Wednesday, June 1, 2011

10 Video: Tick Removal

I've been spending some time today looking for good videos on how to properly remove a tick and also what tools are best to have in your toolkit.

I've seen some really, really bad videos. Some American guy removing a tick from his leg when drunk (no, he did not do a good job) and some Australian guy removing a tick from his abdomen starting with spraying insect spray on the embedded tick.

As a reminder to those reading along: Do NOT spray or ignite ticks with insect spray and/or a flamethrower when removing them, especially while intoxicated on any substance.

Where was I? The videos. Right.

A lot were poorly lit and filmed so far from the bite area that it was out of focus - and others, while well-made with 3D animation of a tick in all of its glory - contained errors or missed important points.

I'm still looking for something better to post here. Until I get my own copy of Pixar studio software and can make my own tick removal animation, these will have to do - unless you're reading along and have found better examples.

Please feel free comment with links to the best tick removal videos you've found online and tell me why you think they are worthwhile. In the meantime, check out the two below, and pass them on to kids and adults alike.

This first one is an animated film from Canada.

It's simple and to the point, and aimed at children - but the advice and information given applies to adults, too.

Tick Talk - The Adventures of a Not-So-Super-Villian [Time: 3:30]



This second one is a short film from a woman in the UK who is close to someone with Lyme disease, and while the prices for items in her tick kit are in quid, her feedback about various tools is useful to hear.

Ticks - Human Survival Kit [Time: 2:23]



I went to many well-known informational Lyme disease web sites and have been surprised they did not have any video - animation or otherwise - showing the procedure for how to remove a tick, though they did provide pictures and instructional text.

As always, keep the following in mind when removing a tick:

  • Do not burn or use any substance on tick
  • Do not grasp, squeeze, or twist body of tick with tweezers (tick twister is an exception)
  • Grasp tick close to the skin with tweezers
  • Pull tick straight out
  • Use antiseptic on skin
  • Disinfect tweezers
  • Wash hands thoroughly
  • Always see a physician for possible diagnosis, testing, and treatment
  • If desired, save tick to be tested at tick testing laboratory

In the United States, here are some well-known tick-testing labs:

IGeneX Labs, Palo Alto, CA: 800-832-3200
MDL, Mt. Laurel, NJ: 877-269-0090
NJ Labs, New Brunswick, NJ: 732-249-0148

If anyone would like to share their experience with getting their tick tested at any of the above labs or another lab, that would be appreciated.

10 comments:

  1. "Always see a physician for possible diagnosis, testing, and treatment"
    SNORT and lotsa luck!

    "If desired, save tick to be tested at tick testing laboratory"

    Good idea. But a caution about using state run tick testing labs rather than the ones C.O. listed. The state run (funded) labs are cheaper and you MIGHT get 'lucky' and have your tick show pos. for Bb or what ever other tick borne disease they might test for.

    But state run/county run labs follow the CDC rules for how to test.

    Fully understanding that not everyone has the insurance to pay for the premier tick test labs or the money to pay out-of-pocket--- see the above -----from "you might get lucky".

    most state laboratory directors and epidemiologists placed high value on CDC's testing and consulting
    services, training, and grant funding and said these services were critical to their ability to use laboratory data to detect and monitor
    emerging infections

    http://wwwn.cdc.gov/mlp/pdf/nls/HEHS-99-26.htm

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi cave76,

    "Always see a physician for possible diagnosis, testing, and treatment"
    SNORT and lotsa luck!"

    Well, what do you think of those Wolfram Alpha data sets I posted here the other day? On average, one in every 22 doctors' visits is for a Lyme disease diagnosis for women and one in every 6 doctors' visits is for a Lyme disease diagnosis for men - but women get half the tetracycline the men do and many times the Ativan and Valium...

    Being less than kind about it, one could say that men are more likely to be given antibiotics for Lyme disease and women are more likely to be given head meds - but the data sets may not correlate that way entirely.

    What is clear is doctors are prescribing head meds to women at a far greater rate than they are for men, regardless of diagnosis, and that needs further investigation.

    At any rate, you can find a doctor who will diagnose and treat Lyme disease through your local Lyme disease support group and various sites online including lymeinfo.net. With any luck, if you go to a doctor in an endemic area early on with a rash, you won't need to go through the extra steps of finding a referral for an LLMD.

    At least if one cannot test the tick, there is a program that will help cover the cost of blood tests for Lyme disease for people who cannot afford it: LymeTap.
    Their site: http://www.lymetap.com/

    ReplyDelete
  3. Lyme-Tap is a great resource for a lot of people. Thanks to Igenex and others.

    Some questions:

    1.Initial diagnostic Lyme disease testing, other tick-borne disease testing or CD 57 status

    Does that mean that the person applying can't have had a previous test for Lyme et al.?


    2. Medically necessary

    What is 'medically necessary'? Without a previous positive test result from a CLIA approved lab----- is the prescribing doctor making a call based on symptoms? (Which is often done and rightly so in many cases.)

    3. Is Lyme-Tap only available for CA residents?

    C.O. asked:

    Well, what do you think of those Wolfram Alpha data sets

    About as much as I think of ANY 'data set'. Possibly good, possibly biased or 'massaged'. I can only say that in my many years of seeing many doctors after I became ill and reading many forums to try to get a handle on what was going on (and addressing the woman vs man bias):

    1. Woman are more likely to talk on forums.
    2. Woman are less likely to 'suck it up' and try to ignore symptoms.

    But I also think (just think, can't prove) that men don't get as debilitated and / or they seem to get better faster. (That does NOT mean ALL men!!!!!!)

    Hormones? Dunno.

    Male doctors are either born with the 'women are hysterical little critters' or they're taught that in medical school. (AGAIN----- not ALL male doctors. I know of a few that avoid that.)

    And two of the most vicious doctors I saw in CA were women---------too young to be going through menopause so they were just born vicious I guess.

    A side note: I went to an allergist back when trying to find out just why I was so sick. Yeah, I grasped at any straw because doctors wouldn't take me seriously about being so sick, wheelchair or not. An ALLERGIST, fer cryin' out loud, spent about 10 minutes of my precious time allotted lecturing me about the need to take an antidepressant! An ALLERGIST!!!!

    What is clear is doctors are prescribing head meds to women at a far greater rate than they are for men, regardless of diagnosis, and that needs further investigation.

    What kind of investigation can be done?
    Deep analysis for the doctors to find out why they do that? (grin)
    Change the attitude of all men about women? (grin)
    Change the attitude of the instructors et al. about women and their 'need' for head meds? Snort.
    Castrate all doctors who treat women like 'the little woman' so they can't spread that attitude to their off-spring? Now, that's a thought.
    Fire instructors in med schools who gives a pass to any intern (male or female) who show a propensity to rx head meds to women over men?

    Having fun with this, as you can tell. I don't think it's going to change for a LONG time. In the meantime women have to learn to be assertive (not mean or agressive) while in a doctors office. Which of course will get their asses flung out of that doctor's practice.

    So what do YOU suggest, C.O.?

    ReplyDelete
  4. cave76,

    Good morning and happy Friday to you.

    You said,

    "Castrate all doctors who treat women like 'the little woman' so they can't spread that attitude to their off-spring? Now, that's a thought."

    Nice snark. I don't think that will work. It's not even a matter of it being illegal or unethical, it's that your tactic will be ineffective on female doctors who are also telling female patients that they are depressed. (See: Your vicious doctors in CA reference.)

    "In the meantime women have to learn to be assertive (not mean or aggressive) while in a doctors office. Which of course will get their asses flung out of that doctor's practice."

    I think everyone - male and female - has to be more assertive with doctors. I know men have been told they have depression or "it's just stress" when they've been sick with something else, too. It's just a disproportionately high number of women have been told their symptoms are related to mental health or 'female troubles' when the cause can be something else.

    I am envisioning this march on Washington. Something others would have to spearhead, but I would support. I can see women holding up signs saying, "Would you tell your sick wife or daughter it's all in her head and give her Valium for a bacterial infection?" and mock tombstones saying, "I told you I was sick!" and "I committed suicide due to physical pain, not depression." I can see the mall lined by these fake tombstones, and everyone attending is dressed in black - some even in Victorian black mourning costume, with signs about hysteria and the vapors.

    Surely you can see it?

    Anyway, regarding LymeTAP, I know what's on the site and if there is information lacking, suggest emailing them and asking them - those are good questions. I thought that LymeTAP was for anyone in the US, but I could be wrong.

    ReplyDelete
  5. *****it's that your tactic will be ineffective on female doctors ******

    Did I forget to say----- THOSE I'd just bitch slap. LOL

    ReplyDelete
  6. cave76,

    You said,

    "Did I forget to say----- THOSE I'd just bitch slap. LOL"

    Must have, because I reread what you wrote above and didn't see it written there.

    I don't know what is going to fix the problems when they're systemic. I think women and men need to assert themselves and ask for assistance in looking at non-mental health related diagnoses first and firmly tell the doctor not to try practicing outside their area of specialization.

    One of the strategies patients can preemptively take is to deliberately see a therapist and discuss one's experiences with pain and illness and the dismissive attitudes of some doctors... Once the therapist sees that the patient is not suffering from mental illness - or at least sees depression and anxiety are a result of illness rather than the cause - the patient can ask the therapist to write a letter to the doctor about their condition. If the patient presents a letter to a doctor from their therapist stating that in their professional opinion, the patient's symptoms are not the result of past emotional trauma and the patient needs medical investigation, that might put a stop to some of the seemingly offhand manner of categorizing symptoms as being related to psychological or psychosomatic sources.

    I've seen some people try this and it has actually worked in getting more thorough medical workups. In other cases, people still ended up having to find a new doctor in order to have their condition approached in a more holistic manner.

    ReplyDelete
  7. C.O. That's a great idea about having a therapist write a professional letter like the one you talked about above!

    Assuming,of course, the patient can afford a therapist for multiple appointments. Not all can and not all insurance pays for therapy.

    Would a therapist actually diagnose/say that the patient needs medical intervention? Wouldn't that sorta be like telling another doctor how to treat HIS patient, which isn't looked upon favorably by most docs. (grin)

    Or could it be worded in a more subtle way (that wouldn't just go over the MDs head?

    ReplyDelete
  8. I mulled and mulled and mulled yesterday about arrogant doctors and all of a sudden this popped into my head.

    My desire is that a doctor, upon leaving medical school, has this firmly imprinted:

    1. What he/she knows
    2. What he/she doesn't know


    With those equally important items he/she only needs to add experience and a fairly good doctor will emerge.

    Add a 'heart' and you're almost there! (grin)

    ReplyDelete
  9. cave76,

    You said,

    "C.O. That's a great idea about having a therapist write a professional letter like the one you talked about above! "

    Thanks. I know people who have tried it and it helped, so I know it's worth it at least in some cases.

    "Assuming,of course, the patient can afford a therapist for multiple appointments. Not all can and not all insurance pays for therapy."

    There are ways to get fairly cheap therapy from grad school students and organizations with sliding scale structures for therapy, so even if insurance doesn't cover it, there may be a way to get access that doesn't break the bank. Also, some therapy is shorter term therapy if it has a particular goal in mind at the onset, so it may not take many sessions to evaluate a person in terms of their condition.

    "Would a therapist actually diagnose/say that the patient needs medical intervention? Wouldn't that sorta be like telling another doctor how to treat HIS patient, which isn't looked upon favorably by most docs. (grin)

    Or could it be worded in a more subtle way (that wouldn't just go over the MDs head?"

    The therapist can make a statement about their own observations of the patient and diagnosis of any psychological issues they may have, but they can set that aside and state the remainder of the patient's self reporting and observable problems need further medical evaluation because they do not appear to be related to a psychological issue.

    The therapist can write to appeal to the doctor's expertise and experience, and request further investigation out of concern that physical and medical problems are affecting the patient psychologically.

    ReplyDelete
  10. cave76,

    You wrote, "My desire is that a doctor, upon leaving medical school, has this firmly imprinted:

    1. What he/she knows
    2. What he/she doesn't know

    With those equally important items he/she only needs to add experience and a fairly good doctor will emerge.

    Add a 'heart' and you're almost there! (grin)"

    Starting with a heart is probably the most important thing - before you even sign those student loans to go to college, let alone med school.

    If you can't be a doctor with a heart and want to make money, consider becoming a mechanic or a stockbroker or something else.

    ReplyDelete

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