Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A Bite in the Night

What day is it today...  Wednesday already?  The past week has whirled by in a haze of upper-respiratory sickness.  My crunchy cough, combined with the rainbow of yuck that I've been hacking up, has repeatedly reminded me of a Lucky Charms cereal ad.  However, I assure you that it's not magically delicious.  In fact, if I could only just find where I misplaced my appetite... *squints around* ... I'm sure I had it right here just last week.

As if that wasn't bad enough, I woke up yesterday morning with an itchy knee.  I mean, a really itchy knee.  I pulled up the leg of my pj's, and there, marching across the surface of my skin, was a trail of bright pink, swollen bumps.  I rolled up my other pant leg, and there was one matching bump on my right knee.  Oh no, I thought.  Bug bites.  A bug bit me in bed.  I have bedbugs!  No, no!  I can't deal with this!

I shuffled to the computer and looked up photos of bed bug bites online.  They looked just like my bites, except mine were more swollen and inflamed.  That would be par for the course.  As you all know, I am a sensitive flower, and will overreact to just about any stimulus, given half a chance.

I showed my knees to Ken, who agreed that they did look bitten, however he hypothesized that the culprit may have been a spider.  It is a true fact that we have had spiders in our house.  There was a small one that lived in a web in my bedroom window for a while in the fall.  Spiders don't bother me; I figure they're there to eat the bad bugs, so I would just say hello to it when our paths crossed, and let it do its thing.  I hadn't seen it in a while.  Was it hibernating?   Or had it grown so desperately hungry that it had plunged beneath the bedclothes and burrowed all the way down to my knees for a bloody feast?  I wanted to believe the latter.

I mean, really I wanted to believe anything but bedbugs.  I have been working hard not to worry about them too much, but the media in Toronto likes to keep us all majorly creeped out.  I have read about their staying power, how they can live for up to six months without a meal, how they have been known to travel inside the spines of hardcover library books, and how dang hard they are to get rid of once they invade your space.  Why me?  Why not me?  Ack!

A couple of hours later, I rolled up my pant legs again to check on my rash.  It was nice to see that the left knee, which had the most bites on it earlier, wasn't swollen anymore, and was starting to change back to a normal colour.  But the right knee, the one that had only one bite on it, was now all bubbled up and cherry red!  What the...

Either I had invisible bugs living on my legs, biting me without me being able to feel it (how terrifying!) or perhaps there was another game afoot.  Perhaps... hives.

I have a history with hives.  Back in 1994 I took a sulfa-based antibiotic and ended up with head-to-toe hives so bad that the doctor thought I might be going into anaphylactic shock.  (I wasn't.)  Ever since then they've popped up to bother me here and there, triggered by a variety of things, but they've always been flat, 2-D itchy patches.  None of this blistery stuff.

But, sure enough, that evening I took another dose of the DM/E cough syrup* I'd relied on to get through the previous day, and within an hour a fresh batch of "bites" had bubbled up on one of my ankles.  Huh.  Alrighty then.  Hives it is!  My offer stands - I definitely prefer this to bedbugs.  Little Miss Side Effects strikes again!

*For the record, I've taken this stuff, this exact brand, plenty of times before with no problem.  I guess there's a first time for everything.

It's a pain in the rear.  I mean, at this point I officially can't tolerate anything more effective than a cough candy to see me through my symptoms.  No cough syrup.  No decongestants.  No NSAIDs.  I've just got to tough it out like they used to do before people invented medicine.  Well, as long as I still get to drink ginger tea I think I'll live.  And I am feeling a lot better today.


DarcKnyt said...

I can't tell you what a relief it is knowing you don't have DISGUSTING BEDBUGS.

On the other hand, I'm terribly sorry you're sick, and I hope you get better very soon.

I'll say a prayer for ya, Spark.

Jenski said...

Hopefully your hives are easier to get rid of than bed bugs! I have sympathy itching right now...or maybe bed bugs. (Autocorrect turned this into "needs hugs"..

Warped Mind of Ron said...

Ummm... not sure it's great, but hives sound a bit better than bed bugs. Hope you find a nice medicine that doesn't have all these side effects. Get well soon.

Granny Annie said...

Barely got past your first descriptive paragraph to even read about the bug bites! Magically nauseous I would say. Bless your heart, the yuckies are really after you.

Lynn said...

I get hives in the form of a ring around my neck when anxiety is high (not that often.) I hate it when that happens. I'm so glad that's what it is for you and not bedbugs!

DarcsFalcon said...

Oh my gosh! You had me freaking out for a minute there thinking you might be having to cope with bedbugs! I'm so glad you're not! But, so sorry about hives, and the whole medicine issue. I know that personally I try not to take meds, but knowing I have that option brings a sort of peace of mind.

You probably already know that mixing a tablespoon or 2 of honey in your tea acts as a natural expectorant and soothes your throat ... and that adding lemon in your tea helps your body fight colds. And taking some fish oil capsules can help with pain relief. But, I wouldn't put that in tea! LOL

Feel better soon, hon. *hugs* Saying a prayer for you!