A Tick Takes Me Down

I guess it was only a matter of time that the infamous deer tick and I would have an encounter.

In the silence of my first night in the hospital, I wondered how close I came to not being in that bed, with all my thoughts running wild.  A temperature of a 104 for an adult for several days tends to push one’s mental functioning to the brink of . . . delirium.  I was already physically weak.  OMG, trying to pump water . . . and only 3 gallons in each of the two containers at that, was almost impossible.

It was Monday morning that I surrendered and asked my friend to take me to the ER after the morning’s pee ended up once more at the edge of the bed.  Losing bladder control was also a symptom, along with the fever, no appetite, chills, weakness, along with my brain that was slipping away.

The whole ordeal started that Wednesday with a fever of 102.  By Thursday, it was still 102, and I went in to have a COVID test.  My sister, Karen, who is a nurse, said if the COVID test came back negative then something else was definitely going on.  I never suspected a tick.  Somewhere in my mind, I thought this was a cold with a fever, and it would just go away.

I knew deer ticks were a package deal when I moved up here.  Most everyone here has danced with Lyme’s disease from that lovely tick . . . the tick that is so small you almost need a microscope to see.  From the beginning, I decided to put any fear at bay and just be vigilant.  I was not going to let some tiny tick rob me of the beauty of the fog filled valley in the mornings . . . the majestic full moon rising over the ridge . . . to all the songbirds in symphony delighting in the new day . . . to every other moment of grandeur surrounding me.  Wasn’t this all worth it?  As I wrestled with my feelings that first night, I thought, of course it is worth it!  I wasn’t going to pack my things and go back to a lot the size of a stamp and sidewalks to never see an indigo bunting or rose breasted grosbeak again.

 The fact I was in the hospital came down to one thing . . . having a friendship with Michele, who I check in with every day.  Who else would know my mind was slipping and would order the first ambulance after conferring with Karen?  Some people spend time watching TV or making sure they have enough money for retirement.  I value my friends.  I say you can never have too many good friends.

We usually spend our time ruminating over the ills of our country and society.  But this time, a fever of 104 was what I had to share, and my friends were there for me.  My family was also worried.  Karen ordered a wellness visit by the county.  I could barely get out of the chair when the guy showed up.  It must be noted that Michele and Karen are both in IL, 3-1/2 hours away.  Karen also called my brother, John, in MO to let him know what was going on.

 Well, I am home with no fever, and my appetite is back.  Although my legs are a bit wobbly, I’ll get my strength back.

And, I can pump water again.

The COVID test came back negative the day I went into the hospital.  My doctor suspected a tick right away.  His hunch was right.

TV shows and a boat load of retirement money weren’t going to get me out of this mess.

Friends and family did, along with a trip to the hospital.

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