Friday, April 20, 2018


     Please pardon me. I’ve been terribly distracted. I didn’t remember until just a moment ago that I hadn’t yet written something for today. You see, I’ve been...itching.

     That’s right. Itching. Not “itching to,” in the sense of wanting badly to do something specific. Just itching. Just itching. And trying my damnedest not to scratch.

     I’ve picked up some kind of skin inflammation. The first diagnosis was “eczema.” That was my nurse-practitioner Primary Care Provider. She recommended a moisturizer. Well, that didn’t sound too terrible...except that it was to be used in the shower, and I was forbidden to towel off. “You must air-dry, Fran,” she said in mellifluous tones, “or the moisturizer won’t sink in.”

     Two weeks of that changed precisely nothing. Except that the sores were becoming crusty, and it was getting harder not to scratch. So on the C.S.O.’s advice, I went to a dermatologist.

     The dermatologist, who’s about half my age – I know, specialists tend to be younger than general practitioners, but it still fails to inspire confidence – diagnosed my many red itchy spots as nummular dermatitis, and prescribed a corticosteroid cream. I, of course, looked up the term. It seems to mean “itchy red spots we haven’t got an explanation for.” That’s medical jargon for you.

     That was a month ago. The spots are still there – in fact, there are more of them, even more widely distributed – and they itch worse than ever. And I, knowing what little I know about such things, have continued to struggle not to scratch.

     Today I ran out of patience. Happily, the dermatologist was available to see me this very day. He looked at the new outbreaks, said “Hmm,” and asked if he could take a “punch biopsy.” I, not knowing what a punch biopsy is, shrugged and said okay.

     Well, now I know. Have you heard about “soil cores” and “ice cores?” The sort of thing that’s done to determine mineral distributions and such? This was like that, except performed on a human body. A Fran core, if you like. He didn’t need to reattach the remains of my arm, but I gather it was a close thing. He said he’d have a diagnosis for me in about two weeks.

     And I’m still too itchy to think straight.

     So, Gentle Readers, please don’t think ill of me for leaving you post-less most of today. All my considerable will has been dedicated to not scratching. It’s left too few brain cells unoccupied to treat you to a new screed.

     Pray for me. The C.S.O. has already started talking to gravestone carvers. Her sole uncertainty is what epitaph should go on them. HE DIED OF A RASH is just too...something.


Linda Fox said...

I do understand - the most miserable I've ever been - INCLUDING CHILDBIRTH - was when my husband and I contracted scabies.

Little parasites that burrowed under the skin, and made us itch.


There was a cure - almost as painful as the infestation.

RM said...

Fran, I am sorry to hear of your miserable affliction. I hope that you find relief soon.