Thursday, December 17, 2009

Days 2 and 3 and 4: Battle of the Bugs

Our first couple of days revolved around Egan and his apparent allergy to mosquitoes and/or sand flies. We woke up on Wednesday to find his little face and arms dotted with several red insect bites. They weren’t too bad but it was enough to break down and put the dreaded DEET on him before bed. We had asked around about mosquito netting but there wasn’t any to be had on the island. Confident in the science of the DEET, I let him just wear short sleeves and short pajama bottoms to bed. Big mistake. Thursday we woke and both of his forearms were exploding with blistery bites. Also his hands, fingers, feet and face. A few on his calves. It was B A D.

I took him immediately to the local doctor and it went like this: I walked two blocks on the sandy road carrying Egan. The clinic is located upstairs from the post office and library. The doctor was just walking in as well and said to come on in. He looked at the bites. Said he was allergic to the mosquitoes, wrote a prescription for antibiotic cream and hydrocortisone cream for the itching (said to mix together and then apply) and told us to get mosquito netting as well. Then I walked out into the main room and the nurse gave me the creams. Said that they ask for a donation of any amount but it is not required. Tommy said that I WAY overpaid at $10 US. Oops. It seemed like such a great deal! Anyhow, free health care ROCKS.

We still had to tackle the problem of preventing any more bites. Because his bites were so awful and obvious, EVERYONE gave us advice regarding sand flies. Seems that one important thing to do is close up the house just before dusk until about 7 or 8pm. Another is to burn Vape-Mat. I think it is Chinese. We did this and it made a huge difference. But I was still waking up throughout the night shining a flashlight on the Eegs to make sure he wasn't being attacked. I knew we had to go all the way and take every precaution, because this was getting ridiculous.

Our "landlord" Ellen said her son had the same problem when he was little (he is now in his late teens) and she told me to go ask for Fernando at Syd's Restaurant. He has served us many a meal in the past, but little did we know he was also a tailor! He made little long pants and shirts out of light breathable cotton for Morgan and she said that he probably still makes them.

While Tommy went to Belize City by water taxi to purchase mosquito netting, Egan and I tracked down Fernando at his house on Back Street. Sure enough, he still makes the little no-fly-suits and measured Egan right up. Said it would be $25 BZ per outfit. I ordered two. [did I mention that $1 US equals $2 BZ?) He said he would have to go to the city to get the material and would hopefully have it done by Monday. This was on Friday.

I am writing this on the following Thursday. Fernando did not get to the city on Saturday as planned, but he did get there yesterday and this morning we saw him sewing the pants. They should be done by now. I am happy to say that Egan has had no more bites since that second night! We have kept him covered and in the house during sand fly times. So excited to pick up the new outfit, as it will definitely allow him more freedom.

More news next time on hammock naps, Belikins and finding the cheapest, best food.

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