|That's no boob. That's my tick bite.|
Let me rewind a bit first. I distinctly remember feeling a minor irritation on my side last Sunday while I was fishing. I wrote it off as being a mosquito bite on or near a scar I have from a previous surgery, especially since I was devoured by said flying insects along with their black fly brethren the previous day while also out fishing and stupidly forgot to use bug spray. The fishing was great though, with three salmon on Saturday and two browns and a brookie on Sunday... all on dry flies and in a short amount of time... but I suppose that's neither here nor there.
So, on Monday morning, Kate noticed an embedded tick an inch or so below the scar with a quarter sized red rash to go along with it. In the immediate vicinity of where the tick was, the skin was very black (more on that later). Kate kept pretty calm, which for her is good given her propensity to freak out about insects. I said "I guess I should go to the doctor now, huh?". Kate replied, "Yes. Yes you should." Before I left though we pulled the tick out and killed it, but kept its exoskeletal carcass in a bag in case it was needed.
Off I went. The doctor looked at it briefly and prescribed a single, 200mg dose of doxycycline, which is standard procedure for effectively treating Lyme within 72 hours of a suspected infection, or so I've read.
However... that black dot. It's odd. It's not a bruise from where the tick was, as it doesn't look like it and also the black dot was present when the tick was still embedded. It's consistent with an eschar, which is a good indicator of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever or one of it's related bacteria that are present in Maine.
Long term treatment for RMSF is the same as Lyme, but it's unclear from what I've found if that initial dose of 200mg is enough for that disease as well. I guess I should go see a specialist, but waiting to see if I get the initial headache and fever followed by an outbreak of body rashes is kind of adventurous in a sick kind of way (pun intended). Stay tuned.