Thursday, February 22, 2007

there's a fungus amongs us

i have ringworm. all over the palms of my hands. i managed to escape this and head lice throughout my childhood, but i appear to be making up for it now as this is my second episode in adulthood. if you've ever had ringworm before, or never had it, this is a most inconveniant location. fortunately i've never had the crotch relative of ringworm, but i'm sure those "scrot rot"/"jock itch" sufferers would argue that theirs is far worse. i will admit to having several cases of athlete's foot in my time, but this just sounds like i've been far too sporty for my own good; "x-treme fungus". ringworm means i just work with the mentally ill who don't prioritize their personal hygiene.

i made my initial diagnosis and treatment protocol based on my previous episode and research on the internet. if you want to really turn your stomach i suggest you punch in "ring worm pictures" in your google browser. i used this same approach when i had poison ivy last year. it would appear that people who have eczema (i suffered badly as a child with cracked and bleeding arms and knees) are more prone to other skin disorders because of the flakey nature of the dermis. i notice i also seem to react rather badly to bug bites. a couple of years ago i fell off my bike in the woods in TN and hours later i was a bumpy, red, itchy, and very irritable person; once home we counted over 80 chigger bites. the remedies for this ranged from rubbing raw bacon onto the inflammation, to good old fashioned nail polish. unfortunatley i didn't have any clear polish so 25 minutes later i was covered in metallic blue dots. if i was a teenager i could at least argue that it was a new trend, however sitting in my office at work talking to people about their depression and hallucinations, i just looked like an idiot. next season's colour was pink (the following year i had calamine lotion all over my poison ivy rash). i now have a nice little collection of scars all over my legs so i can reminisce about the good times.

the last time i had ringworm it was on my neck, i was actually alerted to the fact by an accusation that i was sporting a hickey, the nurse at my practicum site confirmed the diagnosis and sent me off to the fungus aisle in walgreens. but now its all over the palms of my hands which is especially inconveniant because hands touch everything, including themselves. i have cross-polinated little itchy red patches all over my hands to the point i look like i am wearing ringworm gloves. i have had to modify my social interactions, refusing to shake hands with people explaining "sorry i can't shake your hand, i don't mean to be rude, it's just that i have ring worm", they retract their hand with superman-like speed. hands are also an incoveniant place to put cream, poison ivy lotion makes a a waterproof seal allowing you to get on with life. ring worm cream leaves slimey snail tracks on everything i touch.

i am in health insurance limbo at the moment as i have just started a new job. i am not one to go charging off to the doctor at a cough or sneeze, even when i do have fully functioning health insurance i never have a designated doctor to go to (except for the annual "yukky doctor" appointment). however, this would be one time i might actually consider going for a more aggressive prescription based treatment modality. it would appear that my "achilles heel" is my skin; the layer that keeps me waterproof and all my innards, in. perhaps this is part of my lesson, because when it comes to not scratching at something, i have the impulse control of a 5 year old.

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