Bugs n Bites

We’re having a mini heat-wave here in the UK – about time too, as last year my garden furniture didn’t even see the light of day.  I know many people with M.E., POTS, Ehlers-Danlos and Mast Cell Disease feel extra poorly in hot weather but me, I’m like a new woman.  My energy levels are up, my pain levels are down and I’m sleeping really well (aided by my trusty ceiling fan to keep me cool).  However, wearing hardly any clothes does have its disadvantages, as every biting insect in a hundred mile radius seems to make a bee line for my bare flesh.  I’m surrounded by woodland and walk my little dog there in the hot weather as it’s shady and cool.  I usually take precautions against ticks in particular by wearing long leggings tucked into knee length socks and tramp along in 35 degrees of heat sweating like a roasting hog, but yesterday I forgot to put some long socks in the car and, wanting to walk Bertie on my way home from town, took a chance and set off in my shorts.  Not my brightestPhoto of insect bite ever idea because I woke this morning with a 2″ wide blistery, red lump caused, I assume, by some hungry little critter who treated my calf like it was an all-you-can-eat buffet.  My mast cells are having a field day, hydrocortisone cream isn’t touching the sides and it’s so itchy I might have to resort to oven gloves to stop myself from scratching.

The sunny weather means I can take my skirts and dresses out of mothballs and try to be at least a little bit girlie for a few short weeks each year (the rest of the time I live in my wellies and waterproofs).   But add the lump to the 11 Ehlers-Danlos related bruises of unknown origin I also woke with this morning and my battered legs, poking out beneath a frill of creamy lace, look about as un-ladylike as it gets.  Rather, I look like I have a kick-boxing fetish or I’ve been in a pub fight and lost 😉 .  I bet I don’t forget my socks again in a hurry.

My mast cell appointment at Preston was 3½ weeks ago and I’m still waiting for my tryptase results.  How long can one measly little blood test take??!  It’s now seriously cheesing me off, because my GP won’t refer me to Manchester for a second opinion until she hears from Preston and can put the results in the new referral letter.  Add to that the new consultant only works 2 days a week and I might not get a new appointment this side of Christmas :-/ .

Before I close I’ve just time to say that I’ve added a lunch-time (or supper time!) recipe for Roasted Veg Wraps to the site (see the Recipe Page and scroll down).  Scrummy!

photo of roasted vegetable wrap


6 thoughts on “Bugs n Bites

  1. Kristen D.

    First of all, I just want to say a great big thank you for this blog- your personal experience and the information you’ve shared have helped me a great deal in trying to figure out what’s wrong with me. I only heard about Histamine Intolerance recently and I just now saw this post. I’ve had chronic hives over the last year (amongst other things) and I find that nothing will relieve the itch except for topically applied very high-quality oil of oregano. I mix it with a little bit of coconut oil to dilute it, and usually within a couple of minutes the worst of the itch goes away and sometimes even causes the hive to go down in swelling. I haven’t read your whole blog so perhaps you’ve already tried this remedy. If not, I hope it works for you.


    1. bertieandme Post author

      Hi Kristen

      Thanks for taking the time to comment and I’m really pleased you’ve found my blog helpful 🙂 . I haven’t tried oil of oregano for hives – would be great to find a natural remedy as so many of us struggle with drugs and chemicals, I’ll give it a go!

      Jak x


  2. orbette

    I had to comment because I’ve had two insect bite reactions in the last couple of months (second happening right now) and they look identical to the first photo of this piece. I haven’t been able to find any images anywhere that look anything like the bites until this. Worth going to the doctor for? They go away on their own after a few days when the bruising goes down but seeing your blog has got me slightly nervous!


    1. Jak Post author

      Hi orbette

      Lots of people have exaggaerated responses to insect bites – you can be allergic to something in the saliva of the insect according to my Immunologist. If the bites go in a day or two I’m not sure I’d be too concerned, however I’m not a doctor and don’t know your medical history.

      My first bite took 6 months to disappear and the site was still itching a year later, so that’s a different kettle of fish. Plus I had lots of other symptoms which pointed towards an immune problem which is why I knew something was wrong.



  3. Helen

    Thank you for this, will go looking for the insect repellant and hay fever balm… currently have an itchy bite that looks like yours after a week of antihistamine tablets and hydrocortisone cream… and it’s getting worse. I did bring Skin So Soft with me (Avon… apparently Scottish lumberjacks swear by it as a midge repellant) but didn’t think I needed it in town. Keep smiling… and writing!



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