Travel Journal – June 15, 2015
Monday morning I wake another hot, steamy day at our camp in Memphis. I notice an itch from a mosquito bite that had been bothering me at times during the night. I know notice the sensation is from more than one bite and seemed to be itching worse than any bite I had ever experienced. I look, it’s more than one bite, and all below my waist. The bites almost look like a rash…measles? I already had that, I turn to the internet to try and find an answer. I wasn’t feeling that great, but this morning it’s time for Jagger and I to move again.
On The Move Again
I pack up our Coach carefully following my moving routine, since I am not feeling all that well, before hitching up and heading East to Cedars of Lebanon State Park east of Nashville.
“You know Jagger, I really enjoy the drive east, but I am ready to stop somewhere for a while.” We have now been traveling three weeks, stopping along the way for a few days at times, to get the “flavors” of the areas that we touch. That has been nice, but there is just so much to see and experience. As much as travel inspires me, I need to focus on an area to really appreciate it. Memphis was a good example, there was a lot to see but the negatives of the area overwhelmed me and I didn’t enjoy it as much as other places I have stopped. Again I only had five days and so much did go wrong, including my departing present of this rash I need to deal with still.
Our new Camp
As I am setting up our new camp in Tennessee, I contemplate what am I going to do about this terrible itch. Nothing seems to be working.
I take a few pictures of my “rash” and send it via email to my primary doctor in California. I don’t hear back from him, so I jump in my Workhorse, leaving Jagger at our camp because of the heat. My destination, a drug store to get something to help with the itch. I got about five miles down the road and realize the time in California is almost 5 PM so I pull over and call my doctors office. It turns out he is on an extended weekend, so I talk with his nurse and explain my dilemma. She suggests I continue treat it as a rash, but additionally suggests I go to a walk in clinic to verify my condition.
I look at my clock in the Workhorse, it’s a few minutes before 7:00 pm. I quickly look up reviews on “walk-in” clinics nearby, deciding I want to know what caused my condition. The clinic I chose is over thirty minutes away so I take off in that direction, arriving at the clinic just before they close.
I am the only patient waiting as I fill out all the normal paperwork. The nurse calls my name and I am taken into the examination room and prepare for the visit. The doctor walks into the room and not a minute later says, “looks like you’ve found some chiggers”. Really? I remember my grandparents talking about chiggers when I was little, but it never crossed my mind. Welcome to the South. I guess my departing gift from Memphis was about fifty or so Chigger bites and not a rash. Miserable.
I then drive to Walmart and pick up a prescription. You can only treat the symptoms so the doctor prescribed, Benadryl. What I would have taken anyway, but it always feels a little comforting to put a name on a problem even though it did cost several hundred dollars 🙁 I guess that’s what insurance is for anyway. I also pick up half a dozen other home remedies that the doctor suggested.
Back at Camp
After leaving Walmart I headed back to camp. When I arrive I greet my buddy, Jagger and I put everything away. About that time the phone rings and it’s one of my family. It is always good to hear their voices. One of the disadvantages of travel is how much I miss them.
I mosey outside the Coach as I am talking. The evening is warm, humid and getting darker as I talk. The forest wall of trees and overgrowth is just outside my camp. I notice hints of lights streaking through the forest next to where I am standing. A reminder that all is well, peaceful fireflies light the evening darkness. My first encounter with fireflies. Another present from Tennessee.