Something happened recently that I'm finally able to share, now that I can laugh about it, kind of. Spoiler alert: I’m fine, just mostly embarrassed. And it has nothing to do with sewing.
Let me set the scene: it’s after midnight, I’m home alone, and it’s starting to rain. I take a break from my work. I look in the mirror to put my hair up and I notice something strange. There’s something in my ear, near the top where it folds over. I bend my ear back, look closely, and see a tick. I don't know if it's a deer tick or a wood tick, but it's a fat one, I think it might have been there all day?
I completely freeze. I don’t know what to do. I have a tick key somewhere and start to run around frantically to find it. I don’t even know if a tick key can be used on humans, it might be just for animals. I go back and freak out in the mirror. I look for tweezers to pull it out and can’t find any! FIRE. I remember my friend Kaitlyn trying to burn a tick out of her skin (it ended up being a mole), but I don’t want to accidentally set my hair on fire. I consider dunking my ear into a cup of rubbing alcohol but it's an awkward angle. Google says to hold a cotton ball soaked in vinegar to it and the tick will back out. I grab the dishwashing gloves that are way too big and go to get vinegar. Rice vinegar, red wine vinegar, sushi vinegar, balsamic vinegar - which one?!? That’s all I have - I want to kill it, not season it!
I’m out of ideas and start to sob uncontrollably, thinking the tick was going to move INTO my ear canal and that would be my worst nightmare. I seriously consider going to the Emergency Room but that would be very expensive for tick removal. I consider calling the police but the house is kinda messy. Plus, I think paramedics might end up coming out and I think I would have to pay for that, too. By now my dog is freaking out and I’m still crying. I grab my sweatshirt and leave the house. Where am I headed in the rain after midnight? The nearest fire station. They’ve seen stuff - they'll know what to do. I’m not sure if I’m headed to the nearest but it’s one I know - Fire Station 5.
Tears are streaming down my face the entire way while I'm intentionally speeding. If the cops stop me, good, they can get this tick out of my ear. I make it the 2.5 miles without getting pulled over, run to the door of the fire station and ring the bell. A firefighter/paramedic appears and says “can I help you?”
“I need help”, I sob. She lets me in and doesn’t understand me the first time I explain through my ugly crying. “I have a tick in my ear and I can’t get it out.” She looks at my ear as I’m standing there, weeping, and says “I see it, hold on a second.” She walks over to the fire truck and gets a purple glove. She comes back, plucks the tick out and says “got it!”
Still crying at this point, I thank her, apologize, and tell her that my husband is out of town and I couldn't pull the tick out myself. She says “No problem! That’s why we are here!” I thank her again and awkwardly walk out.
I continue crying all the way home because I'm just stressed out and grossed out at this point. It's 12:30 am when I get home and have no one to share this dramatic and traumatic story with. I typed it out on my phone so I remember the details for my husband later.
Since this happened I've been asked how I thought to go to the fire station. I used to work with the fire department staff as part of my job and know they are always there and that they work with a ton of different situations. If this were a true medical emergency, I would have called 911 or gone to the ER, but this was more of a "freakout emergency".
I told my friend Sarah that it probably was a good thing the police didn't stop me because there would have been embarassing footage from their bodycams. She said "you know they probably have cameras at the fire station, too, right?" Oh em gee.
There's one photo I managed to get. It's blurry but wasn't going to stand there to repeatedly take photos.