Saturday, July 21, 2012

Things happen for a reason and that's how I diagnosed duck itch

Ever have one of those why do things happen they way they do kind of conversations with yourself?  Like, if you hadn't gotten stuck in that traffic jam you would have been at the store too early and missed the unannounced 50% off sale that started 2 minutes after you walked in the store?  Okay, that only happened to me once.  But this was one of those kind of days.

I'm visiting my mom, who lives in apartment at my sister's.  So we're kind of visiting everyone.  Except my sister and 3 of her boys are at camp all day.  We had a rip roaring thunderstorm with hail blow through that afternoon.  My mom doesn't like to drive in bad weather, so I offered to drive my niece to her doctor’s appointment.  She was having some sort of allergic reaction to bug bites.

The doctor seemed stumped, was calling for referrals, and was joking about crazy bugs in NH.  Um... hello? we don't have crazy bugs in NH.  I'm visiting in CT.  We all have the same bugs.  But then suddenly it hits me, I remember a conversation I had with a friend this past winter about taking the kids to visit them up at Lake Winnipesaukee to go swimming.  And she had said, No, we'll come to visit you at the beach and I had said why?  And she had said Duck Itch.  So out of the blue, at the doctor's office I say "Hey, maybe it's duck itch" and the pediatrician looks at me like I'm possessed strange and tells me never he heard of it before.

Now I have to add in here that everyone at this doctor’s office was either carrying a laptop or pushing a cart around with a laptop on it.  But somehow, even surrounded by this wealth of technology, I was able to google duck itch and bring up pics to show the doctor on my droid, with a crappy signal, before he was able to look it up on his laptop.  Okay, I'm so not going to spend too much time trying to figure that one out.

This is duck itch. The pediatrician
liked the term "Swimmer's Itch"
much better.


Anyway, that is how without having seen it before in real life, I was able to diagnose duck itch.

It’s a bacterial infection from the parasites in duck poop.  Yeah, I know… yuck!  But it can be somewhat common in lakes and ponds near the shoreline where the water doesn’t circulate as well.  You can read more about it on the NH StateParks website.

Update: I posted a more researched post on Duck Itch at my new Coastal CPR & First Aid Blog

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