Image courtesy of Dan/freedigitalphotos.net
First of all, this is not medical advice. I am not a doctor. I am listing what I do – not what you should do. See a doctor.
That said, I am an insect magnet. You know, one of those people that will get bitten or stung 10 times while everyone around them is commenting on what a nice night it is. Fleas will jump off dogs to get to me. Add to that, I have moderate insect allergies. I am defining moderate as bad enough to go to the ER, but not fatal. My definition of moderate, if you don’t like it – bite me. Unless you are a mosquito.
I have a whole plan in place for when I get bit.
1- Complain loudly to everyone around you. Make sure you get plenty of sympathy and attention. Yes, people will roll their eyes. If it is a bee sting, pull out the stinger. Any way is fine. Your fingers work fine.
2- Break out your insect bite case. Oh yeah, I got one. Currently just a 5 year old ziplock, but I thought “insect bite case” sounded better than ziplock baggie.
3- Apply “After Bite” to the site. Go buy this med, or a generic version now. I’ll just wait here. Or try a paste of baking soda and water. Or meat tenderizer. Or whatever else you google.
4- Take an antihistamine like Benadryl (diphenhydramine). Yes, you will be too sleepy to function. Sorry.
Do not, under any circumstances do what I did 3 days ago, and take 3 pills at a time. Then have your wife ask for one and be so wonked out that when you go get it for her, you become confused as to why you have a pill in your hand, and take that one to. Evidently I became disoriented and wasn’t coherent. My wife, in true ICU nurse fashion, told me to stop talking and go to sleep.
5- Take an anti-inflammatory like Ibuprofen. You know, ’cause it is anti-inflammatory. And it reduces the pain.
6- If it still itches pull out the hydrocortisone cream. And the diphenhydramine ointment. And the lidocaine gel. Rotate through them as it itches. Do not scratch. Yeah right. The first two you can buy at the dollar store. The lidocaine gel needs a prescription. I don’t know why. What the hell do they think you are going to do with it? I think every parent should get an annual tube of lidocaine 5% gel every year. But maybe that’s the Benadryl talking.
7- Apply an ice pack if you need it.
Now you should be fine. Unless you are me. Then the progression is – get stung by a bee while riding your scooter home from work. Swearing is allowed. Realize your next week is worthless. Do all 7 steps. Wait a day. Get sicker. Go to work. Have your coworkers send you to the ER. Be diagnosed with cellulitis after 5 hours in the ER. Remember that you work with docs – you should have just got one of them to look at it and write a prescription. Worry about the co-pay. Assume it is MRSA. Get on 2 oral antibiotics. Go home. Get sicker. Go to urgent care. Get a shot of another antibiotic. Start steroids. Have the steroids kick in. Write a blog post. Love me some steroids.