07 June 2012

An afternoon with those who feed on our blood

Hypostome of a tick
I am spending a few days with my parents at the moment. My Dad and I have been going into the woods around our city for the past three days, hoping to find some samples to help me with my uni coursework. Two days in a row - nothing. Today the wood was a particularly nice one, but we found nothing. However, it does not mean we brought nothing home with us!!!
Coming out of the wood, I noticed little thingies moving up my arms - you're guessing right - ticks! Bloodthirsty eight-legged invertebrate maniacs trying to get a sip of my body fluids!
No way!! I took five off my arms while they were still climbing and announced it to my father as well, after which he started persuading me that ticks really cannot be that small and that he can't believe that normal people can see that and that they get so big after they are full of blood etc.

Coming out of the shade of the forest, he surveyed me for more and tried to persuade me that those are all freckles, never mind they were slightly mobile and had tiny legs on themselves. On the way home I quietly agonised over one that was already attached to the place almost under my arm, thinking of all the possible bacteria and viruses these little creatures can transmit, taking off my clothes as soon as I entered the flat, shaking them all over the bath tub and my hair too. Six more ticks fell down from me. I also worked on the one that I had and finally got rid of it, then my Dad and I started checking each other for more. Such a lovely family underwear reunion, picking each other like a pair of naked monkeys.
I found two sucking on him and a few more running around (seriously, what kind of forest IS that?? Tick paradise?) and I managed to get so clumsy that the head of one of them stayed in, so I had to operate with a needle. What a bloodbath. I actually felt a bit sick. I'm a doctor's daughter. And I got sick while I operated on a doctor. What a shame. Then I found one more on my calf while having a shower. You wonder how many you can have on you after one hour in the woods. And then, while working on my computer, one fell down from my hair, black onto the white desk. Like from a horror movie.

Great, I am going to dream about lyme disease.

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