Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Itchy Hands

It was my first job. I had just turned 16 years old, and I was working in a local resturant, scrubbing pots and pans on Friday's and Saturday's for $5.15 an hour.

Back then, I was a shy boy, closeted to sexuality, and still soft to the working world. It wasn't long however, until the bitter taste of having to be at a job became familiar to me. The pots and pans would be piled high, but looking back...that job was nothing. There was no stress behind it, although I did create it for myself (being new).

After a couple months, I noticed that my hands were having a very negative reaction to dish soap, and by the time winter had arrived the skin on and around my fingers was red, and itchy.

Tiny bumps raised, and I noted that each one was filled with a miniscule amount of clear liquid.

I can remember someone suggesting gloves, but it was much too late for that. In my own decision to avoid being made fun of, I opted not to wear them...and now I would suffer.

The itching sensation became outrageous, especially under hot water, and one particular occassion stands strong in my mind.

The warm water from my shower seemed to agitate the hands, and suddenly I began drying my hands with the towel. The relieving sensation seemed to send me into a crazed state, and I began writhing my hands violently withint the towel, the friction of which caused the tiny bumps to erupt and tear.

My hands oozed a sticky liquid out of each opened bump, and I instantly put them under hot water to wash it off.

The sensation that followed was almost orgasmic, to the point that I didn't move my hands even though they felt as though they were being boiled under the steaming hot water. My eyes rolled back into my head.

After awhile, my fingers dried out and cracked. They split, bled, and finally healed, only to repeate the process once again.

Swell, itch, weep, dry, crack, and heal. It has been a repeating process since that day when I was 16 years old.

The skin doctor says jobs that require me to have my hands in water are a no-no, and therefore I should focus on my artwork, or other things. He said my allergy to this would mean that I would have to pick myself up and be someone other than a dishwasher.

I quit my job only about 6 months after having it, but I still clean at the current one.

Summer months aren't so bad, but as soon as cooler weather hits, so does the dermatitus.

Here we are, it's mid-December, and I see those little . I shouldn't, as it will only cause more pain, but I will. I will do it subconsciously, I will do it in my sleep until my joints ache.

Now to launch my yearly attack with "Udder Cream", Hydrocortizone, and Suave Skin Therapy.

Thankfully, they haven't gotten to the point where you can really notice. It's all on my inner fingers, and very upper palm. To look at it, it just looks like red, slightly swollen skin. But a closer look will reveal the tiny micro-sized sacs of fluid just under the surface of the skin.

No beating around the bush with the Dermatologist this time. I'm gonna try to go to him soon, and explain how miserable I am now that the condition has worsened. But the truth is, there IS no cure for atopic dermatitus. We already tried.

All I can do is baby my hands to death, be a sissy and wear gloves, and hope that the condition goes away.

Peace and love to all.