Psst. I've got scabies.
I knew it was the scabies as soon as the symptoms presented itself! I was back East, and outdoors, and dead asleep in a hammock for a while by the sweet verge of a salt marsh overlooking the delicious profile of Atlantic City (or as they call it, a skyscape, or something), when I was inadvertently feasted upon by mosquitos. And then sure enough, the very next day (or perhaps, even earlier): The Scabies.
It went away pretty quick. A week or so. I thought I'd use neem oil on it, but I didn't get the chance. I think me thinking about neem oil all the time might have exerted a deleterious placebo-style effect on the scabies themselves. They were soon rendered unable to effectively scabe, and then it was just a case of waiting for the scabes to dry up and flake off (scabs from scabies are called scabes). I probably shouldn't have scratched those mosquito bites. I knew that could lead to scabies! Or I was pretty sure, but I guess I kept scratching anyway. No self-control. It was pretty bad. My legs in particular looked awful. That is the sad horror of scabies. I kept telling people it was just mosquitos. I wore shorts deliberately, so as to have the opportunity to explain without lifting my pants leg.
And then when I got back home, of course that's when the real nightmare began. The nightmare of scabies. Because unlike some people, scabies doesn't just go away when you think a lot about neem oil. No. Soon you slack off, you forget to think about neem oil, and then it comes back. And each time it comes back, it comes back more resistant to being thought about in conjunction with neem oil. It's a crafty, vile affliction, is scabies.
It has come back twice, and each time it has come back, it has presented symptoms in the same fashion: after a long tub soak, later that day and the next day my skin will be all dried out and my whole body itches. Scratching doesn't do any good: it refuses to raise the tell-tale bumps. This is an unusual presentation for scabies - which just goes to show its craftiness. Normally one would expect the bumps and scabes so typical of scabies, or of over-scratched mosquito bites. But no, this scabies has gotten a little too hip to its own game. It knows I've been reading up on it.
That's right! I've been doing my homework. I was planning to seek out conventional medicine after the neem cure failed, the third time it came back (sorry, second time it came back - the third time total that it presented symptoms). I always use the internet before I go in to see the doctor, so I can thwart his monopoly on knowledge and press him hard to give me the treatment I deserve. But in this case, it's an especially good thing that I checked the internet first! Because, on site after site, people who clearly, inarguably, definitely had scabies were complaining that their symptoms and scabies were being dismissed by the conventional medical establishment, and that they were instead being viewed as having psychiatric problems.
So I'm glad I found that out. Now I'm not sure I want to go in to see the doc at all. I don't need some doctor to tell me that!
I think I just need another good long soak in the tub.