I brought more than fond memories home from Bulgaria. At least that’s how it seems. When I left, I counted 17 bites. I posted the score. Them 17. Me 0. I had just one on the back of my left thigh. On Saturday it became two. On Sunday I counted three. On Monday I was distracted and forgot to count. On Tuesday there were four. And today, there’s a dozen if not more, all clustered around the original. The itch has been increasing exponentially and in a fit of distraction I rang for a doctor’s appointment, claiming medical emergency.
Apparently I’m not the only one suffering. Lots of people who were at the Sziget festival were bitten, too. But I’m not sure if we were bitten by the same thing. Do bugs travel? I know it wasn’t a mozzie as I didn’t hear a thing. It wasn’t a spider as I can spot those in the dark. I only felt one bite as it happened and when I looked there was nothing to see. So I’m clueless. I’ve no idea what’s biting me. But I wish these funny Bulgarian bugs would stop. Or at least have the decency to show their faces and let me know who they are. Am so not impressed. I did notice other bodies on the beaches of Bulgaria with similar bites so I took solace in the fact that I wasn’t alone in my misery.
Anyway, one intraveous steroid treatment later, and laden with more oral steroids and topical steroid creams, I’m back at home, resisting the urge to Google. It would be way too easy to work myself up to high doh comparing pictures. Scabies? Shingles? Poison Oak? It’s bad enough that the suspicion that I might have some foreign bodies roaming around under my skin is already enough to guarantee a sleepless night. Before I saw the photo and just felt the ridge, I was sure it was a worm. That’s what I get for having an imagination. And what if they spread again? Multiply even more? What if I wake up tomorrow and they’re everywhere? I have a wedding to go to!
I know, a First World problem. I have access to medical care and the wherewithal to avail of it. I have treatment. I should quit my bitchin’ and let the itchin’ run its course. And I will. Right after I come to terms with the indisputable fact that I’m a lousy patient. And when I’ve been running on far less slumber than my much-needed 8-hours-a-night, I’m even worse than usual. I’m way too suggestible (is that even a word?) The slightest itch or skin crawl has taken on gigantic proportions. I can feel bumps everywhere. I’m so annoyingly pathetic that I can only just about bear living with myself. Lord help the man who will share my space.
But in the midst of all this angst, I solved something else that was biting me. I finally figured out what the long strange green strings were that decorated every dish I ate in Bourgas: cucumber peel.