I’m not sure WHAT bit me and/or whether or not it had to do with being bit in one of the few… ummmmm… publicly-accessible areas of my body, which would be under my watchband on the left wrist (I’ve have worn a watch virtually EVERY DAY since I was five — and since I got my first “skin-diver’s” watch and most watches after THAT one were “water-resistant to 10-meters,” this INCLUDED in the water), but IT HURT!!!
I was sitting on the couch in the condo in Molokai when it happened. There shouldn’t have been ANYTHING to bite me there (I’m generally not really tasty to mosquitoes). It might have been an ant, strange as that might sound, but the place had a really aggressive bunch that would move through in the evening, but generally be gone by daylight (or eaten by the geckos that have the more-welcome run of the place as well).
But swell I did. Angry, fast-growing welt. Itchy. If I didn’t feel I knew better, I might have thought I had been stung by a very small bee.
I HAVE been an Army medic long enough to know diphenhydramine (generic for Benadryl, an antihistamine) is GREAT (even life-saving, if you have a sensitivity to certain insect bites) for this sort of thing. I happen to have some (it’s also a good non-narcotic sleeping aid – two 25-mg tablets or capsules is one Nytol – for those times when sleep doesn’t come as easy). One 25-mg capsule of diphenhydramine (wanted to stop itching, but wasn’t interested in a nap) was enough to arrest the process. Less-itching IS a GOOD thing.
But the swelling remained – and as we were going somewhere, I wanted to wear my watch – and wouldn’t you know it – the clasp was RIGHT over the welt. And THIS was uncomfortable 🙁
Now I know what you’re thinking – “why WEAR the watch, then?” Remember this is something that I’ve done since I was five, so THAT’S unnatural to ME – and that is nice, tender, white flesh that (I learned the hard way once) will BURN almost INSTANTLY, even if I put SPF 1000 on it (yes, I’ve heard about the whole “SPF” rating controversy thing – please no cards or letters – I’m over-exaggerating, of course – but I DID slather stuff all over that space once when I was forbidden to wear a watch to the pool when I was on vacation once and it fried).
The “Pony Perfect” solution: lavender oil. Yeah… ummmmm… sure (she’s “in” to those “natural remedies” and while I know that many work, I’m in to “better-living through chemistry” – plus it chemistry works faster – usually).
But I’ve been around Pony long enough to know not only to NOT mock such remedies, but to actually TRY them first. THEN mock.
Well, whaddya know? It DOES work. Itching completely relieved. Swelling started going away and the welt all but disappeared the following day. And, surprisingly, bees did NOT flock to me, as expected 🙂
So THIS goes in to the “miscellaneous lessons learned” file! It really DOES work!
Lavender oil has a number of uses, according to a quick look on Google – however, it DOES have side-effects and interactions when taken with other medications, especially sedatives. These include sedatives given in surgery. Like ALL medications and supplements, make sure your doctor knows ALL the things YOU take – including herbal ones (it is recommended, for instance, that lavender oil use be discontinued two weeks before surgery). When in doubt, consult your doctor or pharmacist.