|by Rick Moore|
|What's Buggin' You?
"Hey, I know, let's go to the beach early tomorrow," Nick said. "Ok with me," I replied. So that Sunday morning we loaded up the convertible and took off. How early? Well, say about 10:30 a.m.that's early for us. Real early.
We managed to get the last Princess Parking Space five spaces from the entrance to Whiskey Beach. That was luck. Looked like it was gonna be a nice daysunny and warm. Actually, it was humid and hot ! Unloading the Z-car looks like we're camping out for a week. Too bad we can't rent a camel to carry all these beach essentials. Pink cooler, pink carry-all buggy, boogie boardwe are ready!
We set up camp with our buddies Ron and Ed, who happen to have the summer off from schoollucky stiffs.
Now it's sweating timelet's hit the water to cool off. We scamper into the ocean and there we are hit by what appears to be a low flying jet. It's one of those huge green headed fliesone of the original swamp creatures. Now I know that our state bird is the mosquito but these things come close to that honor. Yikes! We are hit twice before my hubby Nick swats the thing on my back and it falls into the water. The amazing this is that it gets back up and flies away. These things are nearly indestructible. We get out of the water, dry off, and decide to take our walk up to the towers. As we walk along we are attacked again. The breeze is blowing off the salt marsh, so there lies the problem. If it was blowing from the ocean the green heads wouldn't bother us. But today? They are truly bothersome. Walking back from the towers was more problematic. We stopped to talk to two hunky hot friends of ours, Jeff and Renard, just to chat and catch-up. Well, the flies were really a menace. We gotta get some bug repellant. While walking back to base camp, Nick was bitten approximately a dozen times. His leg started to swell around the knee, his left arm was red and raised, his ankles were bit at least 4-5 times. One of the flies bit me on my assetsthese things have no shame. Back into the water we went and still they followed us there. When we got out to dry off, it seemed that Rod and Ed hadn't had the encounters with the green heads as we did. Even with repellent on, these things were merciless. Nicky's leg had really swelled and was painful. We packed up the Camaro and headed for the hot-tub at home. The heat from the hot tub made the bites feel better. Nick was having a severe reaction to the bug bites. He was up most of the night, it was both painful and very itchy. He finally fell asleep around 4:30 a.m.
Some people don't have this severe a reaction. Insect and spider bites often cause minor swelling, redness, pain and itching. These reactions are common and may last from a few hours to a few days (as in Nick's case). But you should be very aware that some people have more serious reactions to a bug bite or a sting. These are some of the more serious signsget to know them.
Some may suffer severe allergic reactions that can be life-threatening and require emergency care. Know these signs for anaphylaxis:
1. Shock, which may occur if the circulatory system cannot get enough blood to the vital organs.
2. Coughing, wheezing, difficulty breathing, or feeling of fullness in the mouth or throat.
3. Swelling of the lips, tongue, ears, eyelids, palms of the hands, soles of the feet, and mucous membranes.
4. Light headedness and confusion.
5. Nausea, diarrhea, and stomach cramps.
6. Hives and reddening of the skin (Nicky's signs).
While we are on the subject of bug bites, nothing causes more fear then spiders. And we do have a lot of spiders in our state. Bites from a black widow, brown recluse, or hobo spider can be serious business. These guys mean trouble and must be taken care of ASAP once you've been bitten. I once was mowing the lawn and it was rather tall grass. I was bitten on the ankle by a spider and by the next day, I could hardly move my foot. An infection had set in and the doctor put me on antibiotics for two weeks. My ankle was swollen to twice it's sizeand you talk about pain?
And now lets get back to those pesky mosquitos that I mentioned earlier. The female mosquito is the one who bites you and draws your blood. They are the ones who cause the itching and rednessso don't blame the males.
Infected mosquitoes can carry viruses. The spread of West Nile Virus has been a big problem here in the US in recent years. Now, almost every state has some kind of verification of West Nile.
And this virus can kill you. It causes encephalitis which is an inflammation of the braineewww! Also, mosquitoes can carry parasitesnamely malaria, a big problem in the tropic regions. We really don't have that problem here in Delaware, thank you very much.
So back to Nickhe tried cortisone for the itching, as well as calamine lotion, benedryl, tylenol, ibuprofen, cold compresses, and heat therapy. He even tried a home remedy given to him by our client Amy Short: a poultice of baking soda paste applied liberally to the bitten areas. I feel so sorry for my poor hubbyhe's really bugged by all this.
See you all at the beachminus the flies!
Rick Moore is a personal trainer certified by the American Fitness Professionals & Associates. Visit him at www.ricksfitness.net.
LETTERS From CAMP Rehoboth, Vol. 15, No. 12 August 26, 2005