Life’s a treat, and so are the great produce finds at Pathfinder Produce, our weekly markets held on Thursdays from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Pathfinder Village Commons, and on Fridays, noon to 5 p.m. at the UMC Hall, 17 Church St. in Morris. We hope you’ll stop by this week to check out our great deals.
Our Dash to the Splash training program participants are really starting to stretch their training now. If you’re following along, our program for Week 5 is:
5 min Brisk Walk
5 min Jog
3 min BW
8 min J
3 min BW
5 min J
3 min Walk
5 min BW
5 min J
3 min BW
8 min J
3 min BW
5 min J
3 min W
Repeat Day 2
Splash Path is scheduled for Saturday, May 20, and you can learn more about this family fun paint walk and run at our website or at our Facebook event page. It’s really easy to register at splashpath.racewire.com; early registration fees are available through May 5 (next Friday); after that, prices for each age bracket go up just slightly. We’re grateful to our many community sponsors and business partners who “step up to the Splash” each year, which help keep our costs for this event low. Sign up today, it’s such a blast!
Although this adage is about how one is affected by the company one keeps, it’s true in the literal sense as well. It’s that time of year when we all need to be on the lookout for fleas and ticks, those nasty (and I mean nasty) little blood suckers. If you have pets, kids, or live with people who go outside but may not be careful about checking themselves, you need to be vigilant against parasites. This is prime tick season … as I found out Sunday.
Our dog is a beautiful-yet-lunk-headed eight-year old lab who does what labs do … she loves to explore around the pond's edge and go in the high grass. Last week, I noticed after petting her that I had one of the little tick nasties crawling on me. I felt something moving on my skin, looked at it, and then quickly got a latex glove on my hand, captured it, and plopped it in a container of rubbing alcohol to kill it. I hadn’t felt a pinch, and had no outward signs of being bitten, so I thought I was safe from catching Lyme. The very next day, I went to the vet's to make sure we had flea and tick medicine on hand … enough for six months … so that Della wouldn't be host to these unwelcome guests. (Our vet recommends a year-round regimen as ticks and fleas can survive into colder months).
However, that wasn't an end to the story … somehow one of the awful little beggars crawled on my son this weekend, either while he was walking outside, or he picked it up from the dog. He felt a sharp pinch, and then after a short while, investigated. Mr. Tick was small, partly embedded in his thigh … to his credit he quickly yelled for parental support.
I didn't have one of the tick-removal tools on hand (guess what I'm getting later today?), so I used a pair of pointy tweezers as close to the skin as I could get. I tweezed and popped Mr. Tick into a pill bottle full of rubbing alcohol, and dabbed the place where it had latched on with some antiseptic. Not wanting to leave anything to chance, we hopped in the car … “Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to urgent care we go.” (Caution: Don’t ever squeeze a tick between your fingers to remove or kill it).
So, 31 miles and 40 minutes later, we arrived at the clinic. The medical staff quickly looked at my son’s leg, asked questions about how it happened, and so on. They said their clinic didn't really require the specimen; but they were pleased that we had removed the tick as quickly as possible, and had gotten it out as close to its mouth as we had.
“Not every tick starts to feed as it latches on, and not every tick has Lyme disease,” explained the attending nurse. “What happens, if the tick is infected, is it regurgitates some of its stomach contents back into the wound as it becomes full. That’s how it infects the host with Lyme disease.”
The FNP prescribed one dose of a general-use oral antibiotic, which they recommended be taken within 72 hours of the bite. They also told my son that he needs to keep the area clean and prevent infection, and to make sure that he reports any rashes, fevers or flu symptoms, joint pain, head ache or nausea that may occur within two weeks.
So, in as much as this probably won't be our last episode this season, I'm planning now to make sure we're ready for the next nasty attack:
1. Della will get her meds on schedule, including the renewal of her Lyme inoculation in July.
2. We’ll keep the grass well-mowed within our yard and field.
3. We’ll keep up on the vacuuming, in case any critters fall off of the dog and end up on the floors.
4. I’ll get some of those tick-removal tools, and maybe have a “kit” ready to go with a latex glove, plastic baggie (to put the tick in).
5. Anyone who goes walking will use some repellant, like permethrin, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus, to discourage any hitchhikers. (DEET, which I’m not a fan of, may or may not be effective; different websites say different things).
6. If we're going in deep grass or brush, we'll wear long pants tucked into long socks, or put some rubber bands (gaiters) around the bottom of our pants. Light colored clothing is recommended to make it easier to see anything that maybe crawling on you.
7. We’ll be sure to check ourselves when we come in from mowing, brush cutting, fire wood chopping, etc.
More tick prevention suggestions are at these links:
Until next time, be careful – it’s a jungle out there!