After the fire, we moved out into an old farm house in the country that belongs to some friends. It is a working out great. The space the kids have to run is incredible and has really helped keep everyone much happier.
Unfortunately lots of climbing trees and long grass means lots of ticks, especially in Minnesota.
We've been pulling them off the kids left and right. In fact, I did an Usborne show last weekend and when I opened up the poster that goes with one of the books to show a customer, a tick crawled across the back of it. That's how many ticks we have.
Last weekend Caleb had a sudden and completely unexplained fever when we were playing at a friend's house. He was complaining of stomach pain and nothing else, but he was really tired and whiney. After 3 days of a 101-103 fever, I took him in to be checked out and they couldn't come up with anything wrong with him. Eventually the fever broke and he was just a little whiney and tired all week, but really seemed fine.
Saturday, after playing outside and in Grandma's swimming pool, he came inside and had round red ring shaped spots on his back and arms. About a half hour later, I went to show them to my mom and he had 3 more on his belly...one perfectly circling his belly button and about 4 inches across. I decided to take him to urgent care and by the time he was seen by a doctor he had 3 more on his upper chest.
It took three opinions, but he was eventually diagnosed with Lyme's Disease. The rash was classic, but the first two doctors had never seen it spread the way that it was across many places. The third doctor (who I'm told has an in-house reputation as a bit of a rash nerd), said that this was the second stage of the rash and a sign that the disease had disseminated in his system beyond the original bite. He guesses (because we check for ticks regularly) that Caleb is in the minority of people who never develop a rash from the initial bite. They didn't do the blood test, I'm told because most people who live in Minnesota have the antibodies but that isn't an indication of a current infection.
Long story short is that he will likely be fine after a minimum of 3 weeks on antibiotics. That may need to be extended depending on his symptoms. The good news is that the antibiotic they use on adults isn't for kids under 8 so we don't have to stay out of the sun. I'm told the rash can go away and return regularly for quite awhile and he may have some tired periods. I'm just supposed to call if the rash spreads on his face or if he develops joint pain.
In the meantime I will be reconsidering my position on the daily application of DEET on the whole crew.
I'm also considering a long vacation.
Preferably in a large bubble.