You will probably remember a while back that I wrote about my chronic eczema and the itch – the never-ending, motherf**king itch.
I went down the orthodox medicine route – dermatologist, cortisone (internally and externally) – you name it, I did it. Only thing was it wasn’t working. I was starting to get desperate – there are only so many layers of the epidermis one can scratch off in a lifetime – so a friend of mine suggested a homeopath. I was dubious and a little apprehensive because I know that homeopaths make you drink gross-looking, foul-smelling stuff that looks like it just came out of the drain and I am really fussy about my drain-harvested food – I only like it mixed with rainwater, definitely no storm water and there must be no PVC piping involved – and as I know that not everyone adheres to the same standards as me I was naturally worried.
But I went along to see the homeopath, anyway.
I liked her. She had a friendly manner and was very clean. Her entire table was covered with little glass bottles with stoppers, which she would hold up to the light every now and then. She wore these big, red glasses which she would occasionally push up on to her head as she perused the label on one of her bottles. She looked like she would have been perfectly at home in a Tim Burton film.
Drink this, she said, thrusting a small glass of odious looking liquid towards me. It was dark green, thick and had bits in it that looked like grass. What is it? I asked, my throat suddenly dry. Trust me, she said. It’ll help. I was reminded of the bit in the first Terminator movie where Kyle says to Sarah: Come with me if you want to live; so I swallowed it down. It tasted as bad as it looked but was amazingly smooth on the palate.
The homeopath then asked me about a hundred questions about all sorts of things, including, oddly enough, what kind of underwear I favoured, except that she referred to them as undergarments (very Tim Burtonesque). I hedged around and hedged around wondering if it was OK to admit that the occasional pair of granny panties lodged themselves in my underwear drawer until she lowered her glasses, looked at me almost disparagingly and said : I just want to know if they’re cotton or synthetic.
Chastened, I put on my what-you-are-saying-is-incredibly-interesting-and-I-have-the-utmost-faith-in-you expression as she launched into a spiel about the pros and cons of homeopathic treatment. I was listening, really I was, but she had a crystal mobile hanging near the window and it sent these amazing colours throughout the room. The rays of crystal light joined the muted greens and browns of the bottles on the table cascading up and out until the room resembled a forest wonderland.
I was besotted by the light but there was one thing I didn’t miss. I am like that. My mind will be wandering but I will hone in on the one crucial point at just the right time so that it looks like I’ve been paying attention all along. It’s a gift, I know.
And this crucial point is where the fourth horseman of the apocalypse comes in, thundering forward on his pale horse, threatening death and devastation, plagues and pestilence with every glance.
It will probably get worse before it gets better.
Apparently, a common side effect of some homeopathic treatments is that they cause the condition they are treating to flare up momentarily due to what is known as the law of similars. Perhaps I was temporarily blinded by the lightshow in the room or by the foul breath of horseman number four slipping under the door but I didn’t think it would be a problem.
Didn’t think it would be a problem.
The words of a naive fool.
For the past two weeks I have been undergoing my own little mini-apocalypse. There have been boils, pustullations, welts, rashes and dry, peeling skin even Goldmember would be envious of. All washed down with the most disgusting drain juice I have ever tasted.
At night I have been lying in bed, my skin ablaze, my mind racing, hearing hooves on the roof, knowing that the fourth Horseman is laughing at me, pointing his skeletal finger, twisting and turning it this way and that way, so that I writhe around like his very own puppet or voodoo doll.
Hooves on the roof. Pounding all night long. The eczema flared up so much it felt like it was in my brain.
And then the law of similars gave way to differences and a change began to come.
My skin is getting better. I can feel it. Others can see it. Sleep is coming more easily. The itch is almost a distant (but still terrifying) memory. I can’t quite believe it. At night I hear the other three horseman whistling for their comrade. He has no choice but to relinquish his sway over me and return to them.
I haven’t been a huge advocate of natural medicine in the past but I can see that if you stick with the treatment and in particular, ride out the side effects, the results can be quite striking.
So I will continue drinking my drain juice until I am all better.