Friday, June 28, 2013

In Which I Somehow Angered Nature

Today, I took a short time during my lunch at work to head outside into the garden. My eyes had been dry and a bit itchy, but to be honest they generally are at this point. It's part of living in South Carolina; any time it hasn't rained for more than nine hours, my eyes start to get dry and maybe a little itchy, but never anything more.

Anyway, so nothing of note happens. I wandered around, took pictures of flowers, and then came back inside. I went to the bathroom and while I was washing my hands I noticed something alarming.

The underlid of my right eye appeared to have a gigantic blister, surrounded by angry red skin.

My actual eye, mind you, felt fine; still dry, but it'd been that way all day. My other eye was clearly red on the underlid, too. I took a photo of this ridiculous swollen spot and sent it to two of my best girlfriends, asking them WHAT HAPPENED HERE?

Only, won't lie, my language was slightly stronger than that.

They suggested allergies, and the weird spot went away after about an hour, so I figured they were probably right, shrugged, and went on my merry way.

So then I come home, and I'm in the backyard. I wore a pretty nice outfit today, and I was going to take photos of it because, well, narcissism.

Anyway, I am wearing shoes and everything (although the shoes are woven and have an open-weave pattern), and standing on the sidewalk behind our deck when suddenly the backs of my feet, right at my heels, start to itch. Which is weird, right?

Well, what was weirder was when the itching became stinging pain.  Maybe an angry mosquito, I think.

I started to feel it all over my feet. I felt one bite turn into four, then six, then twelve, and then they started to burn.

At which point I turned tail, raced inside, threw off my shoes and doused my legs and feet in ice cold water from the bathtub faucet.

Because I am Midwestern, and this has never happened to me before, I spent a couple of minutes trying to figure out how that many mosquitoes had gotten to me all at once, and why it would burn like that.

At which point, the part of me that has lived in the South for three years come August kicked in and pointed out that they do have ants that bite, y'know.

(I would actually like to note here that being Midwestern is probably not my problem; I really don't have the common sense God gave a goat.)

At which point I actually looked at the little red welts all over my feet and concluded, yes, ants. Of course ants. Also, I felt stupid for not guessing ants right away.

I come inside, and one of my friends tells me that I have got to stop angering nature.

Less than an hour later, after Jason had come home, the dog comes back inside from the backyard smelling like absolute and honest death. He stunk like week-old dead things, his breath and his fur. He'd clearly found something to roll in and chew on, and it was something vile. I'm thinking it may be whatever was left of the rabbit he brought me the other day; he must have hidden some small bit for later.

We stood there staring at him, faintly startled that he even could smell so bad, that it was even physically possible. Eventually, Jason gave him a bath, which helped. His breath was still a powerful incentive to go nowhere near him, though, and we went out and bought doggie mouthwash.

Turns out, doggie mouthwash is a thing that exists in the world.

There are also like seven brands of it, which I find mind-boggling. That means there is enough capitalistic competition for seven completely different companies to feel the need to create mouthwash specifically for dogs. Different sizes of dog even have different mouthwashes.

The world of pet ownership is truly a charmed one.

So we went out for dinner, have come home, and are hanging out before bed. While my swelling appeared to have gone down shortly after I walked in the door at home, I've since looked (since we got back from dinner) and it's just as swollen again, and now the other side is even redder than it was before. I am going to introduce myself to the wonderful world of allergy medicine tomorrow, since I've never really taken any before. I've never really had serious allergies to anything that I would routinely come in contact with before! This is new and not at all exciting.

My sister is allergic to basically everything that is involved with the production of either oxygen or carbon dioxide, and my brother and mom have allergies too. I'd been a holdout (well, my dad and I) but it looks like my time as the Empress of Not Sneezing All the Time is coming to an end.

So... want to take bets on if non-drowsy Benedryl still makes me drowsy? Because I have a long day at work tomorrow and I have no idea how I'll react to allergy medicine.

We might as well have fun with that.


  1. Honestly, every antihistamine affects me differently: real benadryl knocks me out, one fake brand (equate maybe) practically makes my head spin i can't focus that extremely (probably how ADD kids feel all the time). It also made my ADD cousin completely unbearable, one doesn't affect me too terribly at all. Claritin and Zyrtec are both fine if i feel like paying their pricetag.

    My food allergy hives are almost ALWAYS on my face in the area beneath my eye. I've also had allergies that were pretty much unaffected by antihistamines (if you follow facebook at all i spent the entirety of last summer allergic to air conditioning- it looked like i had chicken pox on EVERY inch of my body- lips ears and palms of hands included- every time i stepped into an airconditioned building). That was a side effect after having been on antibiotics.

    On the natural side, there are a lot of natural anti-inflammatories and natural anti-histamines. you can google them. dandelion and licorice root are up there.

    Good luck! Feel better!

  2. Girl, it's not you. Nature hates everybody down there! My brother lives in North Carolina, and being a Midwesterner myself, visiting a place with that much insectoid petulance always blows my mind. Fire ants and ticks EVERYWHERE and wasps I've never seen before and chiggers (wtf even ARE those?!) and spiders and snakes that actually could hurt you?! In Michigan, the only spider with any venom is a black widow, and they're not even that harmful and they practically wear a stop sign on their back!!

    Long story short: you are an effing marine. Nature tried to take you (and your dog) down and it failed. *fistpump*

  3. PS I get allergies too. I'd bet if you pop a Claritin in the morning it'll fix you up.

  4. Sam: I am going to snag some licorice root tea pretty soon, I think. Or something. I'm not a huge fan of medicine if I don't have to use it, but the down side to that is it means that when I DO have to use it, it is ridiculously effective; ie, if it makes normal people a little drowsy I'm out for days.

    Cammila: OH MY YES THE TICKS. The ticks are crazy. It's not even that they're there - there're ticks all over the place in Illinois, but I feel like they're not as out and looking for new legs to bite. And yes, the venomous things are... surprising! And somehow people in SC still willingly go swimming in lakes and rivers, even though copperheads and cottonmouths exist. I don't even know.


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