Bugs Are Giant Assholes.

Ticks are dicks.  Seriously.

Commonly known as the Vampire Asshat of the insect world, ticks feed off the blood of their innocent victims.  If you are not lucky enough to live in an environment where ticks, chiggers, snakes, and other horrible slithery-crawly things abound, let me give you a visual.

Actual size may vary.  Generally the size of a freckle, not a baseball as depicted above.

This guy is the neighbor who comes over uninvited, unannounced, irritates your pets, and makes you uncomfortable and twitchy.  This little creep latches on and sucks your blood.  Hello?  How is that not a vampire?  It is.  Just because it doesn’t sparkle is no reason to write off this tiny killer.

I’ve bitched written about my allergy to meat before.  Well, this is the little bastard that caused the allergy:



The Lone Star Tick.  The cruelest and most evil insect of them all.  The one that turns you…VEGAN.  *gasp*  *pause for shock and awe*  *nods head wisely but with visible sadness.*  *looks stoic and perhaps a bit romantic*

Right?!  This shit is just effing ridiculous.  (That may be the first time I’ve ever typed effing.  It doesn’t feel right.)

But I digress.  Here are the facts about this bitch ass tick who stole my steak:

1.  Little motherfuckers are found everywhere.  It is all over the US and in Australia and other countries where ticks are known to live.  My yard is a popular gathering place for ticks.  I believe it may be the Cabo of creepy things I’d rather live without.

2.  Everyone who gets bit by a Lone Star tick is not gong to get this allergy.  And it comes in different levels, kind of.  Because I have always been an overachiever, I am not fucking around with this allergy.  If I have to be allergic to mammals, I’m taking that shit all the way.  Ye-ah, I will WIN at allergies.  Yep.

3.  The allergy is Alpha-Gal IgE — it’s a reaction to a sugar-protein called Galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose.  Some people have struggled with it for over 20 years, but research has only been done on this allergy for about the last 5 years.  (Basically, no one knows shit yet, except keep Benadryl and an Epi-Pen handy so you won’t die.)  Alpha-Gal.org has what little information there is on this allergy.

4.  The AG allergy made me allergic to anything that comes from a mammal, including milk and animal byproducts which are in EVERYTHING.  Yes, I am aware of how insane that sounds.  No, I am not making it up.

5.  Basically at this point the only things I can eat safely are fresh fruits and vegetables, along with chicken, turkey, and fish.  (I hate fish.)  (It’s growing on me.)

So, all this from a fucking tick?  The researchers think so.  Not many doctors even know about this yet, so it was hard to get the diagnosis until my blood tests came back positive for beef and pork allergies.

My doctor looked me square in the face after I described an allergic reaction with trouble breathing (anaphylaxis) and asked me if I knew that sometimes a “hard poop can make you break a sweat and feel like something is wrong.”

Oh no he didn’t.  (Yes, he actually did.  Fucker.)  I guess at 34 I know the difference between taking a shit and not being able to breathe.

Some days I handle it better than others.  Some doctors say it will go away in time (my allergist said possibly 5 to 7 years without any new bites) but some say it won’t.  I just got three new bites this weekend, while wearing bug spray and walking in a yard that had been treated for ticks.

And, I just realized, like right this second, that humans are mammals too so there goes any chance of survival if I were ever in some sort of situation where I had to eat a person to live.  Fuck.

Do you have any weird allergies?  Has your doctor ever treated you like you were a fucking five-year-old?  Do you think you could handle a diet like mine, or are you already a super healthy eater without being forced into it?  What are your thoughts on cannibalism?  (J/K, please don’t eat anybody.)

About Steph

I like words. I suspect I would like sanity, but I really have no way of knowing. I can be reasonable, but not often. View all posts by Steph

56 responses to “Bugs Are Giant Assholes.

  • Janice

    Yes, my skin is really really sensitive. A slight touch will induce welts on my skin. It’s a condition known as dermatographic urticaria and it’s fucking annoying. Do you know how many times a person scratches themselves a day? Lots. And it makes me look like I have a fucking disease. Though I think I’ll take this over a mammal allergy any day. I love my burgers and steak.

    • Steph

      Yuck! My middle child and I both have sensitive skin, but not that sensitive!

      I just crave meat…that sounded terrible…but even things I never liked, like meatloaf, I would eat in a heartbeat if I could!

  • Michelle

    That sucks so very hard. I would hate to give up mammals. (I am against cannibalism in nearly every case).

    I had to give up all booze for a while because of my weird silent acid reflux..but only for about 6 months.

    I now extra hate all ticks on your behalf…and why did they name the tick after a steak house? That’s just cruel You got bit by the Lone Star tick, so now you can never go there again.

  • merbear74

    Wow. what a punk ass bitch. (The tick.) I have all sorts of allergies myself…tree nuts, farm animals (foreign and domestic) and chocolate gives me a hard poo. If you can type motherfucker, then so can I!

  • gluestickmum

    I don’t know whose the biggest arsehole: the tick or your doctor. I’d maybe try to orchestrate and tick invasion and then change surgeries post haste.
    I guess the ticks are only doing what ticks do, hence your doctor is the bigger dick (and not in a good way). But to make you allergic to just about everything – that’s an insect that makes the massive spider that’s taken up residence in my kitchen and prevented me from painting the skirting look like a prime pet candidate rather than major pest.
    Btw, generally speaking, no to cannibalism, but if I was ever in a eat-human-or-die situation I’d hope the human on the menu would be your doctor.

    • Steph

      Lol! He’s no longer my doctor. I’m not an idiot and I can’t stand doctors who act like all their patients are drug-seekers or morons.

      I never thought about that…I could catch all these little buggers and set them loose in his office…but I think that might could be construed as attempted murder, so maybe I should NOT do that, lol.

      You are not painting because of a spider? Hahaha. Spray it with household cleaner or hairspray and fire.

      I appreciate your input on the cannibalism issue, and that’s my thought too, except of course I would die anyway.

  • onanotherfreakingmission

    And here I thought mosquitoes were the biggest assholes. Those fuckers love to attack me on my…well, where I can’t really scratch all the time without looking like a butch softball player. I know our yard must be chock full of every bug known to man. But living on a lake, black flies and mosquitoes are prevalent. And now that I’ve put that in type format, I’ll likely find six ticks stuck on my inner thighs. Why? Because that’s my fucking life.

    Hope you can breathe again soon and perhaps someone might sideswipe your doc’s car without leaving insurance info. Karma’s a bitch.

    • Steph

      Oh, God, don’t I know it. One of my bites is on my upper, outer thigh, and one is right in the crease of my thigh and my … you know. So glad it made itself at home.

      I *guess* I should quit talking smack about the doctor. I mean, it is a very rare thing and even the first allergist I went to didn’t know about it. But still! I think I know how to poop!

      • Jana

        OK — surely I can’t be the only one wondering how mosquitoes and ticks manage to bite you gals in the hoohaw region. Are you cavorting naked outside??

        • Steph

          No! I don’t cavort, naked or otherwise.

          Okay, I might have been cavorting semi-nude that one time…but I WAS SWIMMING. That doesn’t count, I think.

  • Mental Mama

    Holy fuck-sticks, that is TERRIBLE! I’m not a huge meat eater, but to have to give up my sacred milk? Ain’t no way.

    I am allergic to all but 2 antibiotics, Lamictal almost killed me, anything that goes on your skin and contains parabens (damn near everything), and then there’s the category of “weird reactions that are not technically allergies,” such as Ativan making me think I’m Mike Tyson and pain meds doing nothing.

    If you’re interested, I have a fairly tasty and easy fish recipe that involves Ritz crackers, butter, and white wine.

    • Steph

      That was one of the hardest parts for me. I actually just made myself horribly sick the other day, thinking, “I’ll just try half a glass of milk.” Stupid, stupid, stupid.

      I’m super-sensitive to meds too. Compazine makes me want to crawl out of my own skin, and I can’t take anything even remotely related to sulfa, which is a lot of things.

      I would love that recipe; I love Ritz crackers and white wine and easy!

  • Twindaddy

    I once had a doctor, after I asked him for help with weight loss, tell me to just join Weight Watchers. Oh, sure. Why didn’t I think of that? It’s affordable, right?

  • andreazjensen

    All I can say is, holy shit! I had no idea you could become allergic to meat through one of these blood-suckers. I am sorry for your dietary loss. Now, if I could only find something to bite me that would cause an allergy to carbs!

    • Steph

      Oh God, I know! When this all first started, all I ate was pie and Captain Crunch for like a month. They were the only things that weren’t making me sick!

  • heylookawriterfellow

    Ticks can make you allergic to meat!? Why in hell are we not aiming our drones at these guys?

  • Jana

    My condolences of your involuntary break up with meat products 😦 My current PCP is an incredibly stupid bitch. When I complained about this horrible pain I was having in my leg that was getting worse, telling her I thought it was nerve pain, she told me it was just “depression.” I went ahead and self-referred to a neurologist (which I had to pay for myself) and learned that a nerve in my leg was, in fact, dying and it was going to hurt like hell until it finally gave up the ghost. Just the other day, I went to see her because of right quadrant abdominal pain — she did NO testing, ultrasound, etc and told me it must be an ovarian cyst and that it would resolve eventually. I asked for pain meds until it resolved and in case it returned (this was my third bout with this in two months). She said, “I don’t like to prescribe narcotics” with her lips pursed in disapproval. She finally said she would give me five pills — but “no more, so don’t even ask!” Keep in mind, I’ve had her for my PCP for five years and have never, ever asked for pain meds. BTW, I ended up in the ER last night due to the pain (which had me curled up in the fetal position and crying) and after they did all the tests, it turns out that I DO have a cyst — which is the size of a tennis ball. I’m now scheduled for surgery on Thursday to take out the entire ovary and to have pathology check to make sure it isn’t cancer. Just talking about her makes me want to punch her in the throat! Unfortunately, my insurance makes it incredibly difficult to change PCP’s and none in my area are accepting new patients, so I’m stuck with her for awhile longer.

    • Steph

      Oh my God! Jana, I hate that! It makes me so mad when doctors act like that. My doctor is retiring in August and I am just praying I get a decent one, cause I really don’t want to change clinics. Ugh. I hope you are feeling better soon! And someone gives you the hook up, lol. 😉

  • AmberLynn Pappas

    I, and all three of my siblings, are allergic to mushrooms. It’s annoying to go to an Italian restaurant and have to ask about every dish to find out where the secret mushrooms are hiding so that I don’t accidentally leave the restaurant with Angelina Jolie lips. My sister has it worse and has to ask the employees at every sandwich shop, pita place, etc to change their gloves before they make her lunch so that she doesn’t have to down a box of Benadryl and rush to the hospital before her airway closes.

    The kicker…..My mom LOVES mushrooms and can’t serve them to her children.

    However, I think my first husband put it best, “Why would anyone want to eat anything that only needed a pile of sh*t and a dark place to grow?”

    Sorry about the steak, I’m not much on beef and pork myself, so if I could take your disease I would. And if you ever need a good fish recipe, let me know!

    • Steph

      Your first husband did put it very well and I agree with him completely. I’ve never heard of anyone being allergic to mushrooms though. So weird! And I’m currently accepting all the recipes I can get because I am a terribly unimaginative and burny type of cook.

      • AmberLynn Pappas

        We eat a lot of flounder at our house because my husband catches about 5 a week between April and October. Our new favorite way to make it (and it’d work for most white fish) is to mix up some olive oil and Worcestershire and sprinkle in some Cajun seasoning (we use Slap Ya Mama) to taste. Then, baste the fish fillets and let them sit in the fridge for about 30 minutes. Throw them on some foil on a hot grill and try to resist turning them too much so that they don’t fall apart. It pairs really well with a sweet potato fry and corn on the cob or a good green salad. I’ve even thrown it on a bun with a slice of cheese and some mayo for a good sandwich. Just taste your mix before you put it on the fish to make sure you’ve got a good flavor. Using a white fish gives it a meaty texture and the Worcestershire plus Cajun seasoning gives it a steak flavor. May help you miss the actual steak a little less.

  • Mountain Lamb

    Yep yep yep! We’ve got severe eczema and enviro allergies. Have gotten to spend oodles of time at National Jewish and Children’s Hospital to no avail. They are way behind on skin, but Nat Jewish does seem to have more info on food allergies and more coping skills than other sources I’ve visited. And, we just had our first tick bite–on a kid. The one with the worst eczema. We’ll see what comes of that, but your story kinda freaks me out a little more. And, I wish you the best on the five-to-seven year thing. Why do they always say five-to-seven, by the way? Might it be six-to-ten or one-to-two? Maybe, just once, a “handful of months?”

    • Steph

      Oh, so sorry for you! I hate the thought of a kid getting this. And I don’t know about 5-7 years; that is just so weird. It seems like I’m getting more sensitive, so maybe it’ll get really bad, then go AWAY, lol.

  • JRose

    I have an intolerance to yeast. Yeast is on everything… except the inside of unprocessed animals. So yeah. Thankfully it is not an allergy, or I would be dead by now, but it does attack my intestines and skin, and keeps me from having anything that has ever touched yeast (which includes anything that ferments, like grapes, alcohol, vinegars, the skin of fruits and veggies, teas, coffees, dark chocolate, corn, etc.).

  • Sandy Ramsey

    I hated ticks before I read this and now I not only hate them, I’m terrified of them. I had no idea that this one could cause these crazy allergies. That’s awful! I did have to laugh at the line about knowing the difference between taking a shit and not being able to breathe, even thought not being able to breathe is really not funny at all. When my son was two, he got a tick stuck on his nads. My husband was out of town and I freaked the eff out. Fortunately, it didn’t dig in and I don’t think he had any effects from it but that scared the crap out of me. I thought for sure we were headed to the ER.
    Side note: we’re going camping next weekend. In the woods. In Florida. Yeah…ticks. You can imagine how thrilled I am.

    • Steph

      Right?! Those creepy little bastards. Wear lots of bugspray. I guess I’d even put in on the nads, lol. I think in Florida don’t you have to worry more about like, mosquitos and malaria? *says the voice of reason and sunshine*

  • Boobleblurble

    Not sure if anyone has posted this yet, but ticks aren’t insects 🙂

  • Joy T

    I stumbled upon your blog from Bloggess comments, and holy crap this sucks. I’ve always hated ticks, but now I don’t think I’ll ever buy non-DEET bug spray again.

    I can’t think of a time my doctor treated me like a 5 year old, but my dermatologist told me I have Celiac Disease…over the phone. A week before Thanksgiving. It wasn’t even her, it was an elderly office lady who sounded bored. “You have Dermatitis Herpetiformis, a form of Celiac Disease. This can be treated by a life-long gluten free diet. Have a nice day.” That was almost seven years ago, and I’m still miffed about it.

    Dermatitis Herpetiformis means, “a skin inflammation having an appearance similar to herpes.” I can’t tell you how many times I had to explain that to my college classmates. Also? The only drug that treats the rash (Dapsone) is most commonly used to treat Leprosy.

    • Steph

      Oh my God, so I read the first sentence to “holy crap this sucks” and immediately thought you were talking about the blog! SO glad you weren’t, lol.

      Doctors (and nurses) can be super jerks sometimes. I have one I love and the rest just don’t even care.

      And I’m really sorry you have leprosy. Kidding. I’m sorry you have that other weird thing. We’re weird-thing twins!

      • Mandy Seekins Wood

        Ticks are horrid here. Virginia cedar wood oil, lemon grass, and tea tree oils mixed in with some skin so soft and witch hazel has kept the effers away better than deet. Realize this is an old post, but maybe someone will find it helpful.

        • Steph

          Thanks! I started putting tea tree oil in my soap, but I’ll give this a try too. If I remember, lol. Thankfully, it’s almost time for them to die or hide or whatever they do when it starts getting cold.

  • mrnervedamage777

    I was diagnosed with the alpha gal allergy in 2019. It’s been quite a lifestyle change. As you said, almost EVERYTHING has mammalian proteins in it. I must inform you though that humans do *not contain the alpha gal protein. So no worries, if the apocalypse happens in our lives, you can eat all the people you want lol. I’m also allergic to tree nuts, shellfish, and have sensitivities to chicken (as well as a few other things). It’s sucks so much ass… I’ve always been tall and lanky and gaining weight has always been a chore. Before I started eating turkey hotdogs/filets/burgers/bacon, plain chips, apples, “free to eat” brand allergen free cookies, and certain vegetables, I was losing weight fast. I also have Multiple Sclerosis (diagnosed in 07 at 24). So yeah, it’s miserable missing out on so much because my body is a piece of shit. Hopefully they can cure allergies and all immune related conditions before I’m too old/dead to care.

    • Steph

      We seem to have a lot in common! I’m as-yet undiagnosed, impatiently waiting to find out why my muscles only work for 5 minutes at a time. Thanks for the heads up on the cannibalism thing lol!

      • mrnervedamage777

        Haha, no problem, and best of luck on the diagnosis side of things. I didn’t realize you may also have MS. It’s definitely not a fun disease to have, but such is life I guess 🤷🏻‍♂️🤦🏻‍♂️. Hopefully for you it’s something else that’s extremely manageable. I didn’t even know if anyone would even see my post considering how long ago your original piece was posted haha. Either way, let me know what your diagnosis is… and if it’s MS I can try to share my “wisdom” on the topic, lol… take care.

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