Off the keyboard of RE
Published on the Doomstead Diner on August 16, 2015
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No, this article is NOT about Pigmen. LOL.
It is about my week long battle against an ITCH. A once every 40 years ITCH.
Not just a little Mosquito Bite itch in one spot on my corporeal shell, it was a BODY WIDE itch, EVERWHERE. I am talking SERIOUS itch here, which if you have never experienced it, you can't imagine how awful it is. You can't sleep, you can hardly think because you itch so bad.
Back in my college years, I once before had such an ITCH, although that one was more localized to my stomach and groin neghborhood. I slept on a couch in somebody's dive aparment after the usual night of binge until you pass out, and the Scabies got to me. I took scalding hot showers and baths to relieve this itch, the burning heat was better than the itch and overwhelmed it on a sensation level, at least while it was ongoing. A short while after getting out of said boiling hot tub though, the itch was BACK. I finally went to the doctor after around a week, Scabies was diagnosed and they gave me a prescription for some chemical that kills Scabies without killing YOU. Problem solved on this occassion, going back around 40 years now.
A typical Alaska Mosquito
In the interviening time, I have had few itches. Despite the fame of Alaska Mosquitoes on Size & Ferocity, in the 8 years I have lived up here they rarely attack me. They don't like my blood chemistry or pheromones maybe, I don't know. They lite on me occassionally, but mostly do not bite. I must smell bad to mosquitos. So I considered myself Bug Proof, but sadly I am not, as I discovered this week.
This year has seen an ENORMOUS increase in the Insect Population here on the Last Great Frontier, they almost certainly are in a situation of Population Overshoot this season. I can say that with reasonable assurance since for a week or two I found a constant supply of DEAD CRICKETS on my back porch. Never did figure out exactly why they died where they did though. Why choose this one spot on my back porch to Buy their Tickets to the Great BeyondTM?
After the crickets came the flies, after the flies came the mosquitos, after the mosquitoes came the dragonflys, after the dragonflys came the No-See-Ums. NSUs are tiny flying insects so small you can't see them unless you are right up on them or there happen to be a Cloud of them flying around in the same place at the same time. However, despite seeing a few such Clouds flying around the Digs, I still wasn't getting bit up, so it was "Live and Let Live" as far as I was concerned. That all CHANGED on Saturday morning last week.
I woke up Sat Morn with a hugely swollen Upper Lip. I looked like Bozo the Clown. Not sure if I bit my lip in my sleep or had some kind of infection, or what? But I wasn't itching on Sat, and after a few hours that swelling went down. So I didn't worry too much about it, certainly not worthwhile for a trip to Urgent Care to fork over still more money to the Medical Industry. As if I am not already forking over enough money to that industry. Well, so far my insurance has covered some and I haven't paid the leftover bills, but the charges are still there until I WIN my Workman's Comp case.
Different story by Sunday morning though, now I am beginning to ITCH. However, I still have not connected in my brain the swollen lip to the Itch. My first thought is that this is another neurological symptom from my Neck Injury. Since I have an appointment on Tuesday anyhow with the Pro From Dover who will carve up my neck on August 28th, rather than head in to Urgent Care I decide to wait it out. I don't know at this point if any meds prescribed would be bad to be taking prior to the surgery I am scheduled for.
By Monday morning I am DYING from Itching so bad. I go to take a Hot Shower, which worked to relieve the itching back when I had the scabies, at least temporarily, and now I see I have red welts all over my body. So now at least I know this isn't a neurological effect of the neck injury, there actually IS something wrong with the skin package I am encased in for the moment, until I join the Dead Crickets in the Great Beyond.
Monday night prior to the appointment with the Pro From Dover I can't sleep at all. I survive the night scratching myself, rubbing my back against the doorjamb, etc. I am exhausted by the time a friend arrives to drive me into Anchorage for the last Post-Op appointment there before the neck carving. As usual, I don't see the Pro, but one of his Nurse Practitioner flunkies. Same thing with your Lawyers BTW, you don't get to see them either usually, only their Paralegal flunkies. Said NP suggests a couple of Over the Counter drugs to try, and tells me it's OK, they won't affect the surgery anaesthesia. However, at the same time I am getting advice from the Diner Medical Staff on OTHER drugs to try that are OTC.
We still don't know for sure what the CAUSE of this itch is though? Is it the No-See-Ums? Mites or Bedbugs? No bugs big enough to see around, but they can be too tiny to see. Could it be an infection from an Impacted Tooth? The Diner Chief Dentist offers up this as possible. Maybe it's not from the Insect species, but rather from the Fungi species? Nurse Practioner suggested that as possible. Maybe it is Stress related? I am under a lot of stress here lately. How about an allergic reaction to something?
So, on the way back from Anchorage, I have my driver friend stop off at Walgreens, and I take EVERYBODY'S suggestions, from Selsun shampoo to Benadryl Lotion and Tablets to Lotramin to Calamine lotion, except for the Claratine the NP suggested but was laughed at as ineffective by the Diner Dentista and Diner Shrink. I ALSO buy a few cans of Anti-Bug Fogger to fog up my digs with Insecticide produced by Dupont Chemical Corporation that is supposed to be deadly to all insects from mites to mosquitoes, and spiders too! (spiders are not insects, different species, arachnida). By the time I hit the checkout counter, I have raided every OTC drug aisle in Walgreens and worked up a $55 bill.
This is the Battle for All the Marbles. It is RE vs the Bugs, and RE is going to win this one!
I get home, strip off my shirt immediately and slather myself in anti-itch and anti fungal creams, and pop a Benadryl tablet. I then proceed to fog up my digs with so much insecticide the visibility was down to near zero. The place stinks like an Iowa Cornfield right after the Crop Duster makes its 3rd pass over the field, spraying the latest deadly chemical produced by Monsanto guaranteed to kill every living thing in the field except the GMO modified Corn.
Call me a hypocrite if you want to, but this is WAR! The Bugs and me cannot co-exist here in my digs! I am fine with them living anywhere else, BUT NOT HERE! In a war, you use whatever works, even if it is a weapon produced by the Enemy, and the Pharmaceutical companies, Dupont and Monsanto are my Sworn Enemies. These fucking bugs want to eat me alive, and I want them dead, Dead, DEAD! DEAD NOW! If somebody told me a Thermonuclear Weapon was necessary to get rid of them, I would have shopped for one at Walgreens. They can be found in aisle 3. However, since this would have left me Homeless and all my Preps Radioactive, not a real good solution. Bioweapons do the trick of eliminating the Enemy and leave your digs still standing! 😀
By Wednesday, RE WON the War against the Vermin! Itch almost all gone, skin returning to normal color and size. Still not 100% sure of what caused it to begin with, although it was probably an allergic reaction to a Spider Bite on my lip, and I probably swallowed the Spider too since I also had swelling in my throat for a while. He was a suicide Bomber and ended up dead in my stomach, dissolving horribly in an acid bath. So despite the fact he left me with days of torture to remain living, I beat him too, he ended up DEAD!
Sometimes, when you are in a pitched BATTLE with VERMIN, non-violence simply does not work. Mosquitoes, Fungi, No-See-Ums & Spiders do not give a flying fuck if you respond with non-violence, they just keep biting you and making you ITCH. These pests only understand and respond to one thing. BIOCHEMICAL ATTACK!!!! It is you vs. them, in the BATTLE FOR ALL THE MARBLES. Bring on the numbers, bring on the heavy artillery. You can find it in Aisle 3 at Walgreens.
Bring on the Orkin Man.