The mystery of the balloon-inducing insects

There’s been a few weird things happening to me recently, and very little brain time. I haven’t been able to study for weeks. So, of course, that sadly has meant no blogging either. But I need to get going again, I’ve lost so much time with the studies. I have so much to do!

I think the most surreal experience that happened to me lately was the development from a tiny little insect bite that resulted in a really over-the-top inflammatory response.

In the UK this year it’s been reported that there are 2.5 times as many mosquitos, and as a result many people have been over-reacting to bites. So it’s not necessarily the CRPS or my faulty internal responses this time. I got bitten a lot earlier this year when Magic Dude and I attempted a few days camping. Since then I’ve over-reacted to some bites, but not all. I’ve had a couple of very swollen lumps on my legs and even the immunity-tastic Magic Dude had a bite swell up on his arm, and his immune system can usually handle most things.

Ten points for spotting the swelling on my leg (from a single tiiiiiny insect bite)!

The one on my foot, though….. woah! I got bitten one Saturday. By Sunday morning it was blatantly swollen, and by Sunday night it was pretending to be a jolly party balloon! I could handle the pain, the swelling and that fact I could not wear shoes, but the itching….ohhhhh the iiiiitching! Gah! It drove me kerrazy!

One narrow foot, and one balloon foot!

So I resorted to the epsom salt (magnesium sulphate), as it is a great sedative for the ANS, and important in regulating the CNS, too. I have some in the house that I bathe with from time to time. (Lets face it, my ANS really needs sedating so it seemed like a good idea to get some)! The ANS controls the body’s automatic processes, and the inflammatory response is included in that. So I was soaking my foot in a bowl of warm water with about a cup of epsom salt in it three times a day for 20 minutes a time. Followed by having my leg raised for at least half and hour before attempting to walk anywhere in the house. I did this for about a week.

After soaking it definitely felt better, and the itching actually went away for a while. So I reeeaally appreciated the epsom salts being in the house, they helped so much.

A lot of patients with CRPS suffer with swelling (oedema) anyway, without the prompting of anything like an insect bite. Some of my fellow patients have told me that the epsom salts are the only thing that really brings them relief. Of course, we are all different, but I mention this in case anyone out there is looking for something natural to try. I found some online which was pretty cheap and got it delivered so I didn’t have to carry anything too heavy during a physio’ outing. Ah, the internet is so handy! 😉

There are also lots of naturally anti-inflammatory foods and spices out there. A quick search online will find you plenty of information on things to consider, and some diagrammatic images that can give you a good quick reference to help get you started if you wanted to consider this option. Of course, the main thing is to have a good balanced diet, but it’s been interesting finding out about some tweaks I can make that can be more beneficial to my unwell body. I am always up for trying natural ways of helping my body. After all, the more I can do without meds the less side effects I have to deal with!

After a week, my foot was almost foot-shaped again, and so ended my weird and surreal insect bite experience! I don’t know if it’ll prove to be a permanent oddity, or a 2012 oddity, but knowing that epsom salts are a handy thing for me to have in the house is a good outcome at least!