Just a bug?

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puppy and teddy bear

First let me warn you, if you are eating, you may want to stop.

Stop eating or stop reading this column. Your choice.

Just know you were warned.

Once Bitten

About 8 days ago I contracted cellulitis. Probably from a bug bite. Or Satan. I would believe either at this point.

What is cellulitis? I know that you, like one friend, are thinking cellulite.

Emotionally painful, but not life-threatening. I have that as well but that comes from overeating, not being brutally attacked by killer bugs (dramatic effect all mine).

Cellulitis, on the other hand, is a potentially serious spreading bacterial infection underneath the skin surface characterized by redness, warmth, swelling, and pain.

When they wrote pain they clearly just spelled agony wrong.

It’s one of the rare things you can Google or look up on Web MD and find out you really and truly might die and they aren’t just being hysterical.

Usually, it’s all, “Oh a hangnail? Yep. You’re dying.”

With Cellulitis they aren’t actually being overly dramatic. Just pragmatic.

Get thee to a doctor post haste. Fortunately, I did.

Painful

I’ve had two babies, one surgery, and this is easily the most painful thing I ever have — or hope to — experience.

In addition to a spreading agony, there is a fever and chills and just general fatigue that have rendered most of the last week a blur.

I don’t cook or clean. My house looks like I’m losing a game of Jumanji. I live on spoonfuls of peanut butter and water — and only enough to keep the antibiotics down.

Basically, everything hurts and I am dying.

No one is immune. I know my mother was hospitalized with cellulitis.

This is a woman, by the way, who had a horse fall on her and shook it off like “nah, I’m good.”

Another friend spent over a week hospitalized. It is not an infection to be trifled with.

Insects

Spiders tend to take all the blame for many skin infections but people are getting it from mosquito bites and other small knicks and cuts these days.

It is not the bite but the secondary infection that will get you.

People are worried about North Korea and completely ignoring the insects uprising going on under our noses! This is why I’m indoorsy!

My summer attire is going to consist of a beekeepers suit.

I have always been a friend to insects. I relocate spiders outdoors chiding that they are more afraid of us than we are of them.

After this illness, they should be. For a few days there, I wanted to kill them all with fire.

Family doctors

Fortunately, the sight of mommy not even drinking coffee must have convinced our children I was this close to going toward the light.

GirlWonder offered to mow and go grocery shopping. Boywonder waited on me hand and foot while helping Mr. Wonderful finish renovating GirlWonder’s room.

Of course, we had a project underway when I was struck down in my prime(ish).

Nova Grace the Flying Ace (aka canine of concussion fame) dutifully brought me her best toy. I think blue bear was a big help in the healing process.

Jackson Head Snuggle Captain was also quite helpful in the soothing and healing.

With this crack medical team and the wonders of modern medicine, I did not succumb to my illness.

I have never been so thrilled to see antibiotics the size of Jawbreakers in my life.

While I am not one to run off to the doctor for everything, for this infection no holistic, oil or vinegar treatment alone was going to do.

Healing

I am told the infection, on best behavior, takes seven to 10 days to run the course. I am on day eight and feeling almost alive again.

I would not wish this on my worst enemy — if I had one. I know now that I am once bitten, twice shy.

I will henceforth treat every bug bite like a hazmat situation. There will be tea tree cleansing, first aid cream, and diligent attention to wound care.

I also assure you that I will never minimize an illness by calling it just a bug again.

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Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless.

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