It was meant to be a great week. John and I had not been on a vacation for 20 years! When we decided not to divorce one of the things I asked for was to go to the beach, something I had been promised year after year.
It was off to a great start! The resort was wonderful. We went to an all-inclusive for the usual reason of not wanting to do anything except eat, drink and sunbathe. We saw the dolphins and snorkeled. We ate a lot and drank a lot.
One night we went to a little market that the resort set up with locals to sell us tacky stuff. It was perfect for John. He got a Bronco tiki mask and a three legged stool with Harley Davidson stamped on the leather seat. Of course, that went downstairs with the Harley Davidson side table and the Jack Daniels wooden keg.
After we got home, I left the next day to fly out to visit Emily and the children. It took me a little while to settle in. I had “travelers’ diarrhea” so I wasn’t much fun or good to anyone for a couple of days. After that settled I started to itch. At first I thought it was mosquito bites, but more kept appearing and the itching was driving me crazy! So much so that I went to Urgent Care. Have you guess yet? Yes… I had scabies!!!
In case you don’t know what that is, here is the definition: “Known as the seven-year itch, is a contagious skin infestation by the mite Sarcoptes scabiei.” It is highly contagious. The treatment is EVERYONE that I had come in contact with had to put on a special prescription cream to kill the eggs. Ewww! It still makes my skin crawl (no pun intended) to describe it.
I know none of you know my daughter, Emily. Let’s just say she is a little bit of a germophobe and so is her husband. As you can imagine, being infested with a parasite didn’t go over too well. I not only felt like Typhoid Mary, I was treated a little bit like her. Everyone, including the baby, had to be treated with cream. We washed all of the sheets, rugs, everything that I may have touched. I couldn’t hold the baby or hug my granddaughter. I was pretty miserable.
I still don’t know where I picked it up. It could have been in Mexico or in the airport. I guess I’ll never know.
I’ve only told my family about the scabies. Even though it wasn’t my fault, I still feel a bit of shame. I believe it was caused by what my mother said when I contracted impetigo, “Oh, isn’t that a dirty disease?”