A long, long time ago... um. Blah blah blah. Doo do doooo...
What was I saying? Oh. Right. DEET. Smells like.
So I woke up one morning. I didn't look in the mirror. I did what I usually do, which is get on the internet for 45 minutes and then run around like a maniac and get ready for work in 15 minutes.
On THAT day, though, something else happened.
I turned on the shower, took off my shirt, and then caught my reflection in the mirror.
Ho. Ly. Shit.
I had some... some kind of RASH or something. I was covered in nickel and quarter sized welts. They were thick, raised, and bright red.
I ran screaming into the bedroom.
"LOOK!" I said to my boyfriend. He blearily stared at me, smiled. "Huh?" Right. No shirt.
"I'm... covered in... THINGS," I said, waving my hands around in the dark.
"Wha-?" he said.
"I better go to the doctor or something."
He nodded. "Good idea," he said.
I headed back to the bathroom and climbed into the shower.
I was going to die. This was some biblical thing, wasn't it? THIS is what boils looks like, right? Shit. I'm becoming a zombie. The world is ENDING.
I went to work and ignored the things I was supposed to do, but made an appointment at the little Take Care Clinic at Walgreens. It's easier than going to a real doctor, especially since I don't have a regular one.
The appointment was for 11AM. I fidgeted. I opened Excel spreadsheets. I gnawed on my fingernails.
I wasn't itchy or anything, but it felt like I was slightly burned or something. But I wasn't sure. I tried not to look at WebMD, and spent the morning Googling rare skin conditions.
Finally, at 10:45, I left the building and drove to the clinic.
I walked right in to my appointment, being the only person who wasn't an old man picking up a prescription present.
"So," said the nurse practitioner, "You have some kind of skin... thing?"
There is no way to describe her other than that she was very "Boulder." Anyone who lives in the Pacific Northwest probably knows what I'm talking about here. She was... I don't know... new-agy. Nothing she said, in particular, but I got the yoga-Whole-Foods-vegan-align-your-chakras vibe almost immediately (and yes, I realize the irony of that statement).
I nodded, and said, "I'll have to take off my shirt."
She nodded, so I undressed. I pulled aside my bra a little so she could see the bigger welts.
"Huh," she said, "Something's been biting on you."
I opened my mouth, but no sound came out. "But... but... " I said, "But it's winter! It's cold outside, there's no such thing as snow spiders!"
She nodded. "It has been pretty warm out."
She said, "Have you been anywhere that there are spiders?"
"Spi... sp... " I closed my mouth and swallowed a scream. "But there are so many!" I said.
"It could be something else," she said. "Fleas, maybe."
"There are fleas in Colorado?" I said.
She nodded. "Or maybe... huh. It could be bedbugs."
At this point I think I may have seen a flash of light, heard a thousand damned souls screaming, roar of flames, something. I blanked out for a second, and she was still talking, "...been traveling?"
I swallowed. My mouth was very, very dry. "What?"
"Have you been traveling?"
"No," I said. "I stayed home for the holidays. Are you saying I have bedbugs?"
"It's just a possibility," she said. "You should check your blankets and matresses. Look for..." she kept talking, as if I were going to listen. I stared down at my bare chest, at the huge welts.
"Are you sure they're bites?" I said, "I can't even see bite marks."
She stopped talking, oh, yeah, she was talking, snapped on some gloves and came over for a closer look.
She peered at a particularly large welt. "Hmm," she said, "I have seen something like this before when..." Blah blah blah really weird fatal bacterial infection, "... or when... " mumble mumble something about YOU'RE GOING TO DIE!!!!! "...but it's probably bites of some kind. It could be a spider. Or," chuckle, "Spiders."
I am going to kill you.
She prescribed me some steroids to help my body deal with the swelling. After that, it was up to me to
On a completely unrelated note, I started dieting and exercising as a New Year resolution. Taking steroids has NOTHING to do with my current success.