The Consequences of Scratching Bug Bites

May 24, 2010
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Everyone scratches their bug bites. Who doesn’t? They itch, so we scratch them. Simple enough right? Well everyone who scratches their bug bites got lucky. Because here I am, lying in a hospital bed getting surgery because I scratched some bug bites.

About three days ago I was lying down in the grass with my soccer team before practice. When I got home I found bug bites all over my stomach and legs. But they were just bug bites so I wasn’t worried.

The next day they were itching like crazy. So obviously I scratched them. The burning sensation of tethered skin followed, but in my mind, it was better then the unceasing itchiness.

Days went by and a specific two bug bites started growing in size. The one on my thigh felt heavy and made it difficult to walk, as if it was pulling me back. I was dragging myself around, every step being strenuous work when finally the pain was too much. So it was time to go to the Children’s Hospital.

When we got there, the lady told me I would have to get the staph infections surgically drained. Wait. Staph, INFECTIONS?
“Ma’ am? What do you mean, staph infections? I only have one. It is that big thing on my leg.”
“Oh no sweetie, see that thing on your stomach? That is staph too.”

Thoughts were flying through my head. But they were mostly centered on the subject of pain. Pain… tears were welling up in my eyes but no matter how hard I tried to shake them off, there they stay. Gathered into a stream across my eyes.
Then the doctor called my name. They put me in a wheel chair once they noticed how much pain I was in when I tried to walk, and then they pushed me into the room.

It was white. Too white. That kind of sterile clean hospital room color that brings up the thought of surgery. Pain. Death. I placed myself on the bone chilling table and they told me they were going to num my leg and stomach, so I calmly replied, “Ok, awesome.”

They come back with an enormous needle. And my heart started to pump unnaturally fast.
Now let me just clarify something. These two staph infection hurt even when nothing was touching them. A staph infection is an infection where a wound or bug bite gets opened up and staph gets inside and infects the area. It usually hurts very bad to the touch, so I knew this wasn’t going to feel very good.
Pain. Searing pain that exploded through the inside of my leg. The feeling of knives consecutively being driven into my wound. Tears were quickly spilling out of my eyes. This was a kind of agonizing pain I have never felt before, and all they had numbed was my leg. One down, one more to go.
When they told me they were done with my leg, and had to get the needle for my stomach, I replied with a shaky monotone voice,
“Honey I am sorry, I know this hurts.” Said the lady who was doing my surgery. And with triumph in my voice I said. “Ya gotta do watcha gotta do.” With surprise and satisfaction in their voice the many people who were working on my leg said, “Well you are definitely the bravest patient we have had in a long time. Thank you so much for the cooperation.”
So I went through the awful stomach numbing and I got the surgery. That followed with 12 weeks of recovering. Every other day having to go to the hospital so they could clean and pack the hole in my leg and stomach until my mom could do it herself.
The point is, injuries come and go. It isn’t the end of the world, though it does feel like it. But if there is any advice I can give to you right now, it would be…


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