Loathsome Sores

This latest attack ranks high on the scale of torturous annoyance

    Did Job ever get chiggers?     

    Let’s go to the book, Jerome. . . .

    Yes! In fact, it’s the first plague to have been visited upon him by the Lord.

    “. . . So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord, and inflicted loathsome sores on Job from the sole of his foot [check] to the crown of his head [check — well, shoulder in my case]. Job took a potsherd [there being no cortisone cream in those days] with which to scrape himself, and sat among the ashes.”

    Well, there you have it. My case doesn’t quite measure up; there is shit and then there is deep doo-doo, as I said last week. But, whether chiggers or tick larvae, this latest attack ranks high on the scale of torturous annoyance.

    I was prescribed a dermatologic cream and a low short-term dose of prednisone, which had Mary scouring health Web sites for the side effects, which, in some cases, she reported, were dire.

    When, in reviewing that long list she mentioned “unwarranted happiness,” I said that didn’t sound so bad to me. And, as for skin easily subject to bruises, I already knew I was thin-skinned.

    A subsequent, albeit unscientific, poll I conducted, however, tended to support her view, and I resolved to stay off the prednisone if I could.

    Meanwhile, a co-worker, alarmed at my announcement, advised an application of Rid to be followed 10 minutes later (once it was washed off) with an application of clear nail polish over each bite. As we talked, the infernal itching rose to such a high level that I leaped up from my seat and, barely excusing myself, ran the 440-some yards from the office to White’s pharmacy in what I think was record time for a 73-year-old.

    Last night, at around 12:30, when the itching around my ankles became so insistent that I knew I — a heavy sleeper normally — wouldn’t sleep otherwise, I downed half a pill with a banana and went back to bed, hoping that I wouldn’t find myself blind on awakening.

    It’s morning, and as far as I can tell I’m on the mend and inclining in the general direction of unwarranted happiness. So, for now, I’ll spare the Lord a remonstration.