On Friday before Christmas I came down with a bacterial infection in my nose, causing great swelling and reddening on my face, making me look like I was interviewing to replace Rudolf to guide Santa’s sled. I spent a few hours at the hospital, getting examined, and then issued antibiotics for what they thought was a bacterial infection in my nose.
Two days later, the redness and swelling moved from my nose to my left eye, and I woke up with a swollen eye that I could hardly open. I looked like Rocky Balboa after a bad beating. So back to the hospital where I saw a dermatologist. This time, he correctly diagnosed my problem as Paederus Dermatitis, which is an infection caused by coming in contact with the poisonous body fluid of the paedeous fuscipes, a bug that looks like an earwig. The bug doesn’t bite, but if you crush it, the body fluids cause infection. Not sure what happens if it goes untreated. I didn’t ask. Apparently that is quite common here in Northern Thailand. The doctor said they treat one or two cases per day at that clinic.
What happened was one of those bugs fell on me while I was reading in bed, and I crushed it between my fingers to kill it. After that, anywhere my fingers touched, got a bad infection. My nose got the brunt of it.
As soon as I took the right antibiotics, the swelling went down. Now, the next morning, I still have some redness about my left eye, but the rest of me is back to normal.
Lesson learned: Whatever kind of bug it is, don’t kill it. Simply get some tissue paper, snatch it up and toss it outside.