My Scabies Ordeal (now with happy ending)
Posted in the Scabies Forum
#1 Aug 16, 2013
*probably won't help those of you applying vinyl bed cover or DE, but potentially could, read on!
SO.. Around four months ago my fiancée broke out in an area on her arm in what we assumed to be ant bites (since we have some problems with ants).. A couple months go by and I realize ants do not jump to other people, and focus their assault in choice areas (forehead, arms, general upper torso), and that if these were ants then they apparently marched in disciplined military formation, with an attack plan, and then withdrew without so much as a single corpse to prove they were present.
Two weeks ago I go to the doctor (a local ARcare place for poor folks like me) and was immediately diagnosed from five feet away with scabies. Take this cream and apply it neck down, again in a week and you'll be golden.
Didn't happen that way. The focus was on my forearms and some on my neck and under the arms. My fiancée was covered, shoulders, arms (mostly the tops), and her hands were so savaged that the skin was changing consistency, very rough and covered in bites.
After a depressing night reading posts here I went and spent thirty dollars at a local Fred's on: bleach, two giant rubbing alcohol bottles, two peroxide, borax powder, 2 baking soda, menthol body wash, white vinegar, and 400mg garlic pills (turns out the reference to them deflecting vampires refers to real-world vamps like ticks/mosquitos/fleas)..
We coated in the perm cream and were seeing new areas the next day. By this point I'm depressed and ready to die, but made the call that we wouldn't limit our physical contact just because our skins harbored evil invaders.. But her hands were so coated, I knew I'd be covered soon enough (in some super-private places, to boot).
I call the clinic and request a skin scrape and iver pills, just to be positive, because a few things were leading me in the wrong direction, listed here:
1. NO presence of any kind of burrow marks. Confusion happens here because most sources say that the burrows don't visibly present, but going off the hideous amount of bites my fiancée was covered in I couldn't see there being NO burrows visible at all.
2. The placement of the wounds didn't say scabies to me, by how some marks were well out alone like islands in the ocean. My mom said she read that scabies can only cover a short distance in a given day, a quarter inch to an inch, something.. The random sporadic marks on her legs bugged me, but I explained it away by thinking that the bastards were just getting dislodged in the bed when she curled her legs up and jumped gaps that way.
3. MY personal marks weren't spreading much. New ones were appearing, but not in the magnitude hers were, and almost all on my arms and upper shoulders. Even though I stay with her every other day and she was coated, I explained it away with the every other day thing, that I'd be that bad if I stayed constantly with her..
SO (again) I was feeling sicker and sicker every day, thinking about my mom getting it, about my fiancées two children getting it right here before school gets back in and being permanently sent home or at the least being ridiculed. My fiancée got accused of being on crystal meth by her dad, her marks were so bad.
I isolated myself from my family, no physical contact and long bouts of sitting far out in the yard for hours at a time, total death of both my hobbies and sex drive, and I had heard that temperatures over 130-135 kills them I took up holding my cigarette cherry less than a quarter inch from my skin and (harmlessly) nuking the red spots and new spots.. Grabbed a large chunk of ice from the freezer and froze them since I heard that temps of 50 or less can kill them (but wouldn't that mean the world's population of homeless scabies would die every year??). Had doubts about getting my skin's temp that low since we're so hot blooded and that something like 5 degrees core temp drop can seriously mess someone up.. Continued in next post..
#2 Aug 16, 2013
Either way, I ended up scourging my fiancées bed with bleach and spidercide, drying everything repeatedly on high heat, and instead of DE I had the menthol medicated powder. I ringed the outer edges of the bed to prevent them coming up the sides previously, but this time I also poured the powder down the cracks along both cracks between the bed and wall. I laid on the bed (in the spidercide), and basically knew it wouldn't help anything. I hadn't treated the curtain at the foot of the bed, or the whole room's carpet.. I had strangely found a small vial of military-issued 40% perm (MILITARY-ISSUE: DANGEROUS, it says) while digging through storage, and was planning on mixing it with our tube of 5%. I sat up and looked towards the head of the naked bed, and I was not alone. Three copper colored bugs sat there, staring at me. Instinctually I kill one with my finger and immediately know that this is not bug guts on my finger, it is a LOT of MY OWN PARTIALLY DIGESTED BLOOD. Big fat bedbugs. I'm guessing the menthol powder is what scared them out into the light, if not the spider and scorpion spray.. I lifted the mattress and saw them, nested centered on the box spring at the head end of the bed. The bottom half of the bed had next to none they were focused up top so much. Explained immediately why our bites were almost all on arms and head and shoulders. Freaks me out to think that every night after the light goes out and all went still and quiet, out they came, even quieter, to numb and then to feast on us. One day I thought I'd killed a spider on her back. It was one of them, late getting back into hiding. Just didn't realize then. My first thought was that these soft (and large) creatures surely couldn't have crawled all over us and ate us up this way, but google images says otherwise. For those of you who haven't acquired a vinyl bed cover, and espescially for those of you who haven't moved your bed out and looked around while suffering your scabies assault, DO SO NOW. STOP HERE AND CHECK. I scoured myself with bleach, I coated myself in shaving cream (suffocates, try it on your testicles if you got em if you want proof), burned and froze myself, isolated myself, hated myself, and felt the excruciating itch and that feeling of being invaded, for four long months. All I was doing was having around a vial of blood per night drawn from me by insectile mad doctors.. That's why the perm didn't work. That's why the advice here didn't work. I was fighting the wrong enemy while they abused me. To those of you that do apply DE and the vinyl cover, check your bedside table underneath. DARK. Cracks and crevices, book bindings and behind pictures. Any holes in the walls near your bed? Heh. I was under the impression that bedbugs were tiny mostly peaceful microbuggies that ate your leftover skin flakes every night. Had no clue that they could get so large and do so much raw damage. So NOW! I have an enemy I can see. I can kill it with my hands and relish in the fact that its blood is my blood, and it will no longer drink from me. I don't think they like perm (as much as I don't like perm), and the vinegar and garlic probably helped as well..
So now I've reassigned my bleach solution spray bottle into a rubbing alcohol sprayer, and bought a couple six dollar cans of bedbug spray (though I heard they too are growing immune and sometimes it just chases/scatters them..)
I still feel like I've got scabies. All the wasted hours beating myself up and isolating, burning and poisoning myself have ingrained. For scabies I was spraying the bedbug bite patches on my arms with rubbing alcohol and lighting it on fire. I was considering some kind of full-body submersion (outdoors) with a layer of baby oil on top (to keep the mites under the oil layer and to coat yourself in a slippery layer of oil upon standing, and then spray off outside.) Pore vacuum device, entombing myself in DE for three whole days, living in the woods naked for 4 days of perm, etc.
#3 Aug 16, 2013
First rule is don't beat yourself up. Unless you found a big vat that says "WATCH OUT! SCABIES INSIDE!" and jammed yourself into it. No one wants or asks for this kind of crap. I suppose its totally possible that I'm lucky enough to have both scabies and bedbugs. I'm disabled and our house doesn't have hot water or a working dryer so I'm already at odds against fighting em. A thought that consoled me was that my fiancées lazy and sloppy father had scabies and got rid of it with absolutely no extra care involved, granted this was ten years ago or more, and his "scabies" could have been sloppily diagnosed and was something completely different..
Another thing, MAKE LOVE. I'm forcing you to! If you and your soul mate are battling this together, don't distance yourself from them if you both have it already. All the great things you loved before this whole ordeal are all still there, intact. Still sunsets. Still new episodes of your favorite show. Still delicious meals and milestone moments. Have hope and don't give in to misery, because thoughts like that are a strong poison all by themselves. We're all going to die someday. And yeah, maybe you have scabies! But you don't have brittle bones. You don't have a hyper-severe grass allergy.
I'd like to think that well over half the folks here suffering are not suffering from scabies, but from some hidden source or from poor diagnosis. Not sure if I said so above, but my doc diagnosed me from across the room and demanded I go through 14 days of perm treatment before she'd do the scrape test, and even then they say the test is fairly inconclusive a lot of the time. I'd love more than anything to sue the doc for mental anguish and anything else that is relevant. Then I'd take the money and open a scabies recovery clinic that caters only to low-income bracket folks and the disabled or elderly.
I read somewhere (as you probably did too) that at least 1% and as much as 10% of the whole world's population has scabies. Read that there are 300 million cases a year somewhere. How many folks do you know that have had scabies all their lives? When I was wrongly diagnosed I asked around and found only two people I'm aquainted with that have ever had it, and both of them are fairly lazy people. I'm not saying give up treatment, or to become lazy yourselves, because nothing is ever won that way, no matter the battlefield or opponent.
This has also made me realize that although mankind is on the top of the superiority pyramid on this planet that there are plenty of other creatures out there that want to win too. Makes me scared to shake a stranger's hand or run my hand along the wall as I walk through public places. I'm thirty years old and my father died at 48, and this experience got me hoping I die at 48 right with him. Its a dangerous world out there, and not all enemies are openly visible. Makes you think twice about the movie theater's cloth seats and sticky floor, about yard-sale and flea market shopping, and even about nice shiny new clothes in Target.
God both bless and save us all, from everything under the blistering sun, I guess :)
Before I leave this depressing forum, hopefully for life, I have one more chunk of thought.. Anyone out there have access to quality magnifying apparatus? Seems it'd be very very helpful to be able to catch and contain these bastards and then run a barrage of tests on them. Bleach and alcohol and neem and garlic and heat and cold and suffocation and things totally as-yet untried. Hell, I brush my teeth in the shower with cinnamon toothpaste and found myself spitting into my hands when done brushing and lathering myself with it, just to see. Cased myself in shaving cream, doused affected areas with fingernail polish remover, and used a liquid glue stick to seal infected areas underneath layers of fake skin. There are still too many unknowns, and it takes special gear to fight the unseen.
Anyway, thanks, you guys. I found a mix of hope and despair here..
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