“I have really really bad itchy mosquito bites.” Drew held out his arms for me to inspect. He had about a dozen on his forearms that he had scratched. Drew then put his foot on my thigh to show me the ones on his calf and shin.
“Oh dear! Yes! I can see those.” I was a little startled but I gently took hold of his foot and turned his leg to see the back of his calf. A couple of the bites were open from his scratching.
“I couldn’t sleep last night!” Drew told me as he scratched a bite on his neck.
“We can try some Calamine lotion for now, Drew. Then if you come up to the office at bed time, I can give you an antihistamine that will stop the itching so you can sleep.” I started to get up.
“Yes please!” Drew sighed with relief. “There is one on my back that I can’t reach and it’s the worst!” Drew turned around and showed me. Sure enough there was a bite right between his scapula. He danced around attempting to reach the spot to no avail.
“Have you ever tried making an X with your fingernail on your itchy bites?” Adam piped up from his spot third in the line behind Caleb. I sat back down.
“Whaaaat?” Drew said skeptically.
“Here. Lemme show you.” Adam stepped forward and placed his left hand on Drew’s shoulder and then using his right thumbnail he firmly pressed into the bite on Drew’s back and made a tiny X.
Drew’s eyes widened and then a thoughtful looked crossed his face. “Whoa! I think that worked,” he said.
“Then if that doesn’t work you can lick your finger and dab some spit on top too.” Adam added helpfully.
“Did you know about this, Nurse Anne?” Drew asked me.
“Ya. I’m not sure that there’s any science behind it, but it seems to work. Maybe a bit of an old wive’s tale?” I shrugged. “So I will hold on the Calamine lotion then, yes?”
“I’m gonna try the X’s!” Drew said as I watched him walk away.
I turned back to address Caleb. “So bud. What can I do for you?” I asked.
“I think I have water in my ear. I can hear stuff sloshing around in there.” Caleb said as he tilted his head from side to side.
“We can try some drops in your ears.” I said as I started to get up.
“Or you can try hopping on one foot and shaking your head!” Adam suggested as he demonstrated to Caleb. I sat back down.
Caleb and I laughed at Adam’s display. Caleb looked at me. “Will that work?”
“Sometimes it does,” I admitted. “Worth a try, right? Make sure the bad ear is down towards the ground.” Caleb nodded and then mimicked Adam’s dance. The two boys hopped around in the sand in front of me. It took about ten hops before Caleb stopped.
“Ha! That totally worked,” Caleb said as he wiped a tiny trickle of water from his ear. “Thanks Adam.” Caleb gave Adam a high five and walked back to his towel.
“OK Doc! What can I do for you?” I asked as I turned my attention to Adam.
Adam looked over his right shoulder and then his left shoulder, making sure no one was within earshot. He then motioned for me to come closer. I bent over, he stepped forward, cupped his hand beside his mouth and whispered in my ear. “I’m really itchy around my man parts!”
I cupped my hand and whispered back, “Have you got any dandruff shampoo?”