I woke up itching on my forearms. A crazy sort of itch. Wild and hot…it burned the more I scratched, but I couldn’t stop scratching. I fumbled around in the medicine box and found some cortisone cream. I lathered it up and down my arms. Tried to go back to sleep. Didn’t happen.
The next day I alternated cortisone creams, with other types of ‘itchy meds’…anything I could find, I tried it. The itching only intensified and spread to my torso and neck…even my face. I began to swell…..I was miserable.
I googled all of my symptoms, so thankful for free medical advice. Without insurance I was determined I could treat myself at home with all the wisdom I found online. – After a few hours research I was settled…I had Scabies! I was both terrified and mortified. I had an infestation of tiny mites living under my skin….I wanted to vomit.
I disinfected everything. Slept separately from my husband. Didn’t cuddle my children. Afraid I would share my mites with my family.
Several days passed. My home remedies only seemed to intensify the battle those little mites were having under my skin.
Finally I broke down, called a dermatologist and almost whispered on the phone that I had scabies. The receptionist responded, “Oh! Well, in that case you need to come right in! Can you be here in an hour?”
I dressed in long sleeves and a scarf. Who cares if it was July in Georgia. I was so embarrassed. I felt everyone could see the little bugs crawling under my skin.
The nurse sent me right back to wait for the Dr. Once he entered the room he took one look at me and with his quirky mannerism he exclaimed that I had a “Riot scene in my flesh” but quickly assured me I did NOT have scabies. Only a crazy intense allergic reaction.
After a few tests we determined I originally had a poison ivy rash on my arms, but the products I used to treat the itch is what made it worse. I apparently had an allergic reaction to allergy meds….go figure.
Morals of the story:
- Don’t self diagnose online. You’ll think you have bugs living in your skin, or worse, you’ll be dying in 2 days. You know it’s true….we’ve all done it.
- Don’t do yard work in Georgia in the summer without wearing a haz-mat suit.
- The #2 thing I don’t miss about the South in Springtime: Poison Ivy (and quirky dermatologists)