Since my arrival I have already had to go to the hospital twice. Ok, so I wasn’t dying either time but I wasn’t feeling that great either. The first time I had gotten some funky bacteria that was giving my GI tract fits, that’s pretty much par for the course when going to a new developing country but being the wimp I am I wanted to ease the discomfort (and reduce my TP usage) so I went to what is known in Kabul as “the German Clinic”.
My most recent visit there was due to all these little bites, or I thought they might be insect bites but there were so many (over 100 at last count) that I thought maybe it was the hives (an allergic reaction). These things itch like mad, I really haven’t had something that itches this bad in a loooong time. The wife of one of my Afghan colleagues is a pharmacist and had given me some industrial strength cortisone cream (at the time I didn’t know what it was since it was all written in Chinese but the German doctor informed me that it was indeed cortisone) and that still didn’t reduce the itching. Well I got to the clinic this time and found out that they were mosquito bites, gads!!! Those little buggers (yeah, pun intended) had eaten me alive. Well the good doctor gave me some German medicine (only a tiny bit easier to read than the Chinese stuff) and the ointment seems to help a bit more than the Chinese stuff and he also gave me some pills to help reduce the itching.
While under assault I had taken every precaution I could think of, I had fumigated my mattress, washed all my clothes (thinking it might be bed bugs), then thinking maybe mosquitoes I moved to a room that had a screen over the window, but all for naught, I still got eaten alive each night. Turns out that the mosquitoes here can be pretty little (noseeums?) so an AC is en route (since sleeping in an unventilated room would be intolerably hot [the AC was my afghan colleague’s suggestion so its not just me being a wimp]), I have closed all the windows, and my counter attack has consisted of using half a can of insecticide in my room (no more licking the countertops for me), and some sort of time released deterrent; if I get bitten again then I have no idea what I will do.