allergens and irritants and the plague they’ve caused

just a heads up… this post ain’t pretty.

there’s a thing called contact dermatitis. and i guess if you don’t treat it quickly enough, it can create another problem called a staph infection.

it’s like a combination of a thousand ants marching across my body paired with a game of whack-a-mole. i get little patches of nastiness, and they itch like the dickens. and then… they go away, and a new one crops up somewhere else.

i don’t like it. i don’t like it one bit. what’s worse is the amount of time it’s taken me to learn that the dermatitis thing is the issue, which can be caused by allergens and irritants and such.

flashback to february of last year, the week before valentine’s day and the douchebag i was dating.

prior to this, i’d had a handful of encounters with guys, but–pardon the baseball analogy–none crossed home plate. none of them had been able to soften me up enough to get it done. but that guy could.

and the next day, some lovely marks showed up on my face. i couldn’t figure out what the hell they were. i knew they weren’t zits because i never get zits. i’d had a well-woman exam weeks before which came back clean.

i changed skin care products and invested in some seabreeze and some cortizone ten, but all that did was zilch, of course.

april: gynecologist for another well-woman exam and std testing, the results of which i never received. the gyno said they were zits.

may: general practitioner said they weren’t zits and prescribed acyclovir, which freaked me the hell out because that’s what’s used to treat herpes. this caused me to plummet into what’s been some pretty nasty depression. i sought a second opinion from the general practitioner who’d been treating me since i was a child but had retired. he didn’t seem to think much of the blisters and called in a prescription for a cream. every time i thought, okay, i can handle this… more spots would appear on my body. more spots that seemed to completely disregard the pills but would respond to the cream.

july: i learned of all of the wonderful services offered by an organization called pregnancy assistance center north, which is a blessing, yall. that business is pretty damned phenomenal. the women at that facility are the best example of godsends i’ve ever seen. ever. EVER. i got tested for three diseases, the results of which were all negative. it was recommended i visit another clinic and get two other tests done for syphilis and herpes, and both of those tests came back negative, too. thank, christ. i’d truly begun to think that i was going to have to tell my parents i’d made a horrible, horrible choice with godawful consequences.

months go by… more spots. some of them change from pink to purple and increase in size, similar to that of a mole.

they are ugly. they sometimes itch. and it’s usually worse right before my cycle begins. i started thinking that perhaps it had something to do with hormonal changes in my body, like i was approaching that stage of pre-menopause or something. that the arrival of this is just coincidental to the interactions i’d had with that man.

january. yesterday. sometime around three a.m. i awoke because my body was itching horribly on my legs and arms. i figured it’s cause it’s been a little over a week since i’d changed my sheets–i’m lazy, okay? i showered and slathered lotion and calamine and cortizone cream pretty much everywhere. it’d worked in the past. it wasn’t working at this point.

so i go back to the clinic i’d gone to in july and regale the physician’s assistant with the plight from the past year and get that diagnosis. eleven… almost twelve months later. such an ordeal. all because i was allergic to that irritating jackass.

. . .

clinic again today (friday). apparently i’m also allergic to sulpha. so i’m to cease taking the antibiotic for the staph infection. and the woman with whom i spoke said it’s not the guy… it’s something in the house that’s causing the irritation, and the guy is just a coincidental thing.

i wish these people would make up their damned minds. it’s the guy… it’s not the guy… it’s the guy… it’s not the guy. how the hell am i ever to close this despicable chapter if i can’t get a resolute conclusion?

2 responses to “allergens and irritants and the plague they’ve caused”

  1. Your last line gave me a good chuckle. Dude. I'm so sorry you've been through all of this. We know you are allergic to a lot of things. Why didn't we connect the dots to an allergen? I love the words you share for "Pregnancy Assistance North". These places get a bad rap by people just pointing the finger and assuming they are abortion factories. My first true educational talk about std's and sexual health was at a Planned Parenthood. Because, let's face it, Joe Moore (my ORHS health teacher) wasn't teaching much valuable information in Health class.

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