Dreams of the Ocean (or how I was treated for scabies): A story about a woman with scabies being treated at a doctor’s office.
“Doctor, what is this strange rash I have?” asks a young woman who has been experiencing itching and discomfort.
“Well, that is scabies,” replies Dr. Sheehan with a pained expression.
A few days before she came to see me, she had noticed the rash. She’d tried to read about it online, but couldn’t find anything that seemed to fit her symptoms.
Then she noticed some red bumps on her legs and arms, which she did not think were related to the rash.
When I examined her skin, I saw that both rashes were caused by scabies mites.
When she was in my office, I was able to see under her skin with a microscope.
Scabies mites are very small and can be hard to spot with the naked eye. But they are easy to see under the microscope and can be found in one out of every 200 people in America.
They are usually found on the scalp or face, but they can also be found in other areas of the body such as underarms or even feet. They range in color
She was a beautiful woman, with long black hair. Her skin was smooth and creamy. She walked into the doctor’s office and sat down.
The first thing that came to my mind is that she had scabies or some kind of rash. I asked her what was wrong, and she said it was nothing. I told her that if she did not tell me now, I would have to do an examination on her body. I would have to look at her private parts and all over her body. She said that she had scabies, but it was not bad, just a few bumps here and there and it does not bother her much.
I did the exam on her body, looking for scabies mites everywhere but did not see any at the time of the examination. We went into the office and talked about the problem for a while and then decided to treat her for scabies as well as give her an antibiotic in case it is an infection also. She agreed to take the medicine home with her and use it on herself every day for two weeks, as well as come back in two weeks for another checkup appointment.
She was crabby and tired when she stepped into the doctor’s office. Her head hurt and her skin ached, but she had made an appointment for treatment and she was determined to get it. She checked in with the receptionist at the front desk and was given a clipboard full of papers to fill out.
She filled out the forms as quickly as she could, trying to ignore the smell of formaldehyde that seemed to permeate every molecule of air in the room. The woman sitting behind her blew her nose loudly into a tissue, making her shudder.
The nurse called her name and took her vitals at the triage station, asking if she had any allergies or medical problems. The woman answered honestly, “I have scabies.”
The nurse raised her eyebrows and frowned. “What did you say?”
“Scabies,” said the woman again, “I’ve got something crawling under my skin.”
The phone rings and a woman on the other end says, “I have scabies.” I ask, “Do you think you might be able to come in this afternoon?” She replies, “You don’t know how much I want to get rid of these things. I will be there.”
Four hours later the door opens and a woman in her early twenties walks in. She is dressed in a short skirt and tight top. Her face is heavily made up and her hair is dyed blonde with red highlights. She takes a seat at my desk and begins to tell me about her problem.
Not long ago she had gone swimming at the ocean with some friends. Afterward she had been very tired but didn’t think anything of it because she’d had pneumonia the previous winter. In fact, she was so tired that when she got home she just took off her swimsuit and went to bed without showering or washing up at all.
She began having trouble sleeping at night. Then she noticed an unusual rash on her torso that looked like many small red bumps in a line.
She told me she hadn’t washed her sheets since the weekend before last and that was when she’d gotten back from the beach!
I am a 55 year old woman who has had the experience of having scabies. Like most people who have had this experience, I thought that I would never get them; after all, I am a very clean person and keep my house clean. But even though I kept my house clean, my husband (who is a contractor) still brought them home from his job site where he was working on a remodel with lots of other people.
I first noticed them about 6 months after he brought them home. Before that time, I never knew what “walking dandruff” was. One morning, I woke up to find little tiny white itchy specks all over my body. Of course the first thing that came to mind was scabies, but how could I have gotten something like that? It is only found in dirty places and around filthy people! But as soon as I mentioned scabies to my husband, he told me that one of the workers at his job had been infected with scabies and had contracted them from another worker on the site! So there it was – we both had them! I did not know where to begin looking for treatment for something like this so we went online and started researching. Little did we know what we were getting into!
I came to see her because of a rash. A rash that wouldn’t go away… the irritating itch and maddening thought of what it might be!
My first doctor’s visit was uneventful, with no diagnosis whatsoever. I left with some topical cream and a strong dose of Benadryl or something similar. I used it all up in two days and there was no decrease in my rash. So, I decided to find another doctor, one who was “in tune” with me.
That’s how I discovered her! I made an appointment with her over the phone, and when I got there she took one look at me and knew what my problem was: scabies! She asked me so many questions that made sense, like had anyone else in the family come down with anything like this? And for how long had the itching been going on? And did it get worse at night?
She knew exactly what kind of cream to prescribe for me. It was expensive but worth every penny. In about three days, the itching stopped and in about a week the rash began to fade. However, I couldn’t stop using the cream until I had gone through three tubes of it.
But as soon as I stopped using it, the rash
I am a nurse who works in a rural area and see many different diseases and conditions. Scabies is very common here. I had a patient come in with the classic symptoms of scabies, so I asked her if any other family members had it. She said that no one else had it. I was suspicious because there were a lot of people in the home, but I could not diagnose it based on symptoms alone, so I sent her home with instructions to get treatment for all of her family members at once. She returned two weeks later with the same symptoms and said that no one else had gotten treated. I then called Child Services because she has several children living in the home and they were at risk of getting this condition.