I don't have fleas!!!!!
....I'm just allergic to them...
I've had this obnoxious rash for about 5-6 days now. It's itches really bad and the doc of course can't really tell what it originally looks like because I've scratched myself to bits. It looks oddly like chicken pox...pre-scratched...but I've already had the chicken pox so I'm pretty sure that's not where it is. I've missed 2 days at one orphanage and 1 day (today) at another at the other orphanage because I wasn't sure what I had and didn't want to be case zero of adding another complication to the orphanages.
I had stopped by the Emergency Department (mostly cause it's functions as an off hours clinic) Saturday late afternoon. They kept calling the dermatologist to come in to check out my gruesome scratched up rash, but weren't able to reach him. I'd also been kind of short on breath, but they didn't even listen to my lungs. I was sure to emphasis that I wasn't worried about the rash as much as I was about being so short of breath. Oh well, I went home and thankfully they didn't charge me.
Went to the derm today turns out he thinks I'm having a systemic reaction to few flea bites. he says the rash doesn't really look like bites themselves but that is looks similar to a rash many people not native to Ecuador get when they have an allergic reaction to a flea bite here. Apparently, it's not uncommon. BLAST my awesome, over-active, immune system. It's kind of scary to think I could be having a reaction to something enough to effect my breathing. I can't imagine having asthma and dealing with this on a regular basis. My reaction-breathing wise-is not bad. It's tight and makes it hard to sleep and it's a little tight all the time. In the ED on Saturday they wanted to give me a shot of benadryl, which I declined. I found out from the derm that you can't get Benadryl in pill form in Ecuador....good thing I brought my own!
So it'll be 7 days of steroids (16mg- it sounds like a hefty dose, but I think I'm just used to peds dosing) and Benadryl for at least 10 (that's what the doc said but I'm one of those non-compliant, self-diagnosing nurses that will take just until I feel better and then as needed :) ). Oh and this wonderful cream (I think it has atarax in it) that instantly made me feel better-itching wise. Lungs still tight.
After the doc told me I could try to debug my place but he thinks with the few bites I probably got them from a stray dog rather than my bed, especially since I itch all the time and not just at home or at night and he couldn't find any actual bites. Then I mentioned I work in the orphanages, one of which is particularly dirty and he then became concerned that it might even be scabies because those are fairly present in orphanages he says. If I don't feel better in 7 days or it gets worse I go back to get treated for scabies.
I think the doc is probably initially right with the allergic rash since he's seen it before he says and because my lungs are tight. But I'll let you know if I turn out to be scabies infested.
Either way, fleas or scabies....
Just take this as evidence that I am huggin' and lovin' these wonderful kids :)