Well it has been an interesting week. When I was leaving Nepal, I noticed a scab on my right forearm, which I thought was a little strange, so I pulled it off (as you do), only to discover that it was actually a small, hard, red insect - a bit like a tick - attached to my skin.

Over the next week my arm bruised. Over the next month the wound refused to heal and started to become really itchy and raised. So I finally went to the doctor who wanted to do a biopsy but there was no time before my trip to Vancouver. In Vancouver it got much worse and I started to get itchy bits all over both arms and over my legs and back, so that I would wake in the middle of the night scratching without even being aware.

So I went to the doctor in Vancouver but there was no time to do anything before my trip to New York. Finally back home in Guernsey I returned to the doctor who put me on antibiotics and steroid cream while I waited to have the lump removed. By then the itchiness had spread to various patches all over my body and I had grown accustomed to waking up from scratching during the night!

Finally the lump was cut out and sent for analysis. But still the ithciness continued, although with less intensity. The results came back showing a chronic reaction to an insect bite - no joking!! During this time I was doing lots of swimming in the sea and bathing in salts and oils, to ease the itching and to help to heal all the scars.

Then last week the scar from the source of the insect bite started to get really swollen and itchy again. I also started to feel sick and just not myself. Another trip to the doctor and stronger antibiotics - which seemed to make my stomach feel really raw - and soaking my arm in hot salted water. Finally the skin broke and the infection oozed forth, revealing a lost stitch still in the wound!

A week on and my arm is much better. So too the general itchiness. Let us hope this continues after I have finished the course of antibiotics. I joke that it would have been cheaper to fly back to Nepal and see someone who is familiar with the particular insect bite and have sorted it out straight away - understandably we are not familiar with tropical related insects!

So all in all a testing 5 months on the health front. Until this time last year I had managed to avoid going to the doctor for some time and it seems that with the glandular fever and the resulting depression last year, and then the insect bite this year that I have gone to the doctor too regularly and the Universe is clearly trying to tell me something!

Being ill does make one review one's life. I am not a good patient and loathe not being able to do any exercise or practice asana. Of course it has been a lesson in letting go and relaxing, and also makes one re-consider diet and nutrition. Plus of course the logistics of being sick and teaching Yoga. I can't help thinking that the Universe has been trying to tell me something. It's time for a change.

Happy days!

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