Rash Talking Fool

I was slammed last week and didn’t have any time to write. So today I’m posting a slightly modified version of my first post ever. I had zero readers at the time, so you probably haven’t seen it. Hope you enjoy.

*  *  *

I’ve been under a lot of stress lately. I won’t bore you with the details, but it boils down to having way too much on my plate. The last time I felt this amount of pressure was back in July. Whenever I get stressed, my body reacts in strange ways. So when I noticed a series of small red bumps near my right armpit during that trying time, I didn’t think too much of it. I should have, though. Within a week, the bumps had spread to both sides of my body, covering a significant area of my torso. They had also begun to itch. Badly.

Lovie begged me to see a dermatologist, but I was so slammed at work, I refused to take the time, choosing, instead, to throw every type of over-the-counter ointment imaginable at my red enemy. Sadly, the only thing these various salves seemed to do was make the damn thing spread. My regular inspections revealed drastic growth that conjured up images of kudzu.

Eventually, the itching reached the point to where I could no longer tolerate the sensation of anything brushing against any portion of the sensitive areas, which by then was virtually every area—the tops of my feet, my ankles, my calves, behind my knees, the inside of my thighs, my waistband, up and down both sides of my torso, under each of my arms, on the backs of my triceps, in the folds of my elbows, and even on the tops of my fingers.

So at night I resorted to sleeping completely nude and on top of the covers. During the day I turned to baggy clothes, like loose-fitting shorts and knit shirts that were a size too big. But such garb still brushed against my rash, so I turned up the legs of my shorts to minimize the contact, which exposed most of my thighs and gave me the appearance of a grape smuggler. I also rolled up the sleeves of my shirt, ala Schneider from “One Day at a Time,” only it wasn’t because I needed a place to park my smokes. It was because if I didn’t, I’d scratch my arms until they bled.

I think it's getting better. (and no, this is NOT actually me!)

Once discomfort (and humiliating fashion statements) became my twenty-four-hour-a-day companion, there was no sense in denying it any longer—I was a man with a full-body rash who was in desperate need of medical attention. If I had just gone to the dermatologist when the rash first appeared, it wouldn’t have turned into such a big deal. But it had turned into a big deal, and in so doing, it had also turned me into a walking raspberry–one who finally broke down and called the dermatologist.

“I’m embarrassed,” I said to Lovie on the morning of my appointment.

“Why?” she asked.

“Because these jeans make me look fat. Oh, and this five-and-a-half foot skin lesion I’ve been rocking for the past fortnight isn’t helping either. It’s so disgusting that I don’t even want the doctor to see it.”

“Honey, it’s not that bad.”

“Please, Lovie. You said yourself that you’ve never seen anything so nasty.”

A quick glance in my bathroom mirror that reflected the image of colossal red bumps covering the better part of my entire upper body provided confirmation of Lovie’s original assertation. Soiled Depends thought that thing was gross.

“Honey, relax. I guarantee this guy has seen worse things than that.”

That may have been true, but later that day I still fidgeted nervously as I described the situation to the dermatologist.

“Let’s have a look,” he said with a reassuring smile.

“It’s pretty disgusting,” I warned.

“You don’t have anything to worry about. Trust me—I’ve seen it all.”

“Okay,” I said as I began to peel off my shirt. “I just wanted to give you a heads up because…”

“Good God, that’s horrible!” he interrupted while recoiling in shock. “I’ll be right back,” he said as he abruptly left the room. I fully expected him to return with a photographer to conduct an impromptu, rash-inspired photo shoot that would forever immortalize me as the subject of one of those disturbing, skin-condition brochures that were shamelessly displayed on the shelf to my left. Instead he returned with a two-inch needle which he used to inject me with a double dose of steroids before handing me a prescription for an ointment originally concocted for the Elephant Man.

“By the way, John, the shot I gave you has been known to cause some minor side effects.”

“Like what?” I asked.

“Acne, but it’s extremely rare. Less than a one-percent chance. I’m sure you’ll be just fine.”

Guess who went on to get acne on his back, or “bacne” as Lovie insisted on calling it?

It turned out that my rash was an extreme case of eczema, which had likely spread so quickly due to stress. The weird thing is, I am prone to eczema, but I had never once gotten it during the summer–only during the winter when my skin gets dry. As a matter of fact, I have it right now. It’s a little worse than normal, but I’m not too concerned. You see, I’ve had a really tough stretch, and whenever I get stressed, my body reacts in strange ways.

Wait a minute. You don’t suppose… Oh no. I better go see if I have any of that Elephant Man ointment left. On second thought, maybe I’ll just call my dermatologist. I think I’ve got him on speed dial.

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About john cave osborne

John Cave Osborne is a writer whose work has appeared on such sites as DisneyBaby, Babble, YahooShine, TLC and the Huffington Post. He was also referenced by Jezebel one time, but he’s pretty sure they were making fun of him. He and his wife, Caroline, live with their five children and spastic dog in Knoxville, TN. Nothing annoys him more than joke-heavy bios written in the third person, with the possible exception of Corey Feldman.

  • http://pegbur7.wordpress.com pegbur7

    I know it’s not funny BUT LMAO. I had a reaction to an antibiotic once and ended up with a head to toe purple rash similar to that picture. I called it my “Barney” rash.

  • http://pegbur7.wordpress.com pegbur7

    I know it’s not funny BUT LMAO. I had a reaction to an antibiotic once and ended up with a head to toe purple rash similar to that picture. I called it my “Barney” rash.

  • http://thegoodthebadtheworse.blogspot.com Linda Medrano

    Dear God! Men are so thick! Why don’t they go to the DOCTOR? My husband had a raging case of shingles and after a month, finally went in. He didn’t want anyone to see it. Damn! I’m so sorry this happened, but I did kind of snort with laughter while i was reading this! Poor Dear!

  • http://thegoodthebadtheworse.blogspot.com Linda Medrano

    Dear God! Men are so thick! Why don’t they go to the DOCTOR? My husband had a raging case of shingles and after a month, finally went in. He didn’t want anyone to see it. Damn! I’m so sorry this happened, but I did kind of snort with laughter while i was reading this! Poor Dear!

  • http://worldofweasels.blogspot.com WeaselMomma

    Sure that’s not your pic. =)
    Thanks for sharing.

  • http://worldofweasels.blogspot.com WeaselMomma

    Sure that’s not your pic. =)
    Thanks for sharing.

  • http://mitcjs.wordpress.com Jen

    LOL! And I only laugh b/c I have seen some awful rashes in my career and I too have run out of the room screaming but thankfully my patients were not alert.

  • http://mitcjs.wordpress.com Jen

    LOL! And I only laugh b/c I have seen some awful rashes in my career and I too have run out of the room screaming but thankfully my patients were not alert.

  • http://wwwjackbenimble.blogspot.com/ Jack

    So I haven’t been to the doc for a physical in four years and have grown accustomed to the second growing from my shoulders.

    Maybe that is a mistake.;)

  • http://wwwjackbenimble.blogspot.com/ Jack

    So I haven’t been to the doc for a physical in four years and have grown accustomed to the second growing from my shoulders.

    Maybe that is a mistake.;)

  • http://www.tempestbeauty.com Mandy

    The downfall of men – you’d rather be dead than go to the doctor.

    All I can think of is that at least now, you’ll never wait that long again before you go to the doctor, right?

    RIGHT?

    :)

  • http://www.tempestbeauty.com Mandy

    The downfall of men – you’d rather be dead than go to the doctor.

    All I can think of is that at least now, you’ll never wait that long again before you go to the doctor, right?

    RIGHT?

    :)

  • http://thesuburbanscrawl.blogspot.com Melisa with one S

    BACNE!!!

    Haha, thank Lovie for me. I had a good laugh at that one and plan to use that word as much as possible this week. :)

  • http://thesuburbanscrawl.blogspot.com Melisa with one S

    BACNE!!!

    Haha, thank Lovie for me. I had a good laugh at that one and plan to use that word as much as possible this week. :)

  • http://surprisedmom.blogspot.com SurprisedMom

    Wow! If that WAS your photo, my heart would go out to you!

    Coincidently, I now work in a dermatologist office and have seen a lot. Nothing grosses me out. Also, I’ve heard a lot because patients, even though I insist I’m NOT a medical person (I only dress like one), tell me all about their symptoms. One guy stopped himself after telling me what was wrong and said TMI?

    And please tell Lovie I love the word “Bacne” and will be using it as soon as I can.

  • http://surprisedmom.blogspot.com SurprisedMom

    Wow! If that WAS your photo, my heart would go out to you!

    Coincidently, I now work in a dermatologist office and have seen a lot. Nothing grosses me out. Also, I’ve heard a lot because patients, even though I insist I’m NOT a medical person (I only dress like one), tell me all about their symptoms. One guy stopped himself after telling me what was wrong and said TMI?

    And please tell Lovie I love the word “Bacne” and will be using it as soon as I can.