3 December 2013

I Don't Have Fleas!

That was the good news delivered to me by my dermatologist today.

On Friday my family Doctor told me that I was certainly a victim of some kind of bites. I’d spent the weekend, along with my three pets, itching and scratching, and knew there was something very wrong. While the doctor’s office was closed for the weekend, I had plenty of time to let my imagination run wild. My rash was also running wild. All over my back,  under my armpits, and a little on my tummy. 

 In my mind, we had a huge infestation of microscopic bloodsuckers that were slowly torturing us into frenzy.  Jim remained unscathed, for which I credited his swarthy Irish skin (Plus, I’m hairier). So I showed my doctor my rash, and she confirmed that I had bites. She asked if anyone else in the house was itchy and I confirmed that they were. Her diagnosis was fleas, or dust mites, or bed bugs.  I asked if my rash was actually a bunch of bites and she said that they were.

This flea has no good reason to be so happy
My Doctor (if she really is a Doctor) is very confident in her opinions. She told me that I should call public health, and they’d tell me how to check for bed bugs.  I started imagining our house without furniture, throwing away all my clothes, and shaving the dog and two cats. It would be the worst Christmas, ever. The doctor interrupted my yuletide thoughts, ‘Here’s a prescription for a cream.’

Today I visited a Dermatologist. She took one look at me and gave me her diagnosis. 
'You’ve got Contact Dermatitis, ‘ she said.
‘I think I’ve got bites’
‘It’s not bites. It’s a rash’
‘My pets are itchy. I think I have fleas. Or bed bugs’
‘They might have fleas. You don’t. You have a rash. Your shirts are probably too tight’
‘I don’t wear tight shirts. I think I have bedbugs'
‘You don’t have bites. You have a rash.’

Then she burst out laughing, and told me that the worst part of her job is trying to convince someone that they DO have bedbugs, and this is the first time she had to convince someone that they don’t.  I showed her the cream that my family doctor had prescribed. She snorted, and shoved it out of the way, ‘That’s for babies. Use this.’ And she wrote out a prescription for something way stronger.

I waked out onto Bloor St feeling like a million dollars. We wouldn’t have to shave the pets or toss out the sofa. And even though I was surrounded by people on a busy sidewalk, I didn’t care who heard me. I took out my cell phone and dialed Jim’s number.

‘Hey guess what ? I don’t have fleas!!’