I've always been allergic to the little buggies, tracing back to my days at Texas A&M.
Being from Lubbock, I had wondered why no one ever walked through the lush grass on campus. Not the grass at the MSC -- I knew that was a memorial -- but the grass around the dorms and academic buildings. I soon found out why, when I got two fire ant bites on my ankle, which quickly swelled to the size of a cantaloupe.
After a trip to the affectionately named Quack Shack and a few Benadryl, my ankle was back to normal size within a day or two. I've rarely had such a violent reaction to fire ants since.
Sing with me: One of these feet is not like the other... one of these feet just doesn't belong!
(And the toenails need to be repainted, but that's an entirely different song...)
We went to dinner at the home of some friends last night. I was blowing bubbles just off their back porch, standing in the grass, when I felt that dreaded bite between my third and fourth toes. I killed the ant responsible for my misery, but the damage was done.
I took two Benadryl before bed last night, but it's even more swollen this morning. I joked that my doctor would have to amputate, but it was no joke how alarmed her staff was at the appearance of my foot. More than one of them commented with alarm in her voice, "That's an ant bite, really?" Um, yeah. Really. Apparently I have a small allergy problem.
My doc is also allergic to the little beasties -- even more than I am -- and was bitten badly enough once for an anaphalactic reaction. Pretty alarming. She gave me a steroid shot in the hip, told me to pick up some Zyrtec rather than Benadryl, and sent me on my merry little way.
She did check for streaks along my legs, since everything hurts all the way up to my hip today, and she asked if I had a headache, which I do.
So if anyone knows of the magical bomb to kill all fire ants worldwide, I'm on board. Lemme have it!