Am I going to be able to climb walls?
July 25, 2012 7:17 PM Subscribe
I've had two weird similar incidents that appear to be bug bites/stings
. I have lived in Minnesota all my life, including in the far northern rural area, and never had anything like these. You are not my doctor, but maybe you've had similar issues and have an idea of what is biting/stinging me?
posted by superna to Health & Fitness (16 answers total)
Likely places I may have encountered biting creatures: my ancient house, gardening in my yard, urban nature preserve/park I go to with my dogs. My husband has been to all of these places with me and has suffered no similar bites. I do water the plants more often than he does, so am regularly digging in the shrubbery to position hoses. I also am more likely to have a dog sitting on my lap.
Progression of the first incident 4 weeks ago-
* Mildly itchy spot on the inside of my right forearm. Don't recall any noteworthy bite or sting. Since this is Minnesota, assume mosquito bite. Try to leave it alone.
* Becomes hard itchy lump (smaller than pea sized). Try to leave it alone.
* Red area roughly the size of a quarter develops around lump, even more itchy. It is slightly firmer than surrounding area. Start using Benadryl cream on it. Also fighting a nasty cold at this point, so taking cold remedy including antihistamines too. Give in to urge and scratch a few times. Tiny blister in middle of lump bursts, a few tiny drops of clear liquid ooze out.
* Next day, red area has spread to 3 inches diameter, starts to look like a streak is heading towards my elbow. Worry about possible infection, go to urgent care.
Doctor notices rash is starting to look vaguely like a bullseye (red center, lighter ring, red area), and diagnoses possible Lyme Disease.
He explains that besides the rash, I have other early Lyme symptoms (fever, fatigue, headaches, cough), but they overlap with cold symptoms, so could just be the cold. He orders a Lyme test, but explains that because it detects antibodies, not Lyme bacteria, it is often negative in early stages. So regardless of results, he wants me to take 2 weeks of doxycycline. Test results are negative.
By the time I finish the antibiotics, the rash is gone, except area where lump was is still darker than surrounding skin. My cold is also cleared up.
Now this week (10 days after finishing antibiotics), another bite has appeared on outer side of my right forearm.
I first noticed it yesterday as a lump, this morning there was a red firm itchy spot I could cover with a quarter, by this afternoon, it extended about a centimeter around the edges of a quarter. Couldn't stand it this afternoon and scratched a little, same deal with a tiny blister in center of lump.
I understand that people with Lyme disease can get additional bullseye rashes away from the original bite, but this really seems to be centered around another bite, not just a rash. Do I have mutant spiders living in my shrubbery? Are new bugs moving in to the Twin Cities area that I've just not encountered before?