Six days ago I told Ryan that I was getting bug bites in Annie’s room.
He didn’t believe me.
“How, then, do you explain this???” and I would point to some obscure spot on my body that had been attacked by a small critter while nursing in her room.
“That’s not a bug bite. Me and Annie aren’t getting bug bites, so that’s not a real bug bite.”
This response makes me want to pull my eyeballs out. Why in the world would I make up a bug bite? I know I am getting bitten…I feel it. They are in my hair and on my skin. I know it. I know they are. They are trying to eat our baby in the middle of the night. They want to eat all my skin and suck out all my blood. Our house is a breeding ground for fleas, ticks, mysterious south Nile virus carrying mosquitoes, and probably swine flu. PLEASE someone believe me, I am getting bug bites every time I go in that cursed nursery to nurse.
“Nope,” comes the smug response of my husband, who by the way, doesn’t get bug bites. (And this coming from the man who really does have the strange power of controlling his illnesses, his urge to pee, his need for immediate sleep or food, and other bodily functions. He really does have an annoying command over his body, saying “Jenny, you can have control over your bodily functions if you try hard enough.” This is absolutely infuriating to hear. He must be a wizard, cuz when I have to go, I have to go. Anyways, he probably can wish away mosquitoes, while I, on the other hand, practically beg them to come feast on my body.)
So back to the real story… I have invisible bug bites that no one else seems to be getting. But, seriously, I am under attack.
One night later and three hours before we have to load our infant into the car at 6 a.m. for her seventh flight I am being bitten again. This time they are everywhere. It feels like ants. My body is burning. Maybe they are invisible. Maybe I am cracking up. But oh my gosh everything hurts. I think my eyeballs are being bitten. And, maybe I’m crazy, but I think the back of my head is swollen. Is that possible?
I freak myself out. I’ve got to get Annie out of this room. We have to escape.
Everything gets blurry and I go back to the bedroom, drop Annie on the bed, and in a slightly alarmed-there might be a burglar in the house- voice say to my heavily sleeping husband, “They’re everywhere!!!!” and then proceed to strip down naked, do a dance around the room, and itch all over.
I wish I had recording of this moment.
He pops out of bed. “What’s everywhere?” “What’s wrong?” “Where’s Annie?”
It’s too late. I can’t talk. I have the lights on, I am shaking my body trying to get them off. I am looking in the mirror… my body has welts and bug bites all over it.
This… this my friends is a small victory. Real bug bites. REAL. Proof. I am cunningly happy for my present turmoil.
I get in the shower, scrub the top seven layers of skin off, get out and use an entire tube of hydrocortisone cream on my body, take two Benadryl, and drift off into a bug-free sleep.
Five hours later we land in Omaha, Nebraska.
Two Benadryl’s apparently put me into a coma. I don’t remember anything. I only hope Anniston is alive. I never even checked her skin. I just went into a naked rant of itching and craziness.
So Thursday we drove from Nebraska to Iowa, checked into our hotel for the weekend, and then went and led worship. By seven p.m. I still felt incoherent, but I made it through the evening…
Until three am when the bugs came back.
This time they got me good. One eyeball was swollen. My head had about ten knots on it. The backs of my legs were swollen and puffy. They were in my ears, under my arms, the size of dollar bills spread across my stomach; they were even in, well…unholy, unmentionable places. The worse were my fingers. This is when I felt worried. I couldn’t find my knuckles and my hands ached so badly. I woke Ryan up again. This time a little more afraid.
He sensed my fear and took care of me. Helped me calm down. Got me medicine and coaxed me into sleeping for just a few more hours before going to the emergency room clinic.
Seven a.m. it is unbearable. Eight a.m. I finally make it to the clinic. Nine a.m. the verdict is in: no bug bites.
I have been having a severe allergic reaction to my acne medicine. Emphasis on severe. They write me a prescription for steroids. I beg them for a shot instead. In my eyeball if they have to, just make it go away. They give me shots and steroids. I have hives. 28 years old and getting my first case of hives in the midst of performing three shows and bringing my infant to the middle of no-where Iowa. Hives. Really?
Ryan smiles… I told you you weren’t getting bug bites.
Men. I want to hit him but my knuckles and wrists won’t move.
Six hours later they stop itching. By Saturday they are completely gone. This morning I am headed back home to Dallas with my bug free baby and husband and one exhausted mom…
But I don’t care what the doctor or Ryan say… I am stripping Annie’s room down and methodically getting every living organism out of there before she goes back in… you know…
Just in case it really was bugs.