The Field – Where it happened

10 Mar


The Field – 1980’s

Who would have thought that an innocent day of catching lizards in a field would lead to the suffering I live with today. One fine sunny day back in the summer of 1984, my dad and I spent the day doing our usual weekend hobby of hiking and catching critters near our home in Pinole, California. At that time we had no idea of what Lyme disease was and that deer ticks could be so malicious.

I was only 9 years old at the time and eager to get out of the truck and search the fields for a possible blue-tailed skink or a California stripped racer (type of snake). They were very rare but my dad and I had spotted one or two in the past. We grabbed our buckets and set forth to a wooded area that had a small pond a few hundred yards from where we parked.

We spent the day in the heat dodging bumble bees and spiders along the way. We found a few blue-bellied lizards and put them in our bucket. The plan was to release the lizards in our huge backyard we had at the time. We spotted a few skinks which were too fast to catch.

It was a fun day but I remember being exhausted from the heat. We headed back to the truck after a few hours had passed. We headed home which was only about 10 minutes North of Pinole. When I got home my mom suggested I take a shower and cool down. I grabbed a snack and something to drink then waited an hour or two before I did take that shower.

I remember taking my clothes off and looking down only to see a small tick on my pants. I had heard about ticks in the past and saw what they could do when one of my dogs had one drinking blood and feeling up like a small red balloon. Feeling afraid there might be more where that tick came from I took my clothes off in a hurry. I checked my body in a mirror but could not see anything.

I felt around on my head and neck and found a small bump behind my ear. I knew it was a tick! I grabbed the tick and thought I was simply pulling it off of me, but I felt resistance. Little did I know, I had just pulled the blood-filled body, severing it from the head. When I went to throw the tick body in the toilet, I looked down and noticed another very small tick down in my pubic region. This guy had also attached himself to me, and his head was buried. I pulled him out with the head intact and flushed him down the toilet.

Silly me, I was so frightened that I had found ticks on me, but I never told my Mom of this discovery. What might have happened if I had told her.

Late 1990’s

In progress…..come back soon 🙂

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