. Ladies, admit that’s sexy! That said, I often times do not wear long sleeves when working outside. But here’s the additional problem. I am HIGHLY allergic to poison sumac. Poison Sumac is listed as the most toxic plant species in the United States by some dude named Frankel on Wikipedia. My “Popeye like” forearms (as Amy Martin called them on Facebook yesterday) would tend to agree.
Last Sunday 3/13, I took down the swing set that cocked up our yard since we moved in back in 2006. I had toyed with the idea of fixing it up for my nieces and nephew and even my own kid if we ever get around to having any. But year after year it fell deeper into disrepair. What would have been a coat of paint 5 years ago, was now a complete overhaul. Well fuck it! I figured I’d tear the bitch down. How long could that take? An hour? Try four. It would have been easier if I didn’t remove the screws & nails. But I happen to like my trash men and don’t want to give them tetanus (or any other anus for that matter). After all, they know where I live!
During the destruction process, I sliced my left hand middle finger. A bad finger to injure as it is in constant use when people piss me off. I wore gloves but took them off for all of 2 minutes. That’s when I tore the hell out of my hand. It’s in such a precarious spot that I rip it open on average of twice a day. My wedding ring is the prime culprit in keeping the injury from healing. I’m sure someone more clever than I can think of a witty, ironic statement there. However I love my wife, so you can keep you Noel Cowardesque comments to yourself.
That brings us to Friday evening. I had take Friday off, after all Thursday was St Patty’s Day. After it was determined that Julie’s car was dead I decided to pull all the weeds out in the yard. I knew I wouldn’t get to all of them as it was getting dark, but I figured I could get a good head start and finish on Saturday. That’s exactly what I did. Got through about 1/5 of the yard with no harm & no foul…as far as I knew.
The next day I woke up and started right back into it. I worked until 2pm and showered since my brother Erick was having a Patty’s Day party. When I got out of the shower my left forearm started to itch. “Maybe slightly irritated by the weeds this afternoon,” I thought. I wore long leaves just to keep it from spreading to other areas or other people.
The next morning I woke up with a reaction to the poisonous weeds all down my left arm. DAMMIT! It then hit me that this happens to me EVERY year! Then I remembered that not only does it hit me every year, but it takes about 40 hours to hit me, which meant this was from Friday’s work, not Saturday’s. Uh-oh. Sunday it got progressively worse. I decided to take a second shower midday to try and help relieve the itching. When I got out of the shower I noticed a “mole on my left arm (it’s all on my left!) that looked like it was pealing off. This actually happened to me once before when I “snagged” a mole on something. I had a Dermatologist remove it when that happened. I looked in the mirror and touched it. It hurt. And it moved. Wait what? Moles don’t move. Oh crap! A dirty tick! I pulled out the tweezers and decided I’d pull a Kuntz myself. But…my hand isn’t as stead fast as old Kunty’s. I ended up tearing the bug in half forcing Julie to take a needle and rip up my skin to get to it. All women are about a situation away from becoming surgeons.
I felt like the militia must have during Revolution.
The reaction continued to get worse through the night. Because of the car situation we experienced on Friday, our work we would be a bit more complicated since we were down to one car. I woke up 2 hours earlier than usual on Monday morning. I was now COVERED in rashes. As I got out of the shower I realized there was another tick (perhaps a search party for the first one). Julie had to scrub up again before work. This time using a match to try and burn the bugger out. It hurt like a mother fuck! Even the militia didn’t have to deal with these conditions! Eventually she got it out.
Another hole, another band aid.
This morning I woke up at 5:00 am. The rash seems to have taken over my body. I assume it is now in charge. There are parts of me that look like Jeff Goldblum from the The Fly…other parts like Goldblum from ID4. Either way, I’m not happy. There were, however no ticks to report! I can only assume that the poison now coursing through my blood stream is keeping them at bay.
I feel dirty because of the ticks, though I have showered on average 1.5 times a day since Friday. I feel uncomfortable because of the itchy poison sumac rash, though I have on some cream to help combat some of the itch. I am overheated because I have to wear long sleeves to conceal the breakout & to keep the cream I’m wearing from getting all over everything! And I have 2 divots that have been removed from my body.
But I guess I should look on the bright side. I have a wife who hates ticks but was willing to cut into me to get them out. The cream is slowly starting to take away the itch. And the yard is done earlier than it ever has been.
And it could always be worse I suppose. My name could be Kuntz.