Thursday was in full effect when Oona and I bounced out of the island of torture immediately after my steam session and the five thank-yous from the owner (for not being a loud snobby guest complaining aloud that they have bed bugs). You are welcome #karma. We decided on the more remote Playa Popoyo along the Pacific coast to both heal and relax from four days of hell. I did notice a bite on my cheek and decided to clear it out with ocean water and copious sunlight. The water is a wonderous elixir! But the windy sandy wind sand was a whipping killer of Mother Nature’s bosom, so I was off the beach more than I was on it. I didn’t sleep a lick on the brand new mattresses because I thought bugs were crawling over me all night long, procreating. I had my flashlight ready at a moments notice…searches were never fruitful. I had found on the universal doctor, Google, that bed bug bites were often delayed. So I should expect new bites for the next two…weeks -_____-.
The windy sand had caused the bite on my cheek to scab and my inner nostril was basically one large scab; there was nothing so basic as breathing being done in this nostril. I struggled here, but it didn’t take away from the absolute stunning solitariness of this corner of my planet. Oona and I had met two guys in Moyogalpa that chose to join us on the way-out-there ride to Popoyo so we bunked with them. We were the laziest group of four humans, but enjoyed merely sitting in each others’ company and semi (for me only) breathing. It was Monday when we separated and I headed to San Juan Del Sur, unofficial young-tourist capital of Nicaragua, surrounded by sexy, tanned, fit surfers and my face was similar to a Papa John’s everything pizza. My milkshake would bring literally no one to the yard. My scab was now quite large and had little friends popping up along with bigger, more tender bites all over my body. They were significantly different from the small, long, straight lines of hive-like bed bug bites. These were both small, pus filled and scabby on my face whilst large, blotchy and red on my body. I couldn’t sleep at all due to the constant irritation. It was 100X worse at night.
Three days, repeating “antihistamine” in Spanish at least four times a day and many more facial bumps later I realized that I might not have delayed bed bug bites but something else. I left Nicaragua and crossed the border into Costa Rica with the sole purpose of going to a medical clinic. For $100 dollars (I thought this country had socialized medicine -_-) I found out that post bed bugs, I got mites that are still in my skin playing around with my immune system like a damn game of Operation! I obtained an antibiotic, scabicide and more severe antihistamine. I took my entire backpack to the laundry and had it all washed ($24…this was a lot at the time).
The skin on my face has gotten so bad that I remained in the hostel/family home for the two days I was there because people were ACTUALLY pulling their kids to the other side of the road…away from me. The humidity only exacerbated the situation, as you can imagine. I really hope my descriptive imagery has caused you to cringe a few times up to now, mainly because I find this funny, but also because you must truly feel what I was going through 🙂
I kicked everything into high gear. My Dad is a serious follower of natural homeopathic self-medication and to my initial chagrin, stocked me with tea tree oil, turmeric, probiotics, Benadryl and witch hazel. I had been a walking apothecary since November. #Thanksdad. Two days of washing my face with Dr. Bronners castile liquid soap followed by the application of almond oil on my entire face, spotting the bumps with witchhazel and lastly spraying tea tree oil (diluted with water; 7-10 drops to a full 5mL) — my face was about 95% back to normal within two days. The areas where the bumps were are now
just a little pink (still). No scars will form and it’s been two days since I got the medication. The scabicide killed the mites, but the homemade remedy clarified my face. I later mixed several drops tea tree and lavender oil with a larger spray bottle of water and sprayed everything in every room I stay(ed) in after I got the prescriptions.
*Tea tree oil is a natural disinfectant, antibacterial, anti-parasitic, anti-fungal, antimicrobial, AND a solvent — it was used before penicillin was invented and even the Australian army ensured that every soldier had a vial of the elixir (My Dad, The Walking Encyclopedia of All Random Knowledge, 2015, Edition 5).
I have used Melaleuca products most of my life, thanks to my Papa. 100% tea tree oil from Australia gives me LIFE! I basically put a few drops of this elixir into everything I use on my skin, in my hair, on my nails and on anything I want disinfected. If you don’t even own this miracle liquid, please do not let me know and instead go to Trader Joes, Melaleuca.com, Amazon or Sally’s and G E T I T N O W. You are welcome 🙂