It started with a numb hip and a single red dot.
“Honey, look!” Poke, poke. “I can’t feel my hip.”
Chad looked, though admittedly, numbness doesn’t exactly show well. “Huh.” he said, uninterested.
“I’m serious,” Poke, poke. “I can’t feel this,” I continued to jab my bare hip.
“You can’t feel that?”
“Well, I can,” I tried to explain, “but it feels all pins and needles-y, like when you go to the dentist. You know.”
“Weird.” My husband is not easily ruffled by my (sometimes over-inflated) medical issues.
“It’s the spiders!” I nastily spat. We were on vacation at a rustic location with my husband’s family. So naturally, it had to be related.
Over the next couple days I continued to prod my hip and examine my bite. My side started to ache and wake me up at night. “That f’ing spider came back and brought his friends! Look!” There were several more bites, all in a circle on my hip. The more painful my hip became, the more I cursed this family vacation.
By the time we came home, those “bites” were in blistery, angry red splotches across my hip and back. I hypothesized – Poison Ivy? Oak? But it doesn’t itch. I was popping Ibuprofen throughout the day and decided I had to go to the doc. Except I don’t have one, so I went to one of those pop-in places and was officially diagnosed with “A rash of unknown origin”. Whatever. Just give me the cream so I can get rid of this damn thing!
Over the next couple weeks, my nasty rash crusted and peeled away. It was far from my mind when two weeks later my six month old daughter had two “mosquito bites” on her face. One looked puss-filled. Then another showed up on her leg. The next morning, she had ten on her head.
It took us two visits to the pediatrician to determine she had chicken pox. They don’t see it much anymore because just about everyone besides Jenny McCarthy vaccinates their kids at 12 months. But, babies can still contract it from someone with shingles. Someone like their clueless mother.