I try not to complain too much here. Actually, you know what, fuck that. This blog is a vehicle for my complaints and if you’ve read more than one post you already know that. So let’s just smack down that hypocritical pseudo-apologetic horseshit right now and get on with the story.
As you may have guessed, our topic today is me whining about something, but in my defense, I have a really good excuse. You see, I have a rash. An itchy itchy itchy itchy itchy fucking rash that fucking itches. I could write the word itchy and the word fuck 1500 times, and it still wouldn’t be enough to convey how fucking itchy I am. From my neck to my knees (but interestingly, not beyond) I am made of itch.
I know what caused this. I switched shampoo and conditioner (as I am wont to do), and the conditioner caused this rash. The pattern of itchy on me is in agreement with the path the conditioner would follow as I rinsed it out of my hair. I’ve stopped using the stuff, but the damage is done. I went to the doctor and he gave me a course of steroids, which I know have helped because my face looks better (so this post isn’t all whining, just 99.999%), but I’m still fucking itchy. Not as bad as I was, but fucking itchy.
Interestingly I had something similar to this almost exactly ten years ago. It might have been a month or two earlier than this, but it was right around this time. I was between five and seven months pregnant with my oldest, and I had stretch marks from Hell. In addition to having a stomach the size of a watermelon, it actually looked like one, only instead of being green and yellow, the striations were varying degrees of flesh tone. I was a sexy bitch, y’all.
My doctors recommended I try anything I could think of to moisturize my skin. I used everything short of soaking in pure lard to do this. One of the things that occurred to me was that old tip from the 80s where you stepped out of the shower and before toweling off, used some form of oil on your skin to bind with the water and, in theory, trap moisture in your skin. Neutrogena introduced all sorts of nice smelling “shower oils” back in the day, but I remembered what Seventeen magazine said—plain old baby oil would do the same thing, and it was much cheaper.
I dispatched my husband to the store for baby oil, and told him to step on it.
I used it, it didn’t work particularly well. A week later I was covered from my neck to my ankles with the most horrible, beastly, itchy rash I’d ever had (until two weeks ago). I was miserable. I itched because of my stretch marks, and because of this rash. I finally went to my OB, sat on the exam table and cried because it itched so badly. She was baffled as to what could have caused it, and concluded it was something I ate. She gave me a course of steroids and sent me on my way.
The steroids were starting to help, and the rash was clearing. One evening when my husband was out, I decided to shower. I stepped out and thought I’d do that baby oil thing again, because it might help?
The second the baby oil (which, I will say, was some random off brand and not Johnson & Johnson) hit my skin, it started to burn. All of a sudden, I got it—this shit was what caused my horrible rash! I jumped back into the shower and began grabbing every soap, every detergent, every product containing a surfactant within arm’s reach to get that shit off of me. The rash didn’t return, the steroid helped and we were back to what passes for normal in our lives.
This current rash has not been as cooperative in its reaction to the steroid. While I’m much better, I’m still maddeningly itchy at times. On a scale of one to ten, with ten being two weeks ago when I was seriously contemplating removing the skin from my body with a vegetable peeler to get some relief, I’m at about a three. I still itch, and I’m still aware of my skin in a way I shouldn’t be.
But every cloud has a silver lining, and this rash caused me to make a discovery that I think will serve me in the future. A trick, if you will, that will make my life easier, rash or no rash.
I was committed to a Boy Scout parents meeting the other night, but I had already changed my clothes and removed my bra for the evening. With the fierce itch on my back, combined with the somewhat humid weather we’ve been having (which makes my back sweat, which makes it fucking itch) there was no way I was going to bra up again before morning. (And seriously, why can’t bra manufacturers get on board with the people who make t-shirts and underpants and stop putting itchy fucking tags in bras and just print the information inside them? Really, it's not that hard.)
As I looked in the mirror, I realized that I had the “smuggling raisins” look, as we called it in college. You know, when it’s chilly out, or when there’s friction between your nipples and your shirt? You feel me. Anyway, I realized that in spite of the fact I was wearing a sweatshirt, the fact that I wasn’t wearing a bra was still apparent, and I wasn’t quite comfortable with it at this particular meeting. My husband usually handles Boy Scouts—these were parents I didn’t know very well. They may soon find out I’m a shameless foul mouthed boozy hussy, but I feel like it should take more than 18 seconds for them to draw that conclusion.
I reached into a drawer in my vanity and took two of those small round bandaids that are good for exactly no wound ever but that parents always have around because they're the perfect size for injury-obsessed four year olds to apply all over their bodies to their fictitious cuts, stuck them over my nipples, and went on my way.
Yes, I discovered what you could call white trash pasties. Yes, they worked perfectly. You’re welcome.