Friday, 24 December 2010

Jungle Love

My mother advised me not to tell anyone this much less write about it on the internet….but it kind of makes me laugh.  So I hope it will at least make you smile and not like totally gross you out.  Consider this a warning (stop reading this if you’re squeamish or have just paid in full for a Costa Rican rainforest holiday extravaganza).

So when I came home from Costa Rica I had more mosquito bites than I’ve ever had in my entire life.  Like lots and lots of them.  And they were huge (in fact I was pretty sure many of them were spider bites but I really couldn’t accept that as reality because it made me want to puke).   I told my mom and showed her an example bite…her diagnosis was swift: “Those aren't mosquito bites.  That’s jungle rot.  Your Uncle Bob had the same thing when he came back from Vietnam.  It’s disgusting. You need to take care of that ASAP.”

Which is how I ended up spending my afternoon in Urgent Care giving the Medical Professionals there (and I don’t mean to brag…) one of the more exciting days in their career, and just in time for Christmas too. 

I knew it wasn’t a good sign when the first doctor looked at my leg and said, I quote, “Yuck.”  (The distressing thing for me personally is that I really just thought these were at worst spider bites – no big deal!  Makes me wonder what other terrible things about myself I am underestimating… )

After a lot of researching and several consultations they decided I have a tropical skin parasite (don’t worry, it’s not contagious, so you can’t catch it from reading this….but that’s totally disgusting, right?)  They threatened me with skin biopsies and blood tests which I already knew would make me cry, pass out, or most likely both. 

Thankfully in the end they just made frantic phone calls to infectious disease specialists for an emergency appointment.  Shockingly, they were all booked or celebrating Christmas with their families, probably trying to forget about the fact that they have to look at disgusting skin parasite diseases on a daily basis. 

This actually pleased me because the last thing I wanted to do for Christmas was drive 4 hours to meet with an Infectious Disease specialist.  It doesn’t get more dismal than that, does it? The doctors wouldn't even prescribe me any exciting drugs because most of the ones used to treat this particular kind of ailment are most often used to treat liver failure.  Bummer.

Anyway, I’m sharing this for three reasons:
  1.  To say Merry Christmas.  I really don’t have any other interesting news to share and nothing says Happy Holidays quite like a skin parasite.  I really mean it though – Merry Christmas!   Missing you and hoping you’re all having a wonderful holiday.
  2. To remind you all never to go to the mother f#%$ing rainforest.  Apparently the jungle loved me so much it decided to come home with me, which just reminds me how much I hate the bastard rainforest animals.  Just stick with surfing!!
  3. To prove to my boss that I’m not lying on my first day back at work when I say: “I am so glad to be back at work!  All refreshed and rip raring to go!!  Only problem is, seems as though I’ve got this tropical skin parasite disease thing and I need to find a specialist in Amsterdam pronto.  I’m sure that can’t be too difficult?  But I might need to take the afternoon off….”


  1. Well, thank you for not sharing a photo of your jungle creep or whatever it was. I'm sorry you had to deal with that on Christmas! I hope everything else was merry and bright!

  2. Christy,
    I'm sorry for you, really I am, but I'm laughing so hard that I'm crying. If one of my girls comes home right now, they will think I'm insane. This travel story tops the "waking up on the breast of the lady in the airplane seat next to you" story! I have to say, a picture of the Jungle Rot would have been icing on the cake! I'll hope for no permanent scarring.
    I'm hoping for an uneventful finish to your sabbatical and that you can find a good Dr. in AMS.

  3. GB, calling you right now. Woe is me. Give me a Dental Professional's breast to lean on any day over a skin parasite. At least they don't notice or mind and go away quickly. Merry Christmas...