a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Bitey Bitey Bitey

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Bitey Bitey Bitey

SUMMARY: Open the door for your mystery bite.
(1) OK, can anyone name the thing that I'm parodying in my SUMMARY line?

(2) In camp, we used to sing a song with several verses about wishing you were various animals doing various naughty things, one of which went:

Oh I wish I were a little mos-qui-TOE (mos-qui-TOE)
Oh I wish I were a little mos-qui-TOE (mos-qui-TOE)
I'd go bitey bitey bitey
Under everybody's nightie
Oh I wish I were a little mos-qui-TOE.


Mosquito bites haven't been acting properly for me for quite a few years. Instead of a smooth itchy raised thing, I get hard round pea-sized red painful lumps. And instead of itching, they just hurt. The first couple times, I thought it was red ant bites, since I slept out in an area known for red ants. But then they showed up many times when I slept outdoors in various random places. And mosquitoes are the only thing I can think that's in common.

I tried to explain my weird reaction to my MD a year or so ago; she said, "Mosquito bites do that." I tried to tell her that this wasn't normal. She seemed to think that I didn't know what mosquito bites looked like.

Which is like this:

Anyway, last Saturday night I slept in MUTT MVR with the doors and windows open because it was too hot with them closed. But I did wear long underwear. So here's what I ended up with:

With about 17 or 18 on my left hand, another 7 or 8 on my other hand, and 3 on my face. They got harder and bigger and redder and more painful every day. Now, this seems to be sort of the typical reaction I get nowadays for mosquito bites. But I usually end up with only one or two. Not like this!

Then they started breaking open and oozing. So on Friday I finally called the doctor's office and asked to have someone look at them. My regular doctor wasn't there. The doctor I saw said, well, those sure don't look like mosquito bites, and took a bunch of photos and emailed them to the dermatologist to look at. What with waiting to get in and waiting for the analysis and all, I was there for about 2 hours.

The diagnosis: "Arthropod bites." That's high-falutin'-speak for "some insecty kind of thing bit you." The treatment: Cortisone cream.

Well, so, after 2 days of the cream, they're getting slowly better. But then--these lumps I've gotten in recent years *do* seem to eventually start getting better. So was the time and money spent on doctors and meds worth it? Guess I'll never know--I could've done my own test case and applied the cream to only half of them to see whether it made a difference, but I thought of that only just now, doh.

The other suggestion was to check and treat my dogs for infestations. Yeh--it happens only when I sleep in the open air, and my dogs aren't even sleeping as close to me as they normally do ON MY BED EVERY NIGHT, and you think there's a connection?!?

So anyhoo, glad I could share.

And, by the way:

Arr, shiver me timbers, a curse on thee, ya scurvy arthropod bites!


  1. i know ! i know! MYSTERY DATE!!!!

    But i sure can't tell ya what's been gnawing on you---i was going to say spider?

    Hope you get better soon!

  2. Yarrrrr! Scurvy arthropods! Keel haul 'em all!

    At least you got a doc this time who was less laissez-faire about it.

    Wondering whether it's flea-bitus due to proximity to OTHER scurvy dogs... or just generally indigenous to the field where the trial was set up.

  3. Deb--good work! HOW old are you? ;-)

    Steph: Yeah, except that, as I said, this seems to be how I react to mosquito bites in various locations, just not so many at once. And dogs are only occasionally involved. Can't specifically ever say, ah ha!, a mosquito bit me there! But--what else would it be? (And I never get the other kind of mosquito lump these days.)

  4. could be fire ant bites. Do you have fire ants there? but I would think you would know if you were being bit by fire ants. They start out as a red but then usually within 24 hours get a liquid head on them. They open, then really start to itch. Takes a while for them to heal. Diana

  5. I'd ask for my money back. You could have diagnosed that your were bit by an insect and to use over the counter cream. Sheesh

  6. LOL!!! i am old enough to have had the original game when it came out---and that's all i'm gonna say about that! hahahaahahahahah!

  7. Dawn: Well, hmm. I got to where i wasn't comfortable with my own "insect bite" diagnosis" and treatment so went to them to be sure I wasn't missing anything important. Apparently I wasn't. So I paid for the peace of mind.

    Deb: Me, too! And you're right, of course, we're BOTH lying about that because we're both OBVIOUSLY barely out of, like, college now.

  8. Diana: I don't think we have fire ants--but if we did, they'd have to be following me around wherever I slept out, whether in my van or out of it. I'm still thinkin' mosquitoes and for some reason my body just reacts differently now. Hard to prove.

  9. Maybe they're fly larvae. I've been watching that Animal Planet show 'Monster Inside Me' and now every time I have a weird bump or any GI trouble whatsoever I assume I'm infested with parasites. You should have seen the cleaning operation I instituted for the gear/clothes when we came home from staying in a hotel for 2 nights last month because you know, there might have been bedbugs.

  10. I got to thinking that maybe I'd been injected with wasp larvae, especially after dear old steph pointed out on the walk last week leaf galls (from wasps) that looked just like my big red bumps. If some alien bursts out of my chest and starts eating everyone, don't say I didn't warn you.

  11. Elayne!! Ewww!! I might take that over spider bites, though...