Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Fire ants

For the past several days I've been suffering the effects of getting bit multiple times by those little bastards known as fire ants.

I got bit on Sunday (while putting up signs), and now it's Tuesday, so that's three days worth of suffering. Three days of hell.

You should see my hand.

I have a stronger than usual reaction to fire ant bites--to the point where you can literally see the pustules growing. I used to carry a bottle of vinegar in my truck in the event I got bit, because I'd read somewhere that rubbing vinegar on the bites can neutralize the stings. (It works if you do it immediately.) I actually did it once, and to my amazement, it worked. Somewhere along the way, though, I got rid of the vinegar, and I suffered for it Sunday.

And Monday. And Tuesday.

Right after I got bit, I ran across the street to a convenience store, frantically searching for a bottle of vinegar, knowing I had only about a minute, at the most, to neutralize the stings.

No vinegar at the store, dammit. So I bought a bottle of Tabasco sauce. And walked outside. And poured it over my hand. (Tabasco has vinegar in it.)

But it was too late; the pustules were already growing.

My friend Bill suggested I put salt over the bites to draw out the poison. (Why not?) So I walked back inside the store, got some salt, walked back outside and poured it all over my hand. Anyone wandering by at that moment would have thought I was crazy: my hand was now dripping with Tabasco sauce, and covered in salt.

Monday at work I was totally nauseous. I couldn't eat. I had chills. The toxins were taking their toll.

I went to the health food store after work and got a bottle of the most potent stuff they had for colds and flu. It tasted like poison, but I was told it would work for ant bites. I went right to bed after sipping that horrible stuff. I was exhausted.

Tuesday I woke up feeling 50% better. By Tuesday afternoon I was 80% better. As I write this I am 90% better. With every key stroke, though, I am reminded how much my hand itches, and how much I dislike fire ants.


Anonymous said...

sweet patric!! i'm so sorry to hear of your ordeal :(

i miss you -- damn the fire ants!!!

**kisses top of your head and then shakes fist in general direction of FL and its ants


Patrick said...

Thank you, Elle.

We need Congress to appropriate billions of dollars to the eradication of fire ants. You can hopefully get that started in Virginia...

**draws a circle around your kiss and keeps it offlimits from anything that might make it disappear.

Wrath said...

Oh man, Patrick, that is so not cool !! I agree, fire ants should be illegal in all 50 states. Glad you're okay, dude.

/me hands you a bottle of vinegar to keep in the glovebox.

Patrick said...

Thank you, Wrath. I will keep your bottle handy. I may drink it even if I get lost in the Mojave while driving!