It finally happened. Exactly as you suspected it would. You’ve been bitten by a rare-to-your-region brown recluse spider after moving into a room in your grandma’s basement that is filled with suspiciously damp Estée Lauder boxes and hasn’t been inhabited by human beings in 30 years. What’s next? Anything but these series of mistakes, for the love of God.
1. Don’t panic, but don’t not panic.
Panicking is both reasonable and valid when you wake up to see a blister with two puncture wounds bubbling up to the size of a silver dollar on your otherwise normal leg. Panicking also serves as a great motivator for you to stop Googling “bug bite images” hoping it will be something else, and instead start guiding you in the direction of a medical facility.
2. Don’t go to a CVS pharmacy instead of the hospital.
At CVS, you will sit in a “waiting room” that is blaring Maroon 5 circa 2010 while a blonde family of five next to you tries to get their photos from Disney World developed; because it’s a CVS and not THE HOSPITAL.
3. Don’t let the nurse practitioner at CVS give you a cocktail of vaccinations after you just watched her Google “treatment for bug bite” 15 seconds previously, and then leave with no further questions about the healing process.
Perhaps you won’t get tetanus, however you will in one week’s time have a hole in your leg that resembles inverted pepperoni and smells like broken-in non slip shoes.
4. Don’t wait until your skin begins oozing like Elmer’s glue and forming a black crust around the rim of the bite to decide the one visit to CVS was probably not enough treatment, and it’s now time to visit a licensed dermatologist.
The dermatologist will cut a chunk out of your now open wound for testing, and it will frankly feel very bad.
5. Don’t let it slip to the dermatologist who is treating your bite that you are going on a swimming trip to Lake Tahoe next week after she just explicitly told you not to put your bite in lake water.
6. Don’t put your bite in lake water.
The dermatologist is correct, the stagnant water will betray you and swiftly deliver your body to the exhilarating edge of septic shock.
7. Don’t start and stop taking a series of prescribed antibiotics over a period of four months.
This will annihilate your bladder by killing all the good bacteria that prevents infections from getting out of control, as well as your fun summer spirit.
8. Don’t have sex with a person with dirty fingernails and no sheets on their floor mattress; not even once.
This will ignite a 9 month long period of recurring UTIs, as your body has been ravaged by antibiotics and can no longer resist the onslaught of Escherichia coli.
More than anything, just have fun with it.