Lessons from the strangest places

Adam and I went to dinner at our friends Erin and Pete’s house. They are our college friends and I am always so happy to be reminded of how meaningful and pure those friendships are. It doesn’t matter that we haven’t seen each other often over the past few years, it doesn’t matter that we’ve taken on completely different careers or make different kinds of incomes… when we hang out again, it’s just like the old times. We’re different yet the same. It’s awesome.

Those guys cooked the most amazing dinner for us and I have a whole new post inspired by it brewing in my mind (actually several posts!), but what also happened was me being bitten by a million mosquitos as we were enjoying our dinner al fresco.

mosquito-bites-cartoon<—Me at dinner!

… and it’s gotten worse over the past few days. Crying face I have very little flesh left in the tops of my legs and knees down I look like a leopard. It’s not pretty for sure.

I haven’t slept much last night and now my whole lower half is burning. I’m restless and vulnerable. And I’m reminded of how things can get ugly (literally) at a moment’s notice. Last week I worried about my big thighs. Right now I‘d kill for the smooth, blotch-free skin on those big thighs. And things could be even worse! Gives me some perspective for sure.

I’m also learning that I get to choose how to handle these unexpected events. I am not a happy camper, I’m not going to lie (it’s the craziest problem!). But I’m also not turning to food. Food will not make me less itchy or less blotchy. Food can only feed me or create a new problem (like stomachache, guilt and/or weight gain). I choose to say no to abuse with food. I deserve to take care of myself during this time, not create further pain!

Have you ever had crazy mosquito bites? Do you turn to food when things unexpectedly turn sour?

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32 comments to Lessons from the strangest places

  • OMG, I’m always the one with a million bug bites! Last Friday I got 4 big ones after being outside 30 minutes. So Sat, I decided I could one-up the bugs and I sprayed myself from head to toe. I ended up with two bites on the BOTTOM OF MY FEET! It’s crazy. The Benadryll creme really helps the itchiness for me.

  • Mosquitoes love me. I get horrible bites and end up having to put Benadryl cream on and take some at night or I will literally itch myself in my sleep. So sexy 😉

    • Elina

      Hehe, the first night I didn’t have benadryl so I literally covered my legs in toothpaste (I read online that it helped some people). That’s sexy right there! (and sticky… ew)

  • I got AWFUL bites on my honeymoon. It would have ruined my trip if it wasn’t, you know, my honeymoon and it was still Kauai even if it was itchy Kauai. So I have BEEN there. I am trying, really hard but often unsuccessfully, to not turn to food for things that food won’t solve…like stress, sadness, anxiety, etc. I also have a lot of trouble lately saying no to good food when it’s in front of me…and due to tons of parties and events, it’s in front of me a lot!

    • Elina

      I think a lot of us have the same problem. I’m trying to get the “no reaching for food while I’m in a negative emotional state” thing down first… I’ll worry about overeating at parties next. Baby steps! I think it helps to go to parties with the right attitude… no negative talk. Just enjoy the food and stop before it hurts!

  • Oh no. That sounds awful! I haven’t been bitten too badly this summer… but I do feel your pain. Have you tried calamine lotion or Benadryl? I know it’s too late now, but I keep seeing those commercials for the clip-on bug repellent and was thinking it would be a good thing to pick up if I were going to be hanging outside. Hope you get better soon!!

    • Elina

      I’ve tried cortizone 10 gel (useless) and the bendaryl spray (better) + claritin during the day and benadryl at night. I’m going to try to stay away from bugs for a while… but it may make sense to buy one of those clip-on thingies anyway. I’m sure I’d be the coolest kid at the party with that one 😉

  • Word to the wise though…I know it’s SOOO hard but don’t scratch and if they blister, don’t pop them like crazy. I was really bad about it, and I still have some scars from my bites, and my trip was well over a month ago. Oh well, memories, right?

    • Elina

      Not exactly the kinds of memories I was hoping for 😉 I’ve been a good girl with scratching so far… it’s getting better (a week later!)

  • I get bit like crazy. It’s no fun, I feel your pain.

  • I was a mosquito feast a couple of months ago, and yeah, I know what you mean by just wanting your normal, non-itchy-like-crazy skin back!

  • Erin

    I’m SO sorry :( Let’s blame those coals that wouldn’t get going fast enough. Pete’s feet and legs are all bites too. Next time we’ll hide in the screened in porch!

  • DeeDee

    That is total misery, but that is great that you are taking care of yourself. Mosquitos love me too, the only time they don’t bite is if I’m on a sugar detox…they will land on me and just leave! I guess they are sugar addicts just like me!

  • After working fourteen hours today, I definitely turned to food when I got home – for good or for bad. Tomorrow, will be a better day. :-)

  • I actually plan vacations by knowing where they do NOT have mosquitos. I’d rather have my eyes gauged out with glass than have mosquito bites. Well, perhaps that is an exaggeration. I actually got one here in Palm Springs- mosquitos aren’t even allowed here!!

    I have to try not to eat in response to small life problems. For big life problems I have no appetite at all.

    Glad you are taking care. <3

  • I get major mosquito bites every summer, not fun at all!

    I was actually thinking last night about stress eating (after eating to deal with mine) and about how there is really no upside. It just never leaves you feeling good.

    • Elina

      I think we go to it for a reason… it is calming, if only for a few minutes… and it’s comfortable. But it’s important to learn new ways to deal with things. I hope it gets easier for all of us!

  • Oh no! That sounds so uncomfortable. I can commiserate: a few months before our wedding I broke out in hives for a couple of weeks (I have no idea why… I didn’t feel stressed at all!). All of a sudden, I was less worried about how my arms would look in my wedding dress, and was more concerned that my chest and neck would be spotted with red bumps for our wedding. The hives went away on their own, and I was more than appreciative of my clear skin on the big day (and I didn’t think twice about my arms ;). You’re so right that sometimes we learn lessons in strange ways and in strange places.

    I hope you feel better soon! Have you tried any remedies for the bites? Eucerin makes an itch-relieving lotion that works pretty well.

  • I recently had a similar experience and my legs looked crazy, splotchy red and swollen and I totally freaked out. The thing that helped standing in cold water shower and then calamine lotion.

    None the less, glad to see that you recognized that food wouldn’t help.

  • I went out last night to help my neighbor (90yrs old) take out her trash and I was attacked by those pesky bugs! Usually I would mind, but at that moment I decided to enjoy the 10 minutes I was talking with her. I walked away from our short conversation with great advice (and tons of bites). But she told me to always be patient in life and to enjoy each moment. Suddenly, those bites didn’t bother me last night because I was taking in every word she said and being present. :)
    Are you going to the HLS? I would love to meet you!

  • I always tell my boyfriend that he must be very sweet because the bugs LOVE him. 😉

    Great, positive realization that came from such a simple situation!

  • When we went to Grenada, Eric got something like 93 mosquito bites. We counted.
    I hope your bites are better and that you are getting ready to have a wonderful weekend!

    • Elina

      I actually started counting too… I had 37 just on my left foot and ankle. I think it was in the hundreds between the 2 legs. It’s getting better although I still have to wear long pants/jeans in this heat :(

  • Holly

    OMG!!!! I hate mosquitos!! I went to the mid west to visit my folks 3 weeks ago and they still itch! BOO!!

    So glad to be back in California where there are very few buggies!!!

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