Sunday, 14 July 2013

A fairly grim three weeks for us .......

I am very aware that some of my posts over the last few months have been rather depressing in content rather than promoting the delights of Turkey. But when I started this blog I wanted it to be a warts and all tale of our lives in Turkey so I do feel that I need to write about the bad times as well as the good. So here is a résumé of my last three fairly miserable weeks.

The very beautiful area near Korkuteli, Antalya
Three weeks ago I went with a friend to visit a nearly abandoned, derelict village which is being slowly restored as a holiday destination. I jumped at the chance and found the visit highly interesting and enjoyable and I will write a piece about it at a later date.

We arrived quite late at night, in the dark, and of course what is the first thing you do, when arriving somewhere new? You look around your accommodation. We turned the lights on upstairs and downstairs and seeing that there were mosquito nets in place went back down to have a drink and relax before going to bed.

I got settled in bed, tired and looking forward to a good nights sleep before getting up the next day to explore our surroundings in the morning. Within minutes something bit me on the arm, which I ignored at first. This was followed by successive nips, so I put on the light to investigate. There was no buzzing as mosquitoes do, and I couldn't see anything so settled back down again. Minutes later another bite, then another, then another and so on! Eventually I tracked down the tiniest little insect and managed to exterminate it. Settling back down again - yes within minutes another bite. So began one of the most miserable nights of my life, and hardly any sleep. I wrapped myself up in a sheet like an Egyptian mummy, with just my eyes poking out, then after about ten minutes was so hot that being bitten seemed preferable to dying of heat stroke. This mummy outfit on, mummy outfit off continued all night, with me getting increasingly tired, yet still totally unable to sleep. Truly one of the worst nights of my life.

By the next morning (and I have never been so pleased to see one!) I was covered from head to toe in thousands - and I do mean thousands of bites, which itched as nothing ever has. In the light of day, my friend and I discover that the mosquito nets whilst looking wonderful in the dark actually were not attached to anything at the bottom, flapping in the breeze. So when we had arrived and turned on and left on all the upstairs lights it was like "Hi guys, want to come to a party tonight!"

We were then informed that I had been bitten by Yakarca which are apparently fairly rife in the Antalya region. They are the tiniest insect imaginable, but I can assure you all that the bites cause intense itching, and when scratched, because you can't not scratch them, they become open weepy sites. When we returned home a few days later I was covered in them and looked like I had some horrible disease. I had been to a pharmacy in Korkuteli and got Kalomin and some anti-histamine tablets and they made no difference to me whatsoever.

Just some of my scars three weeks after the attack!
On the back of my hand in a space the size of  a 10 kurus coin there were twelve bites. Multiply that by my entire body and there seriously were thousands! Another couple of days on they were worse, and driving me insane with the itching, so I googled Yakarca on the Internet and read that they can lead to a parasitic disease called Leishmaniasis which can be fatal. I thought at this point I should go to see the Doctor, who prescribed different anthi-histamine gel and tablets. Thankfully within a couple of days the relentless itching started to subside and now at the time of writing and three weeks on I am just left with white spots in my tan where they have been. Hopefully I am going to live a little longer after all.

As if all of the above wasn't enough to contend with, I returned to our cat Peggy being ill as explained in my last post, who had to be put to sleep on the Saturday. I suffered from a serious bout of diarrhoea for 48 hours. Then the following Saturday our Labrador Tyson became ill again after two very stable months. He suffered several fits through Sunday and Monday, and on Tuesday although no longer fitting was obviously very poorly. I stayed with him all of Tuesday night and took him back to our vet on Wednesday. The vet carried out an ultra-sound and discovered that the tumours on his pancreas had now spread to his bowel and other organs, and upsettingly, but not totally unexpectedly he was put to sleep in my arms that afternoon.

Tyson 'The main man'
As with all our animals, Tyson's body came home with me and he is now buried in our garden with his favourite yellow bobbly ball, and we have planted a Passion flower on his grave.

Tyson was only 9 years old and I have know him since he was puppy of 6 weeks old. He flew to Turkey with us last April, and was 'The main man' in the dog hierarchy here. I don't have words to describe how much he will be missed, or how very sad our home is.

R.I.P. Tyson

1 comment:

  1. Poor Tyson, I'm so sorry you've had such a rough time.