Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Beginning of a Horror Movie

I may be an outdoorsy kind of girl, but I'm not good with bugs, especially parasites. I came back from a trip to visit my family and had four chigger bites. Yuck. I hate chigger bites. The folklore is that they burrow into your skin and lay eggs. Can you think of any horror movies that begin this way? Thankfully, I read that it isn't true. The truth is that they secrete saliva which liquefies the tissue it comes in contact with and that's what causes the 'bites.' It's not much better. I have four large sores on my legs and one of them has a blister and swelling the size of a sand dollar.

As if that weren't bad enough, today I found a deer tick clinging to my ankle. I had to get out the tweezers to pull it off. Scratching at it didn't work. It's little legs were flailing as I squeezed him and blood, my blood, squished everywhere.

I wanted to run screaming.

Instead, I made an appointment to try to convince a local doctor to give me antibiotics in case the little bugger was trying to give me Lyme's disease. WebMD said I should get antibiotics within 72 hours in order to prevent Lyme's.

Okay, I can't get over the idea that this creature has been sucking my blood since Tuesday!

The worst part is looking at enlarged photos of these creatures. Nick wanted to see what a chigger looked like. In life, it's a pinpoint round red bug. I used to get them whenever I gathered wildflowers in the Midwest. Little red bugs that like flowers. That's kind of cute, isn't it? Enlarged, they're scary looking with ugly faces and the red only makes them look more alien. It turns out that a lot of the creatures in our scariest movies have links with insects and parasites.

Then, I needed to see if the bug I tweezed was a deer tick or an ordinary dog tick. Again, I encountered the same feeling. Tiny, in real life, these things aren't so bad looking. When I look at the online photos of a deer tick, it gives me the willies. Can you say horror movie? Plus, there are a lot of nasty pictures of bites online. Lyme's disease sometimes gives you a bulls eye rash with a black spot in the center. Gross.

I was going to tell you about how I reacted to the potential to get leeches in Minnesota and Upstate New York. For more than one trip, I carried salt in a Ziploc bag in my pocket the whole week. The other paddlers thought I was joking. The Internet pictures of leeches ....

I'm not going to tell you about that. I need to stop thinking about all this or I'm going to have nightmares.

Thank you for listening, jb

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