• Tara B. Vasi

Day 10 Sri Lanka (60): Infected bug bite, Doctor’s Visit

I don’t sleep because of the bug bite. I wake up and my belly is not better, in fact the swelling has grown to the size of a golf ball. I tell Chamara I need to see a doctor. He tells me his family doctor will be available around 5:30pm. I tell him I don’t think its a good idea to wait, and can he please take me to the hospital.

We go to the hospital and I am seen immediately. The doctor is a young, handsome Sri Lankan man who speaks English very well. I show him my bug bite and he tells me that its not a mosquito bite, but a spider bite. I show him my swollen feet and ankles and he is unsure if it is an allergic reaction to mosquito bites or bites from another bug. I lay down on the bed and he pulls out a large thick needle. He apologizes and then says that this is going to hurt. He sticks the needle in my swollen stomach. I know he is looking for fluid or puss, but there isn’t any. The nurse bandages up my stomach and tells me to leave it on for two days.

I take off my pants and show him the bites up and down my legs. There’s no gown or anything to cover myself, and I don’t really care. None of the bites on my legs are as infected as the bite on my stomach. He gives me hydrocortisone cream and antibiotics. He talks to Chamara about getting me a mosquito net and mosquito coils.

I am a little emotional during the visit. The bites make me feel extremely uncomfortable.

Chamara and I talk and we share some of our troubles. I tell him that I am so grateful for the experience, but I am having a tough time transitioning to Sri Lankan life and the bites are really bringing me down. He tells me to hang in there, be strong, and everything will be ok. We get a king coconut and go back to the villa. The family tells me the bites might be coming from bugs on puppy. We still haven’t been able to take him to the vet.

I go right to bed for the rest of the day.

The electricity goes out so the fan doesn’t work.

Chamara wakes me up for some mushroom pizza. I feed and play with puppy and put myself back to bed. My belly throbs.


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