Monday, January 15, 2007

I can't even think of what to call this one...

I'm not going to lie, loyal readers. When I posted photos of my legs in fancy/fun stockings, I got a some strong reactions. There was an emphatic "Mid-life Crisis!" vote, among other similar, though milder sentiments. But, there were votes in the decidedly opposite direction, including a few from gentlemen whose imaginations appear to be stirred by stockings in general.

Well, you can imagine that your innocent and chaste minded BloomingtonGirl has felt rather worried about her male readers who might have had their passions inflamed by the stocking discussion and the accompanying unretouched - some might say shocking - photos posted right here on this very blog. I began to think about what I could write that might cool such untoward thoughts. Alas, I was in a muddle. I couldn't think of anything.

But, then, fortune smiled on me in the way she often does, by bringing to me just the right little thing for my purposes. Something that is sure to cool even the hottest desire in any person, male or female.

Note if you will loyal readers, the drawing above. This is a magnified-view illustration of none other than the microscopic mite, Scarcoptes scabei. You might be wondering why such an illustration is gracing this post. Well, wonder no more. This disgusting creature is the parasite that causes Scabies and your BloomingtonGirl has just that...SCABIES!!!!!!! (I will pause here while you collect yourself after your horrific shock.)

For those of you who don't know what Scabies is, I'll bring you up to speed. It is a skin condition caused by the parasitic mite shown above. The mite burrows under your skin and lays eggs. They hatch and the cycle begins again. The burrows look like raised red lines on your skin. They itch (though the ones on my arms did not itch very much at all) and then scab over.

It all started a couple of weeks ago (or more) when I noticed an itchy patch on the front of my ankle that looked like a razor burn. I was puzzled by it but thought little of it, as I am not a medical alarmist. (To wit - some of you may remember that I waited until my son was quite dehydrated from his pneumonia before I brought him to see the doctor, who promptly hospitalized him...) So, I ignored what seemed to me to be a minor skin irritation. Then, the other day, I went swimming at the Y. While in the shower after my swim, I noticed that I had a couple of the same type of linear raised scabbed bumps on my right arm. I became a bit alarmed.

I began to wonder if I had Scabies, sort of in jest at first, because I couldn't imagine really that I could have such a wretched condition. After all, only people with poor personal hygiene back in grade school got that! I had never seen it, but I began to think that it was what I surely had.

I went home and looked it up on the Internet. A word of caution, loyal readers...if you don't have a strong stomach, never go on the ADA (American Dermatological Association or something like that) to look at photos of a skin condition you fear you might have. I don't know where they get these poor unfortunates but they always have shots of the absolute worst, most disgusting cases of whatever it is, run amok. Scabies was no exception. Fortunately, I was able to find a couple of photos of milder cases and was able to determine that I indeed had the dreaded parasite.

This morning, I called my doctor and after some discussion, she agreed that if I believed that I had Scabies and Chris thought so, too, she would call in a prescription for the human equivalent of a doggie flea dip for me. I read up on the treatment, which is basically a head to toe application of what is essentially a pesticide cream. I lost my nerve a bit...suppose I was wrong? Suppose I didn't have Scabies? Was it really necessary to apply this poison to my person?

So, I called my good friend, "L", who is also a Veterinarian. After she stopped laughing about my problem, which she quaintly labelled "The Mange", she agreed to help me diagnose my pestilence. I drove over to her house with a pair of surgical gloves and my sharpest paring knife. L donned the gloves and proceeded to scrape my skin with my knife and we looked at the scrapings under the microscope. It was like a weird "I Love Lucy" episode. We looked and looked at our makeshift slide under the scope and then, SUCCESS! we saw an egg. It matched the photo in the book exactly, so I was satisfied in my diagnosis. Off I went to the pharmacy to pick up my anti-Scabies lotion.

Hours later, doused in the lotion, I am confident that it is working and I will soon be rid of the unwelcome guests on my person. I am relieved to report that the cream was not unpleasant, not stinky, not irritating. I can wash it off in about eight hours, just in time to take Jack to school.

The question remains, though, How did this happen?? Where did your very clean and attentive to her personal hygeine BloomingtonGirl contract such a questionable communicable disease?

Tune in tomorrow when I explore that very question. Until then, I remain

Loyally yours,


Princess said...

I wouldn't worry too much about it. It's amazing how long things can survive and the places you can pick things up. The only way too really avoid this stuff is to live in a bubble and as much as I like 'me' time, I think I'd go crazy before even 24 hours had passed. lol

Perk said...

I had scabies many years ago that was misdiagnosed as eczema(sp?)and it was nasty...another good friend had scabies recently...where do you pick up these critters? Who knows. I assumed I got them from sleeping in a strange bed. I'm probably wrong. Princess is right; unless you live in a bubble you're bound to be a host for parasites at some point in your life.