Last week Dallas was aerial bombed for mosquitoes. The survivors hid in the shady shrubs around Harry’s porch, waiting for late afternoon happy hour. Immediately, like a swarm of famished locusts, they ate me alive, oblivious to the fog of bug spray around me.West Nile-carrying blood suckers.
Two days later, a bite appeared on my arm. Itchy and burning, in the shape of a half dollar. Spider bite? Poison ivy? Mange? West Nile rash? My head pounded. I could feel the encephalitus growing in my skull, spreading down my spinal cord.
Three days later, I sought medical advice from my Facebook friends, my lifeline. Like polling the audience on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. The audience is always right. One friend suggested a hot slice of onion placed on the spider bite to draw out the poison. Another accommodating friend offered to suck the poison from my body after slicing my arm with his pocket knife.
Since I was pretty sure it wasn’t a snake bite, I opted for the onion remedy.
Four days later, drinking wine and watching The Help with my sister-in-law, I applied a hot compress of stinky white onion to my arm, reheating slices over and over, nearly burning my arm. By the time I left her house, my arm smelled pungent, but looked much, much better. Of course maybe the perceived improvement was directly correlated to the wine consumed.
Yesterday, my spider bite had oddly spread to the back of my arm. It felt scorched and fevered. Maybe due to the broiling onion? Weak and lethargic, I opted for lunch as food makes everything better. As I ate alone feeling slightly pitiful, into Panera strolled a handsome man in scrubs. Heaven sent with a turkey panini and iced coffee, he sat right beside me, clearly drawn to me by my unspoken medical needs.
Me: “Excuse me, are you a doctor?”
Scrubs: “No, I work at a lab.”
Me: “Good enough. Do you think this is a spider bite?” flashing my swollen arm at him…
Scrubs: Taken aback. “Maybe. You should have that checked out.”
He gulped his food and quickly exited.
I found a walk-in-doc-in-the-box near my house. Inside, a witch doctor straight from the swamps of Louisiana. Very blunt and no-nonsense, a she-devil with extra-stringy extra-long gray hair. No smiling allowed. She skipped the bedside manner class in sorceress school. Marie Laveau.
Me: “I thought this was a spider bite but it has spread. Now I’m pretty sure I have West Nile. I’m from Dallas. It’s bad there. The West Nile, not Dallas.” I was rambling. Voodoo makes me nervous.
Marie: “You have shingles.”
Marie: “Yes. Now tell me what you know about shingles.” Oh great, a test.
So I rattled off what I know and made a C+. With black eyes boring into me she spoke seriously, scribbled out a prescription, I escaped, she hid back underneath her moss covered rock. I never told her about the onion.
Time is generally the best doctor – ancient proverb
Too funny! That looks awful! I can’t believe you haven’t heard from Cousin Cindy; she has had shingles several times.
Let us hear “the rest of the story”, day five, six, & seven. Hope it is better soon. Wonderfully written. Mom
Oh yes Cindy is keeping tabs on me. No worries! She’s an expert, giving me natural home remedies…. no onions either!
Terrible ordeal for you but another great blog! Get well soon!
Poor Talya! I love the song pairing! LOL I don’t have any home remedies although I am sure a Google search would have had me avoiding the onion remedy! Drink more wine! LOL Love your writing Talya!
Hope you feel better. Did they give you Zostrix? Dr. Jim Medecine Woman
Dr. JMW – No something that starts w/ a V. Valacyclasomething….? Makes me sleepy. T.
If you consulted Doctor Google, I’m surprised you didn’t think you had exploding arm cancer. 🙂
OUCH! Exploding arm cancer! OUCH!
Aunt Barbara – I need your fish cake recipe!
You know I feel for you my sweet cousin, my friend. I’m so glad you survived the onion! That makes my face burn everytime I think of it. In fact, woke up this morning with a mild break out again. I’m sure it’s from worrying about you. lol You know, stress and all. Just kiddin/mostly. Hope you’re feeling better! (Have you seen the new Shingles commercials? Prolly not, cause you’d be more scared.) lol Talya’s cuz Still rolling on the ‘doc in a box’ comment.
Geez, Louise!! Shingles, huh? Did you get a second opinion? Wonder why the lab guy left so quickly? Reckon he thought it was contagious???? p
Wish you’d take me off your “not a robot” list. It took me three tried to get thru’the first comment. p
I didn’t know I had that option. I will look into that as soon as I gather some energy:)
haha…Talya, this is a HILARIOUS story…haha…though having ‘shingles’ is not, and I hope you get well, very soon! Making a positive out of a negative is, mostly, what life is about, and your story has me busting-a-gut in laughter!!! Learning to laugh at ourselves is a great gift, and there’s nothing funnier than real life situations!=) You just can’t script those events!
Oh, and by the way, I have a place on my upper left arm, too, in the same spot as when your’s started. At first, I thought it was a spider bite, also, but fortunate for me, mine turned out to be “ringworm!” instead of a spider bite or shingles. Though, I couldn’t believe it when my wife-nurse diagnosed it!!! How in the world did I get ringworm?!?!?! We’ve been riding our mountain bikes through several trails around here the past couple of weeks, but I don’t know for sure how I got this! Anyhow, it’s been itching like the devil, but I’ve been doctoring it for a few days, and fortunately, it’s about gone to ‘ringworm hell,’ I hope!=) Anyhow, and once again, I hope your arm heals quickly and fully, very soon!
As a P.S. to this story, apparently the meds used to treat shingles is one of the same to treat herpes. So I walked out of Walgreens with a prescription with HUGE letters on the outside saying “PRACTICE SAFE SEX”. nice.
LOL! Yeah, shingles is related to chickenpox (seen any of those shingles commercials on the TeeVee lately??) which is the herpes zoster virus … just saying. 🙂
Shingles is NO fun … so hope you’re feeling better soon!