I love summer. LOVE it! Warm temperatures, the perfect excuse to eat ice cream, evening drives, afternoons at the pool, flowers blooming, crops growing…it’s hard to pick the best thing about summertime.
Unfortunately, it is a one-sided love affair. Summer does not seem to share my affections. This year, Summer has again proved her disdain for me by sending minions in the form of the irascible deer fly to cause me grief.
Two days ago, Wyokiddo and I were walking the pheasant pens, looking at the chicks and enjoying the morning. I felt a stinging at my ankle and looked down to see a deer fly attacking. I swatted and killed the demon insect with my hat and went about our morning. When we got back to the house, I swabbed the bite site with hydrogen peroxide. Like other bites I’ve gotten this summer, it started to swell and itch.
Fast forward 36 hours to yesterday afternoon. I had blisters at the bite site, my leg was swollen up to my knee and looked suspiciously like Vienna sausages. After a few disapproving looks from my mother, I caved and sought some professional help.
“Wow. That’s really weird.”
Weird is never a word you want to hear from your attending physician. But weird, indeed, it was. In just 24 hours, I had contracted some sort of bacterial infection (most likely strep or staph) through the deer fly bite that was causing cellulitis in my leg. The deeper layers of my skin were infected and wreaking havoc on most of my leg. The doctor considered sending me to the ER for intravenous antibiotics, but decided to start with a shot of antibiotics followed by a dose of oral antibiotics.
So here I sit, my foot, ankle and calf swollen to twice it’s normal size and looking very much like a Hobbit. After doing some research on cellulitis, I realize I need to be more prompt and thorough about attending to deer fly bites. In the future, I’ll come home, clean the area and apply a bandage to keep it clean. After all, I’d like my feet and legs to look more elfin than Hobbit.
And I’m wondering if maybe I was too quick to criticize winter and snow yesterday. At least my toes don’t turn into hot dogs come December…