Summer, Spamgate & What Not To Do For A Tick Bite

What on earth does summer, ‘Spamgate’ and a very nasty tick bite have to do with each other?  It’s just the way my mind works, either that or the sun is getting to me,  but with all this talk about ‘bugs’ in the system and it being so hot, hot, hot, it just seemed perfectly natural to write this post. Read on, if you will…

Part One. 

The end of ‘Spamgate’.

So, it’s Friday again, the end of another hot week here in the UK, summer is still very much with us, and the other good news is that the Akismet ‘Spamgate’ crisis seems to have been resolved.  It is official, I am not a spammer!

Hip Hip Hooray!! Thank you ‘Akismet Mark’!

Still, it is with bated breath that I comment on other blogs, clapping with joy and relief when I see my comments actually showing up and not disappearing from view into somebody’s spam folder. Please excuse me if I have been a little ‘hot under the collar’, (and I’m not blaming the heat for this one).

Before moving on, however, I would like to take the time to say a huge ‘Thank You’ to all you fellow bloggers who have provided me with moral support, practical help and advice during this time.  I really appreciate it.  I have made some lovely, new ‘blogging’ friends during this process and discovered their wonderful blogs which until now I didn’t know existed.  As I always say, life is full of little surprises and when you least expect them.

Here is another little surprise:

Part Two

What NOT To Do If You Are Bitten By A Tick

About four weeks ago, I was sitting down on the edge of my bunk (on a boat) changing my shoes and socks after a long walk  through a beautiful nature reserve on the Norfolk Broads.

I noticed what looked like a tiny piece of dirt on the front of my ankle.  Nonchalantly, and hardly thinking twice about it, I brushed away at it with my hand.  It didn’t move.  I brushed again, a little harder.  Again, it didn’t move.  Strange, I thought.  So I peered down, took a closer look, flicked at it and then, to my horror, I saw tiny, brownish legs writhing about and in that horrifying moment I realised that the piece of dirt was, in fact a tick, with its digusting head buried in my skin.

Here, then, in 4 easy steps, is what you don’t do if you are ever bitten by a tick:

1.  Upon discovering that you have a tick’s head buried in your skin, do not scream and yell: “Get it out! Get it out!” repeatedly, so causing your husband and mother to come rushing desperately to your aid whilst in the middle of trying to moor up a boat;

2.  Do not flail your arms about and wail like a child, crying out that you think you are going to be sick, continuing to yell: “Get it out, I don’t care how you do it!” while your husband is all the while calmly trying to take a proper look at it and struggling to get you to keep your leg still;

3.  Never shout at your husband and mother to get a match, light it, and then place the hot match on the tick’s protruding body in an attempt to cause it to retract.  Only do this if you want the tick to bury it’s vile head even deeper into your skin, as it did to me;

4.  DO get some sharp tweezers (had some in my make up bag) and get your husband to try to pull the tick out as close to its head as possible without squeezing the body but then DO NOT try to grab said tweezers from husband’s hand while yelling at him that he is doing it wrong and, as if he needed reminding, continuing to scream: “Get it out”!

I’m sorry if this post about the horrors of tick bites isn’t particularly helpful or medically correct.  I can hardly bear to think about it even now.  I am sorry for my behaviour.

So why mention it now?  Here’s the rub.  I know enough about tick bites that sometimes they can cause Lyme Disease, and that’s no joke, so I thought that I had better get it checked out by the doctor, which I did so this week.

He told me that Lyme Disease is hard to diagnose and treat, but, just to be on the safe side, he prescribed me a two-week course of antibiotics.  I don’t like taking anything at the best of times but what harm could they do I thought, especially if they will prevent possible health problems down the line?

What harm indeed?  It’s a good job I read the important piece of paper inside the packet.  I couldn’t believe my eyes.  ‘Must not be taken with alcohol’ was bad enough.  Worse, they cause extra sensitivity to sunlight and so I would have to wear high factor sunscreen and/or keep out of the sun. They must be joking!  The doctor wants me to take these pills for two weeks during the first summer we’ve had for seven long years and not drink any alcohol?

No sunbathing, no Pimms, no sitting outside in our garden, the garden which my husband and I toiled in for years just to get it to where it is today? I don’t think so!

Therefore, you will be pleased to know that I have researched this matter on the internet and I have made a very informed, important decision.

Soon enough, this summer will be a very distant memory and we’ll be complaining about the cold, and there is time enough for me to start taking those darn antibiotics, but I’m not going to let some hideous, blood sucking creature ruin my summer.  Spamgate was bad enough.

So, for right now, I am going to enjoy my summer, put ‘Spamgate’ and ‘Tickgate’ behind me and take my chances.

Wishing you a very happy weekend and cheers to you all 🙂

About Sherri Matthews

Sherri is a writer with work published in print magazines, anthologies and online. As a young British mum of three, she emigrated to California and stayed for twenty years. Today she lives in England's West Country, a full-time carer within her family. Her current WIP after completing her memoir is a psychological thriller.
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13 Responses to Summer, Spamgate & What Not To Do For A Tick Bite

  1. A very amusing post, Sherri. You are, indeed, a great storyteller! Glad the crises have been averted.


    • Sherri says:

      Thanks Bev, glad you enjoyed reading it! Never a dull moment eh? I hope you know that you are included in this post as one of the people I wanted to thank for helping me with your moral support during ‘spamgate’? I knew I could count on you! It turned out that it was a problem in the UK only and something to do with certain broadband and cable tv providers affecting Akismet! Go figure! Hope you have a lovely weekend 🙂


  2. jennypellett says:

    ‘Here’s the rub’ ?! I don’t think you should have done that! Tick bites – ugh, poor you. I remember having a leech on my leg once which was horrific so I don’t think your reaction was at all over the top. Enjoy the sunshine – aren’t we lucky?


    • Sherri says:

      Lol! Thanks for your great comment Jenny! It just goes to show just we never know how we will react when something like that happens. As for having a leech on your leg, I can’t even imagine how awful that must have been for you, yuck! Yes, what an amazing summer we are having so far…wonder if it will match 1976??!! 🙂


  3. mumblypeg says:

    That comes pretty close to the hysteria, panic and wrong treatment over the tick incident!!! On reflection it made me laugh a lot as I recalled events and you have made the right decision to carry on enjoying the summer weather and a drink, until the sun hides again, then you can ‘keep taking the tablets’ lol. Glad to hear your blog problems are sorted out too. What a lief! (in joke) xxx


  4. ljbradburn says:

    I hate even the idea of ticks and i’m pretty sure I would have reacted in much the same way as you! Hope you are over the trauma now and are out enjoying the lovely sun x


    • Sherri says:

      Ahh, thanks so much, I’m glad I’m not the only one then! Just about recovered I think, and yes, enjoying the sun very much (although very muggy today :-() and hope you are too 🙂 x


  5. Heyjude says:

    Great post Sherri! Loved the tick story even if you didn’t! I used to find ticks on our dog and cats when we lived in South Africa regularly and it was always a problem getting them out without leaving the head in! I can’t remember if I ever had the delight of hosting one, but that might be me supressing the memory 😉

    And I quite agree withholding the antibiotics for now – we need to make the most of this weather and I have had a few Pimms for the first summer in years! Have you tired the new variety? Blackberry and Elderflower.

    Not only did I fall foul of Akismet as you know, but also had a Freeview issue with my DVD recorder over the weekend – again due to a bug with some update not compatible with the Sony equipment. I dread to think what number three is going to be…

    Take care.
    Jude xx


    • Sherri says:

      Hey Jude (love saying that!) Oh no, so sorry to hear of your troubles with Freeview, what a pain. What is it with ‘bugs’ at the moment, in all forms?! It seems to me that these so called ‘updates’ cause more problems than ever…hmmmm, I feel a blog post coming on about that…..I hope there is no number three for you…:-)
      We had problems with our sky dish only to discover that it was caused by my rambling rose at the front of the house growing rather too vigourosly!
      No more problems with commenting now for you too I sincerely hope…still nervous whenever I comment though!
      Thanks for the reminder about the new Pimms, must try those, they do sound really good. Have you? Any favourites?
      As for ticks, yes, I can well imagine that being a problem with your pets in South Africa, same with ours in California. That’s bad enough!
      Thanks for reading Jude, glad you enjoyed it! Have a great day 🙂 xx


  6. Jody and Ken says:

    Hello, Sherri–I happened to notice a comment you made on Tholos Santorini (they signed up for our blog too) and we’ve also been to Crete so I just thought I’d check you out. Nice blog. Funny post. Good decision on the antibiotics. Lots of research here in the US (cited in NYTimes Science section, not some dodgy website) is beginning to suggest that prophylactic antibiotics are not a good idea because of the damage to beneficial flora in your gut. Enjoy your summer. Ken


  7. Sherri says:

    Hello Jody and Ken, how lovely to ‘meet’ you and thank you so much for visiting my blog and sharing your comment here on this post. Isn’t Crete beautiful? We can’t wait to go again! We always go to the far southern parts where it is quiet and full of hidden coves and delightful tavernas.
    Did you see my recent post ‘Mad Dogs & Englishmen & A Very British Heatwave’? I have posted a couple of photos from one of our holidays in Crete and wrote a small piece about it, you might be interested in taking a look!
    That is so interesting what you have shared about the latest research from the US about antibiotics. I know that here in the UK there is much more leaning towards not handing them out ‘willy nilly’ for the same reasons. More and more I’m thinking I will see about getting a blood test first as I am so very loathe to take any antibiotics ‘just in case’.
    I do hope you will visit again, I am now going to check out your blog 🙂


  8. Pingback: Lyme Disease Verdict and my Cat Article Published! | A View From My Summerhouse

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