Doxycycline day one
Wednesday, July 6 2005
This morning I got up at around 8:00 am, eager to get on the phone and see if a local pharmacy had yet responded to a prescription that had been phoned into their answering machine last night. I have connections and had managed to finagle an appointment-free prescription of Doxycycline, the antibiotic used to treat Lyme Disease. But as soon as I got on my feet I noticed there was something wrong with my right leg. I had a terrible pain in one of the muscles of my thigh, and it prevented me from bending my knee in the way one normally does when walking. Before I'd had a chance to do much walking the pain was so bad that I had to lie down on the couch. I've never had leg pain of this sort before, so I had to assume it was a symptom of Lyme Disease, the identifying rash of which was now only a week old. Eventually the leg pain subsided and I was able to reach the pharmacy and pick up my prescription. The beautiful thing about this whole Lyme disease drama is the fact that in the year 2005 in the United States of America I contracted a life threatening disease and the cost of setting me right was $5. That's what the course of Doxycycline cost me.
I was still a long way from cured, of course. The rash around my left armpit had enlarged about 30% during the night and today it was itchier than it had been. I found the only relief from this itching came when I would take incredibly hot showers. The feeling of scalding hot water on the rash would make the itchiness rise to an ecstatic crescendo and then, when I could bear it no longer, I'd pull out and the itchiness would be completely gone, and it would stay gone for hours. (This is something I used to do for relief from poison ivy rashes as well, once I lived in a place with sufficient quantities of hot water.)
You're supposed to stay out of the sun while taking Doxycycline, so I put on some sunscreen before going out and finishing the bit of front door slab resurfacing I'd begun the day before yesterday. The fragrance of the sunscreen sent me on a flashback to the Galapagos. That big tube of sunscreen was once almost as fat as my forearm but now, after our January vacation in the tropics, it's as flat as a leather belt. And its plastic screw top is still somewhere within the nation of Ecuador.
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