That bites.

I don’t know what about me renders me so delectable to insects, but in the past two weeks I’ve become the canvas for nearly a dozen sizeable welts. First, on my temples, a cluster of four smaller ones that were so noticeable that I wanted to rig a sign above my head that read: IT’S NOT ACNE.

Then my thoughts turned to when I lived in Colorado and came down with shingles. Did the bumps look like they were following a nerve (which is how they usually progress)? Maybe — but how does one presume the location and direction of a nerve? I vowed to track any procession of the bumps, since my Colorado physician had told me shingles was particularly dangerous if it came close to the eye. The doctor also told me three things that weren’t particularly pleasant to hear:

  1. “No, these aren’t bites. They look almost … herpetic in nature.”
  2. After the diagnosis of shingles: “We need to figure out why your immune count is so low.”
  3. “This medication is kind of expensive. Do you have good insurance?”

Fun, fun, fun. Luckily, this time they really were bug bites. And I got two more at work — pointer finger on one hand, pinkie finger on the other — which swelled up so much that I got to see what my hands would look like if I became obese later in life. That’s when I started taking what I dubbed the “Anti Cocktail” — anti-inflammatory Motrin, antihistamine Benadryl and antibiotic amoxicillin, just in case.

Just when that seemed to be working, I was awakened from a deep sleep in the middle of Thursday night because I had just been bitten so hard. This happened while I was in New York for work, so my first thought was: bedbugs!  I leapt up and stripped the bed looking for any sign, but saw nothing. Plus, I have heard that bedbug bites don’t hurt when they happen, and these certainly did. Based on the crater-sized holes these bites left, I’m blaming a big-ass spider.

Whatever was responsible, the next morning I had four red welts on my arm, and two were already weeping. I’ve spent the past few days wearing long sleeves — both from self-consciousness and as a defensive maneuver — and am seriously reconsidering some sort of citronella-based cologne. If you wonder why I look like I’m clad in some sort of modesty garment, now you know.

WHAT SAM WORE: 10-23-11
The shirt: Long-sleeved cotton button-down, from the J. Crew outlet store in Anthem.
The pants: Slim straight jeans from Lucky Brand, Chandler Fashion Center.
The shoes: Suede chukka boots by RJ Colt, from Last Chance.

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