Using Mosquito Bites as an Assessment Tool

Of course there are many ways to count the time or the passage of the years. And as time passes by, aging, trips to the doctor become ever the more frequent. At the very least, for those who used to go only when sickness or accident befell them, they now find themselves booking time off work months ahead of time for their respective annual medical checkups. For others, it’s not a stretch to say that every few weeks brings a trip to some health professional or other.

This short cut is not to replace true expertise and treatment from a medical professional. Its purpose is just to maybe cut 45 annual health office trips to maybe 35? What I mean is self-assessment. Sometimes we can save time, save gas, save a little bit of insurance, by not requiring a doctor to tell us that we are showing signs of aging and senility. We can do this ourselves.

There are many methods of alternative self-assessment, and maybe we can revisit this topic in the future. For now, just one short cut. Do you remember when young, how we would run into the house after an entire day of playing outside and proudly with anticipation count the number of mosquito bites accumulated to our siblings, parents, or whoever would listen to our boasting?

I remember even trying to scratch areas that were not itchy in hoping of making it itchy or possibly manufacturing a mark that could count as a bite and add to my growing total. The more bites, the more bragging rights, and the more evidence of supposed toughness in the active outdoor life of a boy. Surely, I couldn’t let my sister have more bites than me!

Today? After a day outdoors, we lament how even liberal amounts of DEET insect repellant could not stave off the inevitable bites. And we try with all our might to resist the urge to scratch and spread, and this resulting state of twitching leads to another restless night of sleeping. What’s worse? We wake up looking at the marks still counting them like in our youth, but now counting to calculate the statistical probability of catching a disease.

This is aging! And probably some indication of other problems as well! While on those long waiting lists for medical scans, and imaging, can this be a good, unscientific, before and after shot of health done by yourself? A qualitative comparison of how we count mosquito bites every ten years – a longitudinal study?

At least now I know there’s something wrong with me, unofficially, by doing a quick and easy body check.

-Patrick Law


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