A bug’s life, a horror story
I’m fine. No, really everything is okay. There was a point where I thought it wouldn’t be. But I’m better now. Looking back on the events of the past week, I can see why someone looking from the outside may worry. Things have a way of unraveling so suddenly. But it’s okay because I found the cause and I fixed it. It’s what I do you see, I fix things. I’ve fixed myself more times than I can count, but they weren’t permanent fixes. I was shown a better way and now I am fine. Don’t worry you can hear my story, you can be fine too!
Somewhere across time, my body decided I was no longer a young man. This happened much sooner than it would for most people. You think of your early twenties as your prime. You’re fit, nothing hurts, you are invincible. The military has a way of rapidly aging you and by the time I was discharged I was a twenty-something stuck in the body of an ninety-something. Pain. They say life is pain, but I didn’t realize it was literal. Mental, physical, it didn’t matter, it’s pain all the way down.
It has to stop.
I’ve made no secret of it, my life has been coming apart at the seams lately. Like a shirt stretched to its limit, even the slightest snag could cause the fabric to shred. I never had a childhood. I never got to enjoy being a kid and for the briefest moment as an adult I realized I could finally enjoy childish things, only to have that comfort taken away. Relationships… and people, will do that to a person. So you pack up the most vulnerable parts of you and hope that no one will touch them. You put them in a tiny box in the darkest corner of your brain and hope, beyond hope, that you don’t really need those parts because people tell you, you can’t have them anymore. I often cry when I see someone so comfortable in their own skin because I know, KNOW, that I will NEVER get the chance to feel that. My mind often screams at me…
You’re in danger.
At first I thought it was post surgery psychosis. I recently had surgery and for days afterwards you feel like you’ve been awake for a week straight no matter how much you sleep. It was subtle at first, the buzzing sound. Fall brings out bugs and with bugs often you have to deal with the noises they make. Chirps and droning noises are common enough, but this was different. I don’t know I would call it a buzzing exactly, more like a soft chewing. Once I noticed it, I couldn’t stop noticing it. It wasn’t loud exactly, nor was it annoying, it felt a lot like white noise. I have tinnitus from my days in the service, a constant low ringing follows me, this wasn’t the same, this was external. The obvious answer was the bugs in the field by my house. I tried googling around, but I felt like the noise was trying to convince me to stop. It’s like I kept hearing something say…
Don’t keep reading
Over the past few days the noise became more noticable. Never in a bad way. It was slowly becoming a comforting sound and if I focused on it hard enough you could almost hear a pattern. Maybe it was a whisper. I’m not sure anymore. The point being I was quickly adjusting to my new normal. The buzzing sound was quickly becoming a way for me to distract myself into a pseudo kind of peace. It was a way for me to relax, something no amount of medication or combination of medications could do.. It was like I didn’t need to worry. If I was overly stressed, I felt like the buzzing was a reminder telling me…
You need to walk away.
Have you ever felt stress? Real stress? It feels like it’s eating you from the inside. Like it’s a living, breathing thing that will destroy you from the inside. The noise I was hearing helped me remember that. It helped remind me that I should just let it go. Because stress is toxic, stress will kill you. Stress is evil and you need to just let it go, you need to just stop.
It will get you if you don’t stop.
At first I thought I was breaking out. Not bad or anything, just a few bites or maybe a zit on one arm, a leg, my back. Stress has weird ways of manifesting itself and I see that now. Of course a few days ago I didn’t see that. All I saw was that I was breaking out or maybe being bitten by something. I started to get anxious, but the noise quickly reminded me that I just needed to breathe, it was just stress. So I closed my eyes and held my breath, just for a moment, but I could finally hear what sounded like a voice in the buzzing. It only said one thing though.
It’s found you too, I’m so sorry.
Of course it meant the stress, but at the time I was confused. And after a day or so the bites or whatever they were seemed to be getting worse.With the pandemic going on, there was no way I would go to the hospital for something so stupid. They didn’t look to be spreading, they just looked more… red? More enlarged. That evening I started noticing they were hurting, like they were overly full and inflamed. At that point I wanted to go to the hospital, but it was well after midnight so I thought to myself…
It’s too late now, why didn’t you go?
Yesterday morning I tried icing them, thinking the swelling would go down, but that made the pain worse. so I tried heat. Instantly I felt relief, so I alternated the heating pad to the various bites (or whatever they were). After some time I noticed blood. Not a lot, just enough to stain the bright green cover of the heating pad. So I looked, but I couldn’t find the source. Using the bathroom mirror, I found that the bite on my back had broken open and was bleeding. I tossed some rubbing alcohol on it and a bandaid and went back to the heating pad. But not long after the others broke open and things got drastic.
They made me do it.
At first I thought I was seeing things. It was getting late and by then I had barely any sleep. I like the dark, so I was watching a movie with only the screen to illuminate the room. I felt them before I saw them. I realized I had something crawling on me. The bites weren’t exactly bites, I had been an unwitting incubator for something… some sort of bug. It looked like a miniature centipede, thin, very tiny, very angry looking. The buzzing in my head had gotten louder. Except it wasn’t in my head now, these…. things were making the noise I had grown so accustomed to over the course of the week. In a panic I squashed them without even thinking. I felt disgusting so I took a shower, decided that was enough horror movies for one night, and went to sleep. I would go to the hospital first thing in the morning and I thought that was the end.
The end is a lie.
I awoke to a pain in my left eye early this morning. The sun had not even come up and while I don’t recall the exact time, it couldn’t have been later than four so maybe it was more late evening than early morning. Tired and with the earlier events out of my mind, I thought maybe it had to do with my ear. The cartilage graft for my surgery came from my left ear, surgery was on my nose, it makes sense that maybe my eye would start hurting. I splashed my face carefully with some water and went to inspect the pain. To my horror I saw the bug from earlier, or rather I saw the part that hadn’t already crawled behind my eye. I shouldn’t have panicked, I see that now. But I did and things got worse.
You were warned.
I rushed to the kitchen to find something to remove the bug while I could still see it trying to crawl deeper behind my eye. A knife was a bad choice and I knew that even in my panicked state so instead I went for the meat thermometer. A long pointed rod, I reasoned I would be able to remove the offending creature without damaging the eye or at least I could kill it and call emergency services to help solve the issue. The buzzing was back, louder than ever, but even after knowing the source was this creature, I felt comfort from it. I felt calm and my shaking hand was almost instantly steadied. That’s when I knew this would work. Using the mirror I got to work. The creature was still visible as I pressed the end to the corner of my eye socket. The long, thin metal pointed shaft went in smoothly. Inch by inch I inserted it trying to stop the creatures assault on my eye. I heard a pop and I knew I got it. For good measure I twisted and wiggled the end of the thermometer. My vision exploded in colors too vivid and alien to describe. I saw colors I never knew existed. Between the colors and the buzzing I found peace, at last. Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.
No more suffering!
I don’t know why I was so worried now. I haven’t been to the emergency room, but I don’t think I need to go anymore. I’m okay, the bugs were just stress. My body was just letting the stress out. I just had to get rid of them and now, now I’m fine. I know I’m fine because the beautiful buzzing sound reminds me that everything is okay. But don’t worry, it will be okay for you too…. what you don’t believe me?
Maybe you should go back and read between the lines.
Since it wasn’t as obvious as I hoped, this was my annual attempt at a horror story. Apparently I was a little too realistic with the theme this year. I apologize if I’ve caused any alarm! There are no bugs living in me… That I’m aware of anyway!
But seriously, I apologize if I worried anyone. That wasn’t my intention.