Just Scratching the Surface — Beware the Lowly Chigger
I have lived a long time and have experienced the joy of being stung and bitten by a wide variety of insects. I have had allergic reactions to various agents. I have had rashes and lesions. If something can cause itching, I have no doubt been exposed to it or attacked by it.
But I’m here to tell you, there is no itch in this world like that caused by the bite of the dastardly chigger.
As revealed in my lasts few blog posts, I have taken up photography as a hobby. In order to find something interesting to photograph this past weekend, I went slogging through a nearby wildlife preserve. I managed to get a few chigger bites. Fortunately, I only got a few of them.
A chigger bite will make you want to scratch down through the skin, and any underlying tissue, and right to the bone. Often even that is not enough.
I consider myself a fairly strong-willed person. I can and have resisted all sorts of temptations both physical, emotional, and spiritual.
But I, for the life of me, cannot stop scratching these infernal chigger bites! I try. It takes every bit of will-power I have. I have to squeeze my eyes shut tightly. I have to clench my teeth. I have to sit on my hands. My eyes water. My fingers twitch, just dying to sink my nails into these maddening whelps on my skin.
As an added bonus, chiggers have a predilection to biting people in very intimate areas, so scratching in public requires much subterfuge and caginess.
Over the counter medications only offer very limited relief (usually about 2 minutes). Hydrocortisone. Alcohol. Witch hazel. Antihistamines. Vodka. Nothing works for very long.
One finds one’s self contemplating insanities to relieve the itch. “I wonder,” I found myself thinking at one point, “If I held a lit candle to my skin if that would lessen the itching?” But then realizing how crazy that sounded I sought to strike a more reasonable tone in my internal dialog, “Well, not directly against the skin. Like half an inch away. Maybe an eighth of an inch. Maybe the burning would be less distressful than this damned itching!”
Fortunately, chigger bites usually only last about two weeks. Ha ha ha ha ha ! Two weeks! Ha ha ha ha ha!
I may need to be sedated.