Thursday, August 26, 2010

Cancer? or Malaria?

I know it's been a while.  This will be the first in a series of short anecdotal posts about 'circumstances' that I find myself in (usually laughing).

First, when I came to work at the Arboretum, I was on a big soap box against DEET and other chemicals found in bug repellent.  My co-workers warned, "Well, you eventually you'll have to choose between cancer or malaria. It's really one or the other."  Meaning: malaria (Or West Nile) from the mosquito bites or cancer from the DEET.

So, I started at the Arboretum and endured a few days of bites, until the unfortunate episode when the bug bite developed a red line like an arrow of poison headed straight for my ticker...  After that, I caved and purchased some nice smelling bug repellent with  a low percentage of DEET that moderately deterred the bugs from eating me alive.  With or without it, I seem to get mosquito welts on average of three times a day. Of course I would wait to apply it each day until a point when it seemed like I really 'needed' it....There I am, zenfully weeding-- when suddenly I am ON FIRE! I run for the bug spray.  They totally warn you not to spray the stuff on scratches, or other bites, wounds, etc.  Still it seems to calm the burning so I spray away.  Then it starts feeling like this low grade repellent is actually like a honing device, drawing them to me.

So, today I caved and sprayed DEEP WOODS OFF (about 100% DEET) on every inch of exposed skin, and all over my clothes too because I'm convinced they bite me straight through,  I guess I'm going with cancer.

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