For just a few short days I was reminded of what it’s like to live life appearing like an average normal person.
For most of the last 10 years I have suffered with a stack of autoimmune disorder struggles, the most prominent being severe eczema, aka atopic dermatitis, aka itchy skin, aka crazy painful rash. I don’t mean a dry patch on my hand or leg; I mean scaly, red, angry skin everywhere, head to toe.
My primary care physician, my allergist, and my dermatologist all agreed that they’ve never seen anything like it before. On top of that, I’m allergic to everything, including most of what is used to treat the condition. I’m not exaggerating here, I’m even allergic to the medications that you take for allergies.
It’s all very uncomfortable to say the least, and it makes my appearance …. unpleasant. People assume the worst when they see me, they fear a contagious plague or they think I’m some strung out meth addict. I’ve been followed by security, verbally berated, ridiculed and made fun of…. and that’s just grocery shopping on a Tuesday.
But last week… for a short few days I had 95% clear skin. A combination of medicine and there it was, I could see my skin and I didn’t feel like I was on fire.
My face was a face. My eyes weren’t swollen and covered in crusty scales. My freckles were freckled. My hands were smooth, no cracks or bleeding. My scalp stopped shedding. I could move and talk without everything hurting.
During those three days, I was reminded what life was like before…
People smile at you.
People shake your hand.
People look at you.
People talk to you.
Unfortunately, that combination wasn’t a long term solution and those few days were all there were. Everything went back to the crazy on fire feeling, the crusty scales on my eyes, and the red angry skin everywhere. Only now it hurts in even more ways, because those few days reminded me what I’m missing every day.