Home » Once Again, The Universe Helps Me Help My Stupid Self. . .

Once Again, The Universe Helps Me Help My Stupid Self. . .

You know one of our primary parenting strategies involves running our child to the point of exhaustion.  Yes.  Like literally running. . .running in a park, running in the woods, running through a museum. . .whatever it takes to keep the little guy occupied while awake, tired at the appropriate times, and sleeping well.

It’s not for every parent or every kid but it works for us.

Of course, there are drawbacks. . .

It takes planning on our part – packing snacks (and back up snacks) and back up outfits for the inevitable muddy mess.  The continual imminent threat of a disruptive toddler meltdown in a public place.  Having to keep an eye on what he’s touching and licking every moment.   (Trash, air registers, handrails, the alarm button in the elevator at the Baltimore Museum of Art – ugh). . .

And there are also the plagues associated with any outdoor adventures:  sun, mud, dirt, rocks perfect for unauthorized hurling, heat, rain, poison ivy. . .and BUGS!

Summer in the mid-Atlantic can be pretty damned buggy.

Bees, huge spiders, biting flies, mosquitoes and my least favorite:  TICKS.

I’m deathly afraid of few things but TICKS are in my top three (roaches, rats, and ticks).

And because we spend what I’d consider an above-average amount of time in prime tick real estate, we take the necessary precautions.  We won’t buy Mac expensive clothes with the exception of sparing no expense on hiking shoes, light weight high-tech hiking shirts and pants treated with SPF protection and a few even treated with insect repellant.

And when necessary, I spray his shoes, socks and pants with DEET.

I can’t imagine the horror of finding a big fat tick robustly feeding on my little guy’s chubby little limbs. . .

But that’s exactly what happened.

Saturday morning, Chris noticed the dreaded bulls-eye rash on Mac’s upper arm.

A tick was there.

And left Lyme disease.

My heart sank.  I felt so stupid.  I KNEW that spot looked funky from the start.

About ten days prior we took a trail at North Point State Park we had never hiked before.  And we quickly realized we’d never hike it again during the summer.  It was SUPER BUGGY.

We all emerged from the trail with bug bites.  Chris found a tick on himself but I didn’t see any on Mac or me.  And I figured Mac and I were in the clear since I had doused us in enough DEET to kill a horse as soon as I realized the sheer biomass of bugs lurking on the trail.

But the next day, there was one bite on his arm that looked a little funky.  It was a little raised and red and it appeared he must have scratched it open during the night.  I treated it for a few days with Neosporin just to make sure it healed.  Probably just a mosquito bite. . .

And for days it looked better.  Except of course, it wasn’t. . .


I frantically Googled Lyme disease.  Pro tip:  Don’t do that.

Of course it showed up on a Saturday.  Do we take him to a Doc in the Box?  Can we wait until Monday to see our own Pediatrician?  Is she going to give me hell?  I already feel like a complete failure as a parent.  What could I have done differently?  What if he gets arthritis?  Or heart palpitations?  I’m so stupid!  Stupid!  We knew the risks and we took them just to make sure he was “exercised” and “well rested.”  So stupid and selfish.  

I was churning inside.  I know I can’t protect my kid from everything this world’s going to throw at him but this seemed preventable. . .Well, preventable if we want to spend our lives indoors for 3/4 of the year. . .You’ll get some meds.  It’s going to be fine.  He has no other symptoms.  You caught it early.  Breath.  You aren’t are terrible mother.  

As I was berating myself silently, we proceeded to pack Mac into the car for yet another adventure.  And that’s when we ran into our neighbors who have a son a month younger than Mac and we learned he was just diagnosed with diabetes.

How do you explain diabetes to a 25-month old?

My mind reeled.  And my heart ached for them.

As we plopped into the car already exhausted, Chris said in a sad voice, “I suppose there are worse things to have than diabetes.”


But at that moment, I KNEW an early caught case of Lyme disease definitely WAS NOT one of them.

And for the three times a day I have to put my kid in some kinda’ sleeper hold to cram liquid antibiotic down his throat for the next 14 days, I will say a small prayer for our neighbors, who are likely struggling with their precious little boy, trying to administer his insulin injections and test his blood glucose.

My mind reels with the idea that despite all my ignorance and stupidity, we are still so fortunate.

In 26 months the kid has only ever had ONE dose of Motrin.  He took one look at this bottle and promptly shouted "NO!"  How the hell did he know?  What gives?!

In 26 months the kid has only ever had ONE dose of Motrin. He took one look at this bottle and promptly shouted “NO!” How the hell did he know? What gives?!







4 Responses to “Once Again, The Universe Helps Me Help My Stupid Self. . .”

  1. Rick says:

    I am so glad my children are grown and gone. My daughter’s twins go to daycare five days a week. They are continually bringing home one plague or another, which they are more than happy to pass onto us.

    • admin says:

      It’s amazing what vile little creatures they are! I was considering joining a play group with Mac this fall but I think we’re going to skip it with a new baby arriving in early November. The LAST thing I need is to be deathly ill with kid germs! 🙂

  2. Dani Ryan says:

    After a nurse and I had to give C red advil in the ER before she had her ankle x-rayed on Valentine’s Day, she REFUSES all medicine orally. REFUSES. Even with my husband holding her down and me trying all of the tricks I’ve heard, 3/4 of it ends up on me. So I have to get her medication made in suppository format. There’s just no other option. I am dreading this winter. DREADING IT.

    I hope Mac feels better soon.

    Please take detailed notes on how you get the stuff in him (and post about it).

    Dani Ryan recently posted…Why you should never trust your toddlerMy Profile

    • admin says:

      Thanks! I know you struggle with C and the medication. In fact, you were all I could think about when I realized I was going to have to give Mac meds. I was terrified! Fortunately, we’re almost done with the meds. . .because I’ve used every trick I know and my latest ploy is clearly starting to be ineffective. I’ll see if I can’t get a good post up. PS No one offered an alternative way. I was just told “I had to get as much of the prescribed dose in him EVERYTIME by any means necessary – including force.”