Thursday, February 22, 2007

one itch leads to another

one month ago i got ringworm, spreading like small colonies of teenagers at a sale in hot topic at the mall. this was added to the already flakey crust of athlete's foot nestled under my big toe. uncharacteristically of me, i broke down and went to the doctor ("no health insurance is available to our employees until open enrollment, 3 months after your start date"), no $20 co-payment, no $15 prescription fee for my super rare, therefore super expensive antibiotic. $300 please, cha-ching! i was advised by the doddery old doctor, who was just moonlighting at the immediate care place, to continue using the topical medication as well, in fact to continue at least 2 weeks after my pills ran out, i was "young, active, and healthy" after all, so it shouldn't take a young lady like me too long to heal up. $10 dollars a tube. a new tube every 5 to 7 days. hmmm.

i then foolishly went outdoors to try and be "healthy"; 18 hours later i was itchy, oozey, weepy and i'm not talking about my ovaries kicking into oestrogen overdrive, i am now initiated into the cool, hip, west coast relative of poison ivy. off to walgreens to locate all kinds of gloopy goodness in a bottle to slap all over my skin. cha-ching! i started with the clear gel as it doesn't show up like the calamine lotion, but that just dried up and i looked like a moulting reptile in peak season. back to the pink shit. i got the spray on kind, 2 days later i switched to the liquid version after i almost choked myself with the aerosol spray. i now went to work looking like mr blobby (those unfamiliar with mr blobby, he is a british "puppet" about the size of a teletubbie, except he's pink with yellow polka dots, and wears a bow tie), i started wearing long trousers instead of skirts to cover my bloody secret, but this made midday applications, or even itches, significantly more problematic to negotiate. for good measure i also started taking an oral anti-histamine, although it doesn't appear to affect the itchy factor, i do rather enjoy the drowsy side effect.

as those of my gender know, antibiotics also result in other itchy side effects. aaaah, another trip to the pharmacy, this time to the feminine product aisle. cha-ching! the good news is that the chemicals were kicking in; my ringworm turned into orange chyrsalli (?) and the skin then peeled back to reveal the tender pink flesh beneath. what fun shaking people's hands with my coarse mitts, and i brought a few patients temporarily back to reality as i caught them looking in horror, as i passed a box of markers around, before they retreated back to their safer worlds of overpowering the evil forces with a dessert spoon.

eventually comfort supercedes the ego and i went back to my knee length skirts for reduced chafing purposes. this also resulted in my being the pink spotted runner at the san diego half marathon yesterday, forget elvis, or the dude running with the flag, there was "guy running in grey cotton shorts who looked like he had peed on himself by mile 5", "middle aged lady in matching headband, wristband and what looked like an artillery belt of gu's, water and gatorade strapped around her waist", and me.

i thought i might have to add flea bites to my list of dermal ailments, but i've had them before, so am familiar with their unique configuration, and the recent addition of pink blotches (not calamine) looked more like an allergic reaction to something. they too are itchy. i swear i am not a sympathy seeker, waiting room magazine junkie or hypochondriac, so i returned to my no hefty co-payment diagnostic guru, the internet, and discovered they looked not too dissimilar to hives. hmm. i re-checked my expensive antibiotic medication and whaddyaknow, it is a derivative of penicillin, the one medication that i am deathly allergic to and have been sporting a rather geeky medic-a-lert bracelet for the majority of my life. the medication i told the nurse (and that was on the top of my info sheet the doddery old doc had) that i was alllergic to.

my nightstand is a pre-emptive to the memorial of the old lady i am to become; there are tubes, bottles, packets, and jars. i have my nightime ritual of oral medication followed by one bottle for my poison oak, another for my feet, and another for my hands. i sleep in gloves. i am the poster child for after hours seduction and ravagement, or at least i feel that way after i put on the gold bond, get all tingly and then pass out from the effects of the benadryl kicking in.

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