This past Saturday, Mr. Muse, a couple friends and I, spent a lovely afternoon-into-“prevening” on the Wisconsin River, kayaking, drinking adult beverages (Johnny Appleseed Hard Cider in 16 oz cans for me), stopping at sandbars and having discussions of the philosophical and not-so-philosophical kind. The river was packed with weekend canoist-campers, many of whom were numerous-adult-beverages-in-the-bag before we shoved off into the water. The weather was lovely, the sun came out and visited frequently in between hazy, somewhat overcast, moments and I didn’t end up looking like a wiener overcooked on the campfire.
After our friends headed home, Mr. Muse and I worked outside for a little while and I received what I thought were a couple of mosquito bites on the face. Not a big deal; being allergic to insect repellent makes getting bitten an expectation rather than a rarity. That all changed when I woke up Sunday morning looking like half of my forehead had turned Neanderthal overnight and that I suddenly developed a goiter on my neck. I tried to think if I’d been bitten by a horse fly (green or black) or a deer fly, but I knew that whatever had bitten me was small enough that I mistook them for mosquitoes. By Sunday evening the swelling on my forehead and neck had gone down and Monday morning it appeared that all things were back to normal.
Then, Monday night as I was finishing up evening chores, I stepped out of the barn with my container of scratch feed for the Happy Chickens and felt a sharp pain on my lower lip. Licking quickly out of reflex, I caught up the offender and spit it out without looking at it right at the moment I noticed the local Chief of Police had pulled in and was walking toward me with a flyer in hand. Mr. Muse had noticed the Chief pull in as well and joined us at the barn gate, chatting about this-n-that, including the reason for the flyer, and as we chatted I could feel the bite on my lip swelling larger and larger. After the Chief left, I finished up chores and headed into the house straight to the mirror where I was at once crestfallen and amused that I looked like I had just took a punch to the kisser. By bedtime I looked like I’d received a collagen injection on the right side of my lower lip.
I treated with some oral analgesic, hoping that would take care of the pain of the bite (it did), and really hoping it would help bring down the swelling (it didn’t). When I awoke Tuesday morning, I could only laugh as my normally full-kisser was looking like I was hoping to imitate Angelina Jolie’s pillowy-pucker. Thankfully, after a good hour-long stint on the treadmill the swelling had gone down considerably and as I approached lunchtime, my lip was approaching it’s usual size.
Researching online, I brought up the Sandfly/Sand Flies aka way-too-many-colloquial-names-to-list-here and discovered that if you’re allergic to their bite, the swelling I experienced was mild (some people continue to have swelling for 2 weeks!). Also, next time – I’ll dose myself with Benedryl.
So, beware my dear readers! The Sandfly Scourge is upon us! Protect yourselves!
As for me, I think it’s about time I invest in a No-See-Um netted hat for being outside while it’s Sandfly Season. No offence to Angelina Jolie, but I think her lips look better on her than they do on me.