I have pompholyx. "Hush, Tats, don't tell everybody, they'll all… - Tactical Ninja
Nov. 30th, 2010
I have pompholyx.
"Hush, Tats, don't tell everybody, they'll all want one."
Um, no they won't.
It's a skin condition otherwise known as dyshidrotic eczema. It's characterised by small blisters forming deep in the skin on the hands and/or feet, which slowly make their way to the surface. Often they don't burst, but they can create dry, cracked and flaky skin. Sometimes they just appear with no symptoms, other times they are itchy as fuck.
Mine is never as bad as the pictures on that page, and at its worst it usually looks like this:
Right now it's at its worst. I have it on both hands, three-four fingers per hand. So far my feet are clear but I've been known to get it there too. My fingers are itchy! WAH! This outbreak has been going on for about a month.
The weird thing is, I didn't always have this. It started in 2008 - I can remember because I took it to the doctor. I was never able to identify what set it off because there was a combination of several things that happened more or less at the same time:
1. Horrible winter that included stress, angst, depression (someone else's) and the ugly breakup of my relationship and its aftermath.
2. Ongoing battle with recurring tinea (I suspect one of my flatmates had it and was reinfecting us all but never let on).
3. Megadoses of antibiotics.
4. Exposure to extreme and nasty cleaning products when I moved house.
Apparently any one of these could have set it off - it's an immune system response that flares up after periods of stress or exposure to environmental aggressors* - and I had all four at once, so I guess it's not surprising.
However, since then I've been trying to pinpoint what triggers it. I've discovered that using hemp hand cream after cleaning really helps reduce any reaction to the detergents. Other than that, I've still not really figured it out. This morning, I found a site dedicated to it and discovered that heat seems to exacerbate it too.
So I'm no closer. At the moment I'm looking at the list up there. I can cross off tinea, but yes, this winter was pretty horrible on an ongoing basis culminating with Joel's moving to Hong Kong a month ago. I'm getting the hang of LDR now but the first few weeks has been pretty hard. I've been exposed to large doses of antibiotics and cleaning products again (cleaning Mum's house) and while I wore gloves, the detergent water got inside them and turned them into little hot detergent-baths for my fingers. And to add into the mix, it's been quite warm and I've been shearing, and I've noticed that the day or two after shearing is when I get the itchies the worst - I think it's because I get oil all over my hands from dealing with the gear. At least, I hope I haven't suddenly become allergic to sheep grease. Yikes!
And we've been using powder detergent for clothes washing because we inherited it from Mum's house. But I think I'm going to chuck it and go back to the liquid eco-stuff we've been using because I've had a few cases of the screaming itchies lately and I'm wondering if that is making a difference too.
Mostly I'm just frustrated at not being able to figure out what sets it off and therefore stop it, and afraid that if I can develop skin reactions at age 38, it could get worse till I end up looking like those photos up there and I don't want to.
So, WAH! fuckit.
* I got this off Dr Wheel's moisturiser bottle. Women get 'soft, smooth skin'; men get 'protection from environmental aggressors'. *cough* Maybe I should use his moisturiser on my fingers.
Meanwhile, anyone see this this morning?
I'm pretty sure the guy in the pic is Jack Nicholson from some movie where he plays an unshaven serial killer, and that the pic's there to make people scared of serial killers so they'll accept the free training. Wait, free training? What's up with that? Luckily, there's a website. It's for real. The guy has an impressively long list of training and qualifications, but the thing that interested me was the 'course preparation' stuff. Go read it.
I particularly enjoyed this bit. Seems he divides the world into sheep, wolves and sheepdogs, and sees his role of as that of the sheepdog:
"If you have no capacity for violence, then you are a healthy productive citizen, a sheep. If you have a capacity for violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive sociopath, a wolf. But what if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep love for your fellow citizens? Then what are you? You are a sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking the hero's path, someone who can walk into the heart of the universal human phobia and walk out unscathed."
He seems to have this idea that sheepdogs protect the flock - there's a bit further down where he talks about how the sheep want the sheepdog to be a sheep until the wolf turns up, then they all try to hide behind the dog which protects them.
Anthropomorphising much? Actually, the sheepdog does not have a 'deep love for its fellow citizens' - that herding that sheepdogs do is controlled hunting instinct and uncontrolled sheepdogs can and will kill sheep. I know that if I left First loose in a paddock full of sheep at night, in the morning some would be dead. Because she is a sheepdog and her instinct is to eye, then to stalk, then to give chase, grab and kill. This guy is not doing himself any favours by comparing himself with a sheepdog, seriously. And by calling himself a warrior, a hero, he's exposing the kind of megalomania that often goes hand in hand with survivalist craziness.
Yes, craziness. I have no issue with the idea of knowing how to survive in the event of some kind of apolcalypse (ours is the zombie one when we talk about it, what's yours?), but I take issue with the idea that survival involves only having the capacity to kill other people. I'm sure it would be useful to be able to do this, but I think it'll be likely far more useful to be able to kill rabbits, just saying. And when the zombie invasion happens and we take over Miramar Peninsula to restart civilisation, I'm not sure I want someone in my community who goes around assessing everyone on their level of danger and deciding whether they should kill them or not, and thinks of me as a defenceless sheep who will be protected by him whether I want it or not. Especially not one with such delusions of grandeur as to consider himself to be a hero for it.
I want the guy that can keep my chainsaw going, thanks.
That got long, so I ended up putting it behind a cut. But seriously, go read the site. Crazy gun lobbyist lulz to be had!
PS only 8% of rapes are perpetrated by strangers. The rest are done by people known to the victim. Guns don't stop rape, not raping is what stops rape.