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Now that I can type at full speed again, allow me to expand on my earlier tweet this weekend that pretty much summarized my Saturday.

Tweet: I drove myself to the ER this morning and am now on a lot of medication. Curse you whatever bit me two days ago!

natalie dee

It all began on last Thursday evening. After helping my cousin unload the stuff from my car to his car, I went back into my house to find a mysterious itchy spot on my hand. Nothing but a typical mosquito/spider/”fill in the blank” blood sucker’s bite, I foolishly thought to myself. So I ate a benedryl and dabbed some hydrocortisone ointment on it as the doctor had instructed me a few weeks ago when a similar situation took place.

The next day, a large lump had formed on my hand but I was still not alarmed. I guess having had welts from previous allergic reactions to bug bites (especially from bugs east of San Francisco…..this includes Hawaii, Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong), I figured that thats just my typical reaction. Throughout the day, I slathered my hand with hydrocortisone and iced it. While it was quite obvious that this lump was growing (which I suspect was, in part, aggravated by the ice and the hydrocortisone, I remained in denial that anything was wrong.

Cut to the next morning at 6:30am…I wake up with the most insufferable itching sensation in my hand, which pretty much looked liked a balloon at this point. The swelling had consumed my hand to the point where I had no knuckles and I could not make a fist. To top it off, the swelling was slowly making its way up my fingers and down my wrist. At this point, I said to myself, “Gee wiz, golly, gosh, gosh, I think its time to seek medical assistance.”

Now here’s the tragic part of this tale. It’s 6:30am on a Saturday morning. All of my “housemates” and usual emergency contacts are either an hour plus drive away (i.e. Sacramento, Newport Beach and Salinas) or they were very likely sleeping like a rock. I resolved to take myself to the ER, even if I would need to drive with one hand. Then after about 15 minutes of trying to locate a hospital online through my new health insurance plan, I said, “Fuck it!” My GPS will sooner find the emergency room than this useless Web site. And off I went in search of a doctor.

The amazing part of this story is the fact that when I arrived at the emergency room around 7:30am, there was absolutely no body there. It was the most beautiful site that I had ever laid my eyes on (okay, maybe not but you get the picture).

Long story short, I was diagnosed with both an allergic reaction to whatever bit me and cellulitis (a bacterial skin infection that causes swelling, redness and warmth). Now I am currently on a diet of antibiotics (4 pills every day for 7 days), cortisone (2 a day for 3 days) and antihistamine (4-6 pills a day depending on the allergic reaction for about 3 days.

When I saw my brother later that night and showed him my hand, this is what he had to say: “Jeezes, what’s wrong with you. Haven’t you built any immunity to these bug bites by now?”

Three days later, I am happy to report that I can now make a fist even though my knuckles are still a little puffy.