June turned out to be the month of irony, with me practicing what I am preaching.
Then everything came home to roost. Last weekend my wife and I attempted to go camping. On the way from the car to the site – a 300 foot walk-in – we were bombarded by mosquitoes. By the time we got to the site I had been bit many, many times (wait for it) and while checking out the site we decided it was just too bad to try to stay. The site itself was perfect but the mosquitoes were crazy. We headed back to the car and by the time we got there I was feeling dizzy and weak. My wife had me lie down as I was slurring speech as well. Fellow campers got help and an ambulance came and in the end I had hypovolemic shock from the quantity of bites – mosquitoes inject you with a toxin that thins your blood so it doesn’t clot and that many thinned mine enough so I had the same effects as blood loss. When we checked my body out I had hundreds, no joking, hundreds of bites – over 30 alone on my left foot – and probably got over 200 in the half hour to and from the site. At the worst point I had dropped to a diastolic pressure of 30 and the responders were prepping the defibrilator.
In some ways it is embarrassing to say I gave in to and was taken down by mosquitoes. But, we camp usually at least twice a year and deal with mosquito bites, but this was very bad. A couple dozen over a night is one thing – a couple hundred in a half hour is another. I have since heard that many campers left the campground over the weekend due to the swarms.
Whether others pay attention or not, I know that doing this blog helped me as there were lessons I learned and/or followed that I have covered here:
- Listen to yourself. I could have tried to stay at the site and camp, but I respected my feelings and realized that it would not be relaxing and better to head home. Had we stayed at the site not only would I have gotten more bites but we would have been 300 feet into the woods for the responders to get to me and take me out.
- Listen to your family and friends. I listened to my wife as she got me to lie down and took care of me til the responders got there. Again I could have tried t0 be a ‘man’ and ignore the symptoms and pack the car up and try to drive. But I followed her instructions and let her take care of me.
- Be prepared. Before we camp every time we recheck out supplies, especially the first aid kit. My wife was able to easily access ours and get out Benadryl which may have helped.