You know how they say that without your health, life pretty much sucks? ('They' are probably more eloquent about it, but you get the idea.) Well, they're right. And my health complaints of the week are *completely* minuscule in the grand scheme of things, so I just want to give a shout out to all the people in the world with health problems bigger than mine and say, "People, I feel a fraction of your pain. Only a small fraction, but I feel it. And I'm with you."

Starting out the week, I did something willfully stupid. I was watering the front garden after work (I hadn't even gone inside yet), and a giant weed caught my attention. I pulled it. Without gloves. Wait, let me rephrase: I tried to pull it. I closed my bare hand around its thin, smooth stem, and yanked it back in agony as hundreds of invisible (invisible, I say) barbs embedded themselves in my fingers and palm. It was like inserting your hand into a glove lined not with Angora but with fiberglass insulation, and tugging the glove extra hard and wriggling your fingers around to make sure you have a nice snug fit before you go outside and handle toxic waste. Or something.

Now people, I have spent enough time outdoors to know not to pull weeds that look, say, like this one at right. But I swear to you, my inflamed hand on a stack of Bibles, the weed I tried to pull looked normal.

Clearly, my definition of "normal" needed some fine-tuning, based on the painful little welts that were popping up all over my fingers. They were the only visible evidence that the weed was, in fact, evil.


So I ran inside and grabbed some J.R. Watkins Petro-Carbo Salve, which was recently given to me by my friend Kim from work, who swears by the stuff. I slathered it on and watched the little welts turn from bright white surrounded by red, to just plain red, but at least they were shrinking. The pain, however, was not. Every time I flexed my fingers, I could feel the invisible barbs working their way deeper into my skin. So I stopped moving my hand. Problem solved.

But that was only the beginning of my ... issues. I noticed a tiny bite on the inside of my elbow (I'm not sure what the anatomical term is for the spot between the place where they take blood and your elbow -- the crook of your arm?). Anyway, the mosquitoes? They love me. So I figured it was one of them. Two days later, however, there is now a two-inch diameter amoeba-shaped welt on my arm, radiating out from the bite.

I did my due diligence and performed a Google Image search on "tick bite" (nope, no bullseye pattern...no telltale tick or tick remnants attached to me). Then I tried "spider bite" (there's a reason I'm not including sample photos from my findings -- I *definitely* was not bitten by a brown recluse spider).

So, whatever bit me may forever remain a mystery. For now it's just me and my amoeba. And it's growing!

I determined this by drawing with a ball-point pen around the perimeter of the amoeba shape last night. It's slightly larger today (hmmm...) but slightly less red (hooray!), no doubt due to the double dose of Allegra I took last night, at the advice of my doctor friend whose words filled me with a sense of calm and encouragement: "It's really hard to overdose on antihistamines."

I did have to promise not to sue her. And readers of this blog, be warned: You should in no way construe my personal treatment choices (or lack thereof) as optimal, or even recommended, courses of action for your own medical issues. And the second-hand comments from my knowledgeable friend? Not lawsuit fodder! I mean, come on people. This is the blogosphere. Everyone knows bloggers don't go outside or have friends. So this entire site could be the elaborately constructed fiction of a person with a whole lotta free time. Can you ever know for sure?


I also broke my toe. That story, while it does involve a great deal more cursing, is on the whole less entertaining. Suffice it to say, it is not a good idea to draw on yourself with a ballpoint pen while walking across a room that contains chairs.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

ouch! ouch! oooooh! my poor baby. Does it feel better now? Can't take your doctor friend's advice because there aren't nearly enough fine print and disclaimers for it to work. Mom