Sunday, August 28, 2016

Bug Bites, Blood and Poison Ivy

I know what poison oak looks like, growing up loving to explore the creeks and forests in Southern California. I'm not as familiar with poison ivy.

For the past few days, since Vermont, I've been noticing long tendrils of ivy-looking plants with leaves in groupings of three. Not knowing what it was, I kept steering River away from it, but inevitably, he'd find some and get into it before I could say otherwise.

And when we had the dog incident at the Green Mountain National Forest, I thought I might have walked in and stood in a patch of it, being so focused on the canine matters at hand.

But nothing really came of it, thankfully. I thought at one point I was seeing a patch develop on my right wrist. I had done my best to avoid touching River or the venomous plant, as I am highly sensitive to it. I've got horrible memories of being covered in oozing, burning, itching welts.

But I think maybe it turned out onto to be a very mild bug bite. Or, if it was poison ivy it was the very lightest application of the oils on one single spot on my skin.

A few days later, it calmed down to a single spot, making me thing it was actually a bite.

This morning, in NYC, I was in the bathroom and noticed a quarter sized red mark on my inner thigh. It was more white in the center and more red around the edges. It wasn't raised at all and it didn't itch, but it was distinct and curious.

Then, I noticed a red spot on the inside of my shorts. The splotch of blood matched the location of the red spot on my thigh when my shorts were on. I had just put these shorts on yesterday after Nia class and wore them for the drive down to Manhattan and around the apartment here last night.

I took River out for some walks, but didn't really come into contact with any 'nature' as we were mostly on Columbus Ave.

So, it's a mystery, what bit me or stung me and when and where? I did change into these shorts in an unfinished and very dusty area of the building used for storage. So I could have trapped a spider in my shorts as I pulled them on. But it's weird that the reaction doesn't itch or isn't swelling, just changing color.

I originally thought it was a small patch of fungus, but when I saw the blood I knew that wasn't the case.   I hope that I don't have anything further to write on this topic. If the mark just goes away, I won't give it another thought and chalk it up to one of the facets of the vagabond lifestyle.

UPDATE:
Just a few hours after writing this, I looked for it again and the mark on my leg was gone. I had an inspiration to look at the blood spot again and, as I suspected, it was no longer bright red, but a dark, maroon color. Which leads me to believe that when I saw it this morning, it was within just a few hours of the bite happening. The blood was fresh and wet, and now it's dry and the leg shows no signs of violation.

Hopefully, that's the end of this mysterious story.

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