Good morning.

I wanted to give you a brief update about what’s been going on here on 10 Harvard Street. For some of the exciting goings on, I’ll refer you back to my Thanksgiving Eve post. There is one story that I haven’t shared because I’ve been trying to find the most exciting way to tell it. I haven’t found an exciting way of telling it, so you’ll get the boring, ho hum version of the story and I’ll let the facts be the excitement.

First, Meredith is doing well. I was able to get to her therapies on Friday for the first time since she started as an outpatient at the hospital (Rutland Regional Medical Center). It has become clear to me that Meredith is able to do more than we “allow” her to do. I know from my perspective I don’t have her do things because of time and expediency (with two little kids running around that isn’t hard to understand why). But she is probably able to do more and should do more, so now I just need to figure out a way to make that happen when I’m home. Of course, in order to facilitate Meredith doing more things on her own she should be doing a regular exercise routine. Again, not a problem for Shannon (her aide) during the week, but it is a problem for me when it’s just me.

That brings me to a little aside. I am very grateful for all of the help many people have given me throughout this ordeal, especially my mom, my family and my in-laws. I certainly would have many more gray hairs if I didn’t have the help that they have provided. I am also very grateful for the community of cookers that Marty Barclay has been arranging for us. They’ve provided me two nights a week of delicious food (and more importantly, time not to worry about what to make for dinner).

Well, the sewage continued to spill out of the trap in the basement floor. Greg finally called the drain service people for me while we were visiting my Dad and step-mom (which was a great visit). I was reluctant to call them because, well, probably because I’m stubborn, but also because they’ve been to the house twice already back in August and the problem has not gone away. I was also hoping to time it so that I didn’t have to pay double time for their services on a holiday or weekend. No such luck. I haven’t used the toilet since he was here, but I’m not holding my breath.

Maura is very congested, but she seems to be otherwise fine. Malcolm is still whiny, but I still love him ( (I never stopped, in case you doubted). Merlin, well…

Enter two little visitors that showed up on my door. Literally, my chest and my arm. Oh, a couple of weeks back, I noticed something on my chest right below my left collar bone. It looked to me like a blood blister that had ballooned up from my skin. I didn’t think much of it because when I wrestle with the kids I get pinched and poked and pounced on all over. I just figured it was one of those pinchings that resulted in a blood blister. A few days later I noticed another one on the back of my right arm (actually, Malcolm is the one to have discovered that one for me).

(Too much information warning)

So, I’m sitting on the toilet one afternoon after school, minding my own business (doing my business if you prefer) and I felt something fall down my back. Huh? I thought to myself, I wonder what that was. I proceed to wrap up what I’m doing (not literally, of course) and I spot something on the toilet seat. Huh? What is that? I picked it up and to my curiosity I discovered that it was the “blood blister” that was from my chest. After looking at it up close, my curiosity turned to horror as I realized that it was no blood blister. It was a tick! A TICK!

Of course, out of a morbid curiosity (and an overwhelming desire to squish the little monster) I looked closely at the creature and squeezed it. Sure enough, the sack of my digested blood explodes violently and splatters all over my face. Well, the rest of the story is a little fuzzy, but it went something like this:

I exclaimed disgust.

I squirmed.

I exclaimed disgust.

I took of my shirt and inspected the other tick. I carefully removed the tick, took pictures of it, and put him in a plastic bag to die a slow death of suffocation.

I squirmed.

I called my father-in-law, the dentist. Not really sure what he was going to tell me, I figured he would have advice for me as my skin was crawling with imaginary ticks.

Reassured, but not satisfied, I called my sister-in-law, the physician’s assistant and woods dweller (i.e. tick connoisseur). I asked her to assure me that I wouldn’t die, I told her my story. I realized that I didn’t need to go to the emergency room (even though I very much wanted to so that I could take a hazmat bath).

I squirmed. My skin continued to crawl with imaginary ticks sucking my very real blood. In fact, I didn’t don another shirt for at least an hour. I was constantly looking over my shoulder and in the mirror, convinced that the ticks had bred like rabbits and I was covered with them. I squirmed some more.

I have since visited the doctors and we are pursuing a course of blood screening before we try any antibiotics. If I do have Lyme disease, then because we caught it early (and crushed and suffocated the little buggers) it is very treatable with a three-week course of antibiotics. That is very reassuring, of course, but I’m still squirming.

I have posted a picture of my little friend on my other blog. Follow the link at it at your own peril. It will cause your skin to crawl as it did mine.

Happy first Sunday in Advent!

Take care and God bless.