My body is in revolt. As well as voicing its hormonal displeasure there is a bit of an epidermal protest going on too. My eczema has flared up badly.
I have had eczema since childhood. It comes and it goes just like the promises of a politician. Usually it is a mild eruption, but for the past month is has been bad. It has been the Vesuvius of skin eruptions.
For anyone who suffers from eczema you would know that the worst thing about it is not the rash, it is the itch. That god forsaken itch. Kingdoms could rise and fall on that itch. I am sure that if research were carried out it would be found that Nero suffered from eczema and that the itch drove him mad and that was why he burnt Rome. And that the reason Napoleon’s hand was always in his pocket was because he had eczema on his unmentionables and couldn’t help but give it a scratch.
Usually a bit of cortisone cream for a week or so sorts things out for me, but I think the eczema that is plaguing me now is actually alive and has delusions of grandeur. I am sure it is plotting my downfall. It is like the dinner guest who has drunk all your good wine, eaten all the chocolate you keep for emergencies and is settling in to watch the box set of Pride and Prejudice in the good chair because he has no intention of ever leaving your house.
This eczema just won’t move on. I have tried oatmeal baths, vitamin E cream applied lavishly every two hours. I am taking evening primrose oil, eating salmon, sardines, linseeds and sunflower seeds. I am drinking two litres of water a day and eating copious amounts of raw carrots. I even tried a home remedy a friend recommended which was a paste made from 1 tablespoon of turmeric powder and bitter neem leaves which had to be wiped off with a lightly damp cloth. It didn’t stop the itching, but it did make everyone who came in contact with me that day
say : You know what? I feel like a curry tonight.
I know it sounds like something the prostitute said to the bishop but what I wouldn’t give for a night without itching. Just one night.
At the moment I am trying to induce an out of body experience. While awake. Just to be free of this cursed itch.
My doctor says it could be a result of the looming menopause. It can often exacerbate chronic illnesses such as eczema and asthma. At this rate she’ll be blaming the budget deficit on the menopause and the fact that I can’t say anaesthetist.
All I know is that I can’t wait for it to move on. I am tired of people looking at the rash on my arms and saying That’s not contagious, is it? (yes, mate, that’s why I’m out in public). I’m also tired of actually contemplating soaking some old bedsheets in Vitamin E lotion and wrapping myself in them at night like a big bandage. I have worked out that if I place them in the hallway and then roll down it at around 20 miles per hour I should end up completely cocooned. I will be so cocooned I won’t be able to scratch.
The workings of an itch-infested mind are not particularly pleasant, let me tell you.
But I won’t give up. I will beat this foul beast if it kills me.
Or turns me, mutated and shuddering, into one giant scab.