Scottish Arachnids: Bite Me.

A while back I wrote about my gardening adventures here, where my roommate and I spent hours cleaning up our garden (and it’s time for that to happen again). And even further back, I wrote about a horrifyingly large spider I had to remove from my bedroom.

It’s time to revisit these incidences.

A little while after the gardening afternoon, I felt a sting on the side of my left knee. Didn’t really think much of it. I figured I’d been scratched by stick, or even if it was a bug bite, no big, because that happened to me all the time in America and I’d never had a problem.

Then I flew to Japan the next day.

I wonder if I hadn’t been sitting for so long with blood pooling up in my legs if things would’ve gone differently.

What did happen was when I got to Japan, I had a very swollen, purple lump on the side of my knee. It wasn’t hard, or sensitive to touch, just a blob on the side of my knee. I put some doTERRA essential oils on it (which I take on every vacation and use almost every day of my life), and I continued to put oils on it every day. This helped it to become less swollen, but by the time I came back from Japan, the bite looked like this:

So, clearly a bite, and frighteningly resembles a Lyme-diseased tick bite rash:

So I went to the doctor. Who prescribed me both and antihistamine and an antibiotic. I should write a whole other blog post about the NHS and how weird it was to go to both the doctor and the pharmacist and not pay a thing. But that’s off track.

So I take the drugs, bite seriously diminishes within four days, and is completely gone now. I examined the large bush from which I suspected the bite originated and found about thirteen spiders in a ten-second glance.

Those little devils.

In the intervening weeks, I have had to expel an additional three spiders from my home. All of which are bigger than any spider I ever had to put up with in America. I don’t know why I thought moving farther North meant that bugs would be less annoying or scary, because I really didn’t have arachnophobia before.

Then this past weekend, I went to Loch Lomond for a little hiking, little soaking in the countryside, and a little Scottish touristing (blog post on this to follow). But more arachnids had a different idea about my adventures.

Yeah. An actual tick.

The stupid thing is, I was wearing long pants and long socks. We totally tromped through the whole countryside…using a trail for only the first and last ten minutes of our three-hour hike. Then we went to the shores of the loch, where I stuck my tickless feet in the water. I did not put my socks back on (because they were wet and muddy), and somewhere between the loch and the fifteen minute walk back to the car, a tick latched on to my ankle.

Thankfully, I chose to shower right after I got home, because I was sweaty, muddy, and had sunburn I wanted to cool down (I know, there is apparently a sun in this country). I noticed the tick quickly and a faithful friend removed it for me. The tick was only sucking my blood for about three hours.

I went back to the doctor today and he said because the tick was wholly removed, and was only latched to my skin for a few hours, an infection is very unlikely (and the bite site is completely clear with no irritation). But I’m pretty sure the arachnids in this country have a thing for me. Maybe it’s like Captain Hook and the crocodile…one got a taste of me and the word spread about my sweet American blood, and now they are all after me…


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