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Amparo Bertram

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09:12 pm: The tree bit me... ;_;
I went to Otsu to finish the process of renewing my visa. I'm now legal for another year.

On my way back, I stopped at the park in front of the train station to look at the flowers. I saw a small frog on the leaf of a tree, so I stuck my hand into the foliage to take a picture of it with my cell phone. Suddenly I felt a prickly burning, so I drew my hand back and checked for bugs, but I didn't see any. Still, within seconds, my knuckle had swollen up as if I had been bitten by a mosquito...except it was painful rather than itchy. It felt like I had gotten zapped by a stinging nettle, though I didn't see anything of the sort nearby.

I can't imagine that they would have planted poisonous trees in a public park like that...but I don't know what else it might have been. Either I developed a sudden allergic reaction to whatever type of tree it was, or there were tiny bugs biting me that I couldn't see.

It had mostly stopped burning by the time I got home, though it was still swollen. I put some hydrocortisone cream on it, and that seems to have helped. After a while the swelling went away, but I can see a number of small pink dots scattered across the area. I've never had anything like that happen before, so I was really freaked out.

Comments

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From:kataren
Date:July 25th, 2005 05:17 am (UTC)
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Erk, that sounds..painful. Not poison ivy then? Or bees? Or wasps?
Think I'll stop the morbidness now. ^^;; You'll have it checked out if it persists, yes? *nods nods* Take care. :)
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:July 25th, 2005 01:35 pm (UTC)
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Not poison ivy then? Or bees? Or wasps?

There was no ivy that I could see, just the tree itself. And it wasn't centralized in one spot like a sting, it was spread out over an area. I'm quite perplexed.

You'll have it checked out if it persists, yes?

If it had stayed swollen, I probably would have looked up a doctor. It has faded to the little pink spots, though, and doesn't hurt anymore, so I think I'll just watch over it to make sure it goes away.
[User Picture]
From:sara_tanaquil
Date:July 25th, 2005 06:20 am (UTC)
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Ouch! That does sound like a stinging nettle or something similar, with the instant reaction. (I got into poison oak while clearing out my weeds recently, and the rash took a whole day to show up. T_T)

Wonder what kind of tree it was? At least it didn't grab your hair. ^_~

Hope you feel better soon! I itch in sympathy. (And in reality, but that would be the poison oak.)
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:July 25th, 2005 01:40 pm (UTC)
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(I got into poison oak while clearing out my weeds recently, and the rash took a whole day to show up. T_T)

Yuck. ;_;

Wonder what kind of tree it was?

Me too. I'm tempted to write down the names of all the trees the park lists and run searches for images to see which one matches. It just had plain oval leaves...my tree-identification skills are limited to distinctive leaves like maple or oak. (Rather pathetic for a plant biologist, really.)
[User Picture]
From:bentleywg
Date:July 25th, 2005 07:14 am (UTC)
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Did you take a picture of the evil foilage so you (or the doctor) could figure out what it was?
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:July 25th, 2005 01:31 pm (UTC)
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Did you take a picture of the evil foilage

I did get some pictures when I was trying to snap a shot of the frog. Also, the park has a sign listing the names of all the trees, not that I could recognize this particular one, especially since they're all in Japanese. ^_^;
[User Picture]
From:bentleywg
Date:July 25th, 2005 01:45 pm (UTC)
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Those silly Japanese people! If the signs had been in Latin, you could've recognized the Ouchus Donttouchus.
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:July 25th, 2005 05:22 pm (UTC)
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If the signs had been in Latin, you could've recognized the Ouchus Donttouchus.

Indeed. <g> What were they thinking?
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From:firesign10
Date:July 25th, 2005 07:14 pm (UTC)
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Yikes! How bizarre and creepy! But glad you are already feeling better. I'll be curious to see what you find out about the mysterious plant attack.
[User Picture]
From:megory
Date:July 26th, 2005 04:14 am (UTC)

Oooooh...

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That *is* freaky. How many pink spots? Not two, like fang marks; it couldn't have been a snake, could it? It might be worth mentioning to someone from around there in case they have any ideas. You know, just in case an antidote is in order.

( I know, I know, I worry. But that's my job.)
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:July 26th, 2005 01:52 pm (UTC)

Re: Oooooh...

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How many pink spots? Not two, like fang marks;

No, there are more like six, and they're scattered over the affected area. That's why I thought that, if it were bugs, there would have to have been a lot of them.

It's somewhat faded by today, though the pink spots are still visible.
[User Picture]
From:megory
Date:July 27th, 2005 12:20 pm (UTC)

Re: Oooooh...

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Thanks, please keep me posted. I'll sleep better when it's all better, I think.

(I had a student who has been terribly sick for two years. The diagnosis is now Lyme's disease from a tick bite.)
[User Picture]
From:megory
Date:August 9th, 2005 08:17 am (UTC)

Wasps!

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I can see a number of small pink dots scattered across the area.

August 9, 2005...This morning Bob and I went to the car. As he was opening the door he said," What was that?!?" We both quickly looked all around. I just saw the normal flying insects. I think it was a moth.He brushed himself off and asked me if there was something on him. We both got out of the car, and as I checked him over, and we kept on looking, we saw there were wasps going into a hole in the railroad ties we use as a retaining wall next to the driveway. His knuckle was swelling, and there was a reddish dot on it. The wasps were small and ever-moving, so they were hard to find. If there hadn't been so many of them still coming back to the hole, we wouldn't have seen them. He said now we know what got you. But it sounds as if four of them got you at once.

Anyway, it was so similar to your experience, we think it might be wasps.
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:August 10th, 2005 01:42 am (UTC)

Re: Wasps!

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Anyway, it was so similar to your experience, we think it might be wasps.

Hmm...it's possible. Luckily, it's all cleared up for me now.
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