Monday, August 15, 2005

Chiggers


A foray into the salt marsh two weeks ago left me with two shinfuls, (possibly a new word), of small red pus-filled welts. A childlike compulsion to pick and poke at them now has me sporting what looks like buckshot wounds on both legs and a doctor's appointment for tomorrow morning. The internet is a great place to find information, but has failed me with this menace. I have taken anti-histamines till I twitch, I have coated my legs with anti-itch spray, I have rubbed them with poltices, salves and unguents and even numbed the bites with Ambesol. A pharmacist recommended coating them with nailpolish. That just put a hard coating on the nasty things and when the polish turned brown after swimming in saltwater it seemed to just call more attention to them-picture skinny white legs with red welts surrounded by tan splotches. The itch is gone-replaced by swollen calves, feet and ankles, the individual welts having expanded to become a single inch-wide scarlet band.
The skin on the rest of my body has also become uber-sensitive to the least irritation and though the chiggers don't itch, everything else does. If I found a wire brush lying around, I swear I would probably scrape myself into a bloody pulp. I made the mistake of going back into the marsh Saturday afternoon looking to find some redfish and the fiddler crabs, shrimp and minnows feasted on these welts causing another brief spell of itching and swelling. I hope the Doc can help me out with something-If he says to stay out of the marsh I'll be forced to disobey orders. We don't get 4 and a half foot lunar tides that often and the fish will be able to reach places that can't normally-I'll be there waiting for them-buckshot wounds and all.

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