There is a reason I don’t spend an enormous amount of time outside. The bugs love me and I am allergic to the biting bugs.
My skin is extremely sensitive. 9 out of 10 times, I can feel the mosquito bite me. It swells up to about the size of a dime and it itches.
When I was about 12 I got stung on my thigh by two yellow jackets. I had a hard, hot, itchy spot the size of a pancake on my thigh….for weeks. When I was 17, I stepped barefooted on a bee’s nest. The arch of my foot swelled so much that I actually needed crutches to walk because my arch is what I was walking on. The last time I got stung by a bee it felt like someone took a red-hot needle and slowly pushed it into my toe, it brought instant tears to my eyes. I went to the Dr after three weeks and got some steroids to make it go away.
Because of my sensitivity/allergy to biting insects you will normally find me walking my dogs in long pants, a long-sleeved shirt and a ball cap. Even in the very hot, humid days of June, July and August.
Still the bugs love me. As soon as I step onto the path, the first bug buzzes me. Then he takes up the cry, “She’s here!” “Dinnertime” “Come and get it while it’s hot.” It is like the Japanese bombing Pearl Harbor. They swarm at me, buzz me and actually do fly bys.
I use insect repellent (Off, Cutters, Bugoff, Skin so Soft) I wear a bug band. Once I even used two bug bands and hung them from my glasses.
And yet, most days still finds me removing my hat and fanning it back and forth to ward off the bugs. You can imagine with my limited coordination how this looks, not to mention the many times I have smacked myself in the face being a little too zealous with the hat.
Yesterday I got bit. On my arm. By what I think was a horsefly. Through my long-sleeved shirt. I felt it, in fact I looked down and said, “You bit me you f*&%*&r!” Within minutes I had a welt.
It hurt, I mean it really hurt. I didn’t have any ice, but I had cold water in the dog’s bottle so I put some cold water on it. I kept my eye on it because I have never been bitten by a horsefly. I know how I react to bee stings on my lower extremities, but I’ve never been bitten (knock on wood) by anything other than a mosquito on my upper half.
After about 20 minutes, the welt had subsided and I had a little bit of a red mark. This is what it looked like when I got home.I washed it, iced it and put some Benadryl cream on it. I also took a Benadryl.
This is what it looked like after 24 hours.
It is itchy as all get out! I just took another Benadryl and put a salt paste on it, because I remember when I had the stings on my foot that the salt water of the ocean helped it. I also put some Benadryl cream on it and I think I might ice it again.
So tell me, what do you use to protect yourself against bugs? I’m actually considering getting one of those portable electric bug zappers that look like a small tennis racket.
Hey it beats waving my hat and smacking myself in the face.