The Tube of Awesome

After 5 days back in the comforts of home, I’ve become mildly alarmed at the state of my arms. I thought my various bites and lesions would be resolved within a few days, but here we are Friday and I still look like I have chicken pox. Yes, it’s better, but it’s still enough for me to get the stink eye if I don’t cover up when I go outside.

They’re getting better, no doubt, and within another week or two I’m sure I’ll be back to normal- but I’m over wearing long sleeves and pants. It’s in the 80s.

To add insult to injury, I was extended a very special invitation through BlogPaws to attend the Petco Foundation Annual Gala this weekend, which I am very excited about since Ellen Degeneres is the guest of honor, speaking about her work with the Halo Pet Foundation. I have to get something dressy to wear. A long-sleeved habit just won’t do for this, even if it has sequins. So do I get a formal dress and just blaze on in, bumps and all, or do I cover up like a sweaty Olsen twin under layers of bulk?

I’ve been rubbing calamine lotion and benadryl spray and whatever else I can dig up in an attempt to make these unsightly bites recede a bit faster. In desperation, I finally did something I’ve resisted for my entire career as a vet: raided my castoff pet med bin.

It’s worth a shot, I figured, rubbing some ear infection ointment on my arms. Now I will tell you this: you should never rub your dog’s ear infection ointment on random undiagnosed lesions on your arms. That is a terrible idea, I must tell you as a veterinarian. What if you had scabies and you just covered them with steroids? Or leprosy? I simply couldn’t bear the burden of you making a terrible mistake so I must insist, if you think you have chigger bites go to your doctor and get chigger bite cream, whatever the hell that might be. That is my official statement on the subject.

That being said, I had no desire to drag my sinus-inflamed self on a 45 minute trek to the doctor for her to tell me to go get some benadryl and suck it up, so yes, I rubbed Brody’s ear infection ointment on my arms. I’d like to say it made the bumps all burn terribly and blow up like mini cauliflowers, but:ย it was awesome.

My husband asked me what is in dog ear infection ointment, and to make it simple I said, “everything.”

“How come,” he asked, “there is no people ointment that contains everything?”

“Because,” I theorized, “companies make a lot more money selling you 4 different creams.” Though it could probably also stand to reason that your average human patient is a little more willing to get diagnostics done as opposed to just throwing an entire pharmacopeia at the problem and hoping something sticks.

Either way, at this point I’m more concerned about getting escorted out of the Petco event by Ellen’s security guards, convinced I’m a bioterrorism threat, than I am at the dubious intelligence of rubbing canine liniment on my arms. I’ll keep you posted on the outcome.

Filed: Amazon Cares, Blog, Health Tagged:
  • You know we all want to see pictures. If those were my arms, I’d be spraying some Vetricyn VF all over them – miracle in a bottle. Just sayin’.

    • I may have some relifor spray floating around…hmmmm…

  • Gayle

    Perhaps you could do the Princess Catherine thing and wear something with long, lacy sleeves? = air flow + some level of bite/lesion disguise

    • There you go. The lacy pattern will distract from my blotches!

  • Molly Mednikow

    Ironically I always suggest long sleeves and pants while in the Amazon to avoid sunburn and bites. I hope you heal soon, and I hope to read about some of your more positive experiences.

    • There’s no irony here. For sanitary reasons all the people working with animals had on short sleeve scrub tops, especially in a surgical environment- long sleeves would just carry disease and bugs around. I am thankful to our excellent guide for letting me know about chiggers- it was because of him I changed into pants that day in the village, and it was during surgery we were eaten up. It is what it is, the nature of this work. I’m just glad I don’t have to deal with it on a daily basis!

  • I suggest a green concealer, like the Maybelline Cover Stick to help with the redness. Then either dab regular concealer/foundation on top, or get some Dermablend body makeup to dab on top.

    • Oooh, thank you!!

  • Have you taken an antihistamine?
    Otherwise, I’m for showing off your “wounds” with pride since they have such an interesting story.

    • I’ve taken several. LOL

  • jen

    We have a topical antibiotic liquid that was prescribed to one of our goats. I can’t count how many times I’ve said, ‘ooooh, you need some of the goat medicine!’ or ‘Let me get the goat medicine for that!’ I’ve put it on everything & everyone – dogs, the kid, myself, houseguests, (goats) – The stuff is really great!

  • Tamara

    I’m going to go in a complete different direction with my suggestion…Wear a badge that says, ‘I survived 2 weeks in the Amazon’ and happily field questions from Ellen and everyone else who wants to hear about your adventure ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Love that!

    • That is a wonderful idea. I should totally do that. ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Miranda

    You shouldn’t have to go to a dr. for the chigger cream. It’s called Chiggerex and they sell it at drug stores, but make sure you get the extra strength stuff! You may have to ask at the pharmacy counter, the place I went to kept the extra strength behind the counter. I think it is basically benzocaine with some aloe and other soothers thrown in. Chiggers are evil! I was covered in bites when I visited my dad who lives in the mountains in AR.

  • Lisa W

    Hope you have a blast. I think you should go with your bites in full view in all of their glory, and be sure to tell everyone how you got them! I gotta figure that would be quite the appreciative audience. I mean really, “Yes this is a lovely event. I just got back from volunteering two weeks in the Amazon, helping animals in all kinds of areas.” You’d be as big a star as Ellen!

  • Megan

    Mmm… Animax… much like SSD cream, it’ll cure what ails ya. I think there may have been a thread on VIN some time ago I read where DVMs were putting frontline on their kids to treat their head lice; fipronil is approved to treat head lice in europe I believe. They applied one dose, and presto! no need to use those icky shampoos that sting your eyes. (I know this because I got them in kindergarten and remember how horrible that stuff was!) **DISCLAIMER** This comment in no way condones the use of medications approved only for use in animals to treat human medical conditions. I’m merely stating a funny and appropriate anecdote to the topic at hand ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Seriously, when we were treating these INFESTED animals I was saying “we should spray a little Frontline on ourselves here” and everyone laughed like I was joking. :/

  • You’re like MacGyver! ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a blast at the gala this weekend!

  • omg. i LOVE this post SO MUCH!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ you are AWESOME.

  • k

    to the little girl who once upon a time wouldn’t go to the beach because there was dirt there….i am so proud of you for skydiving out of your comfort zone to do something awesome for animals in an impoverished area where few with the skill and resources will ever go. doing such a good and charitable thing, despite knowing full well it isn’t going to be a week at the Ritz, is truly gods work! kudos to you, the folks at amazon cares, and all the wonderful volunteers who do work like this and will continue to do work like this despite the challenges and lack of creature comforts. I am inspired by all of you.