I often joke that I must have delicious feet because whenever I have my shoes off, one of my dogs aims for my toes. Today I learned that six-legged creatures also think I have tasty feet – or at least tasty ankles. While I was stringing the last of the Christmas lights on the hedges, I thought I felt pain in my foot, but it didn’t seem severe. A few minutes later, I dropped the last cluster of lights, looked down while retrieving it, and noticed that my white sneakers were covered in little moving insects. Yes, I was being swarmed by fire ants – I’d stepped in their nest.
(There was no mound. I repeat: there was no visible mound.)
I confess that I shrieked, but it was of the startled and in-pain type, not one of fear or loathing (though I felt both.) I kicked my infested shoes off on the front walk, went inside the foyer, and stripped, freaking out my dogs, who thought I was insane.
My next step was the shower, featuring cool water and lovely coconut and shea butter soap, and then I sprayed my ankle, where I saw a couple of bumps swelling, with topical benadryl, swallowed one of the non-topical sort, and put on fresh clothes, including soft white cotton socks and other sneakers.
Then I retrieved all my hastily removed garb, tossed it in the washer (added the rest of the blacks) and washed it. Twice. By this time I was willing to go back out and look at my shoes, which were now ant free. Mostly. They went into the washer too (did you know you CAN wash and dry leather Reeboks? Now you do), and everything went round a third time. Then, into the dryer. Where they remain for the moment (except the shoes).
It wasn’t until around eleven PM that the itching and burning really started bothering me, and I made Fuzzy look at my ankle, which is completely encircled by red bite marks with white pussy centers. I send Fuzzy for Neosporin (we were out) and cortisone cream, swapped the bites with rubbing alcohol, slathered them with the cream, and covered the whole mess in band-aids ™, so that I can sleep without rubbing my ankle against anything.
I was in bed for an hour and the itching wouldn’t stop so I just took another benadryl, which, hopefully, will knock me out so I can sleep.
I feel all pathetic and whiny and stupid, and it doesn’t help that I already had cramps and a backache before a bunch of insects decided my right foot would be lunch.
But there’s only one more work day this week, which helps.
And I think I’m drugged and zoned enough to sleep now.
Plus the lights (which won’t actually be turned on til Thursday)? Look damn good.