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The Thin Skin Drama Queen

February 22, 2008
I have an Achilles Heel, my skin. It has always irritated me because as a child and even now I need to roam. However, I have always been punished for roaming. I am highly allergic to poison oak and poison ivy. Whenever I discuss this with others, I feel like I am in an one upping contest because I don’t ever feel as if I can make someone understand how allergic I am. In addition, too much direct sun light makes a rash on my skin, sometimes it burns as well. When I go outside and the sun is bright, I must have a hat and long sleeves on. Also, my lips are burned and dried out so easily. There is no feeling like that of raw lips burned by the sun, then caked over with healing. I’m always dealing with a new skin tag. Not to mention how red wine gives me hives and makes my skin hot and flushed. My skin is my Achilles Heel; nothing makes me pity myself as much as the pain I suffer with my skin.
As I am trying to deal with this latest bout of poison oak, I asked myself, which is more painful, having a baby or having poison oak. They are different pain, but pain nevertheless. The thing about having a baby, and I had one without a drop of drugs some twenty six years ago in a very cruel and cold hospital and another one some eight years ago is, that labour pain fades, it only exists in the moment it is happening. I remember thinking when I was in labour with my first child how the pain was so horrific that I would never, ever, have a child again. It did work too, because it was seventeen years before I chose that torture again. However during the second round I only had to suffer a few hours, if I had not went into labour I would not have had to suffer at all. I was scheduled for a c-section because the doctors could not get my little baby to turn on her head but went into labour two days before that plan. She stood up from the day of conception I believe and refused to allow anyone to turn her on her head. She is an obstinate child (but insanely kind and sweet and considerate and her mam-ma’s little poobewoobe).

The thing with the poison oak pain is, it brings its friends, Itchy and Fever and Irritation and Isolation and Linger and Resurrection all come together and wear out their uninvited welcome.

I have stories, many stories about poison oak, especially the episodes from the military and war games and my futile attempts at keeping poison oak in its place while I prove my military salt. Nevertheless, it will have to wait for another day, a day that I am willing to dive into a mundane and painful prose of reliving a hell that garners me little sympathy because it is just a little old rash. Do you know that many firefighters out here are hospitalised after fighting fires because that poison oak oil gets into their lungs. Ugh. When I was about six that happened to me when my father was burning trash, but where we were then, it was poison ivy or sumac that did it.

This time around, I suspect I got it from the dog. I’m careful not to touch any vegetation and stay along the sandy paths but he goes into the bush. Perhaps the oil stuck to his fur and then transferred to me when I rub his back. I will have to think of a way to wash him every day but he lives outside and it is too cold for him to be wet and we come back late and it is a mess.

I’m so miserable right now, I think I will crawl into my bed and die.

Anyway, for your entertainment I went out, found my enemy, and took a picture of it. It is only February, the soil is sand, and this shit is thriving among the dead brush! What is its purpose in the ecosystem anyway?

  1. A-mazing Amazon permalink
    February 22, 2008 8:08 pm

    oh, kitty! how miserable! 😦 i hope that it goes away soon. i hope that you find relief even sooner!

  2. Rent Party permalink
    February 22, 2008 11:50 pm

    My most sincere condolences! Poison oak is awful. It is in fact the only thing that has ever made me really want to die.

  3. momo permalink
    February 23, 2008 5:17 am

    My heart goes out to you! When I was 10 we moved to California and got poison oak EVERYWHERE. What comes to mind is “torment” and “jumping out of my skin.” Yes, the dog was often the culprit. Calamine lotion never really worked, but we slathered it on anyway, just for those few seconds of relief.

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