Friday, July 25, 2008

Revenge of the euphorbia: Part II

To be honest, this post should really be entitled "A full-bodied whine". I'm feeling extremely sorry for myself, so if you think you might find this tedious, stop reading right now.
It is now three weeks since I burned my leg on some euphorbia sap in the garden. The painful swelling subsided after about a week on antihistamines, leaving the red mark that you saw on my earlier post. However, the burn then suddenly flared up again, this time becoming not only swollen but also incredibly itchy. I took the antibiotics the doctor had prescribed as well as the antihistamines and eventually, it went down again. All you can see now is a faint red mark, from mid-calf to ankle, on the outside of my left leg and a little bit of swelling that only I can detect. (In other words, my husband says it's just my imagination.) I finally finished the last of the antibiotics - a 10-day course - last weekend with a sigh of relief.
I awoke this morning to find that a small midge bite behind my left knee, which had been a mere pinprick yesterday, was now an angry red lump as big as my hand. Went to the doctor - again - and was sent off hotfoot (or rather hot knee) to have a blood test that would "determine my allergy status" before they decide how to "manage" these reactions. Steroids; steroids plus antibiotics; antibiotics plus superstrength antihistamine: what a tempting selection of pills and prescriptions lies ahead.
The midge bite is probably my fault for not covering myself in Deet before I went into the garden yesterday evening. The trouble is, if you're a keen gardener, you tend to think: "Ooh, while I've got five minutes spare, I think I'll water those cuttings." You don't think: "Ooh, while I've got five minutes spare, I'll run upstairs and cover myself in Deet, and by that time the five minutes will be up, and anyway I'll have been distracted by a chore, or a child, and I will forget all about the cuttings."
I'm now armed with prescription superstrength antihistamine, and I'm starting to stink of Deet, which is just as well, because in my more wimpish moments, I'm almost scared to go into the garden. You know, I'm beginning to see the point of burkas...