Archive for December, 2009

Climb Aboard The Itchy Scratchy Express

December 31, 2009

What do I know about eczema? Well, not an awful lot to be fair…

I know how to live with it. I know some of the things that trigger my eczema and i am 100% confident that I could still dream up ways to scratch even if you took away my hands, arms and toes!

What I don’t know is enough about the background to eczema – basically my awareness level currently stands at:

“Oops, was that a bus that just hit me?”

(thats “not” very aware for those who are struggling).

My awareness level is so low because I’ve lived with eczema since birth. Of course i didn’t actually realise i knew so little until a dermatologist asked me what i knew – my best answer was a sarcastic one about it itching!

So for the last 24 years I’ve learned to live WITH eczema, I’ve learned that flare ups do happen and that they will go away eventually. I’ve also learned that other people don’t understand eczema and that goes right from kids (in school I got the whole don’t come near me it’s catching rubbish right to being called an Eczema Man, as in X-Men the cartoon – genius!) right through to adults which lead to my first rant that you may have read!

I now know through the help of others (mainly Twitter – thanks Amanda) and by researching various places on-line that the trick to eczema is not to learn to live with it, but to learn to live WITHOUT eczema, something I never thought possible!

My idea is to tell you what I THINK I know and then you can either tell me I’m right/wrong or I’ll be carrying on looking into things and I’ll report back to you and tell you more – either way, we all win!

The main thing though is to raise awareness and hopefully get people talking to each other (or me – my emails at the bottom if you click my name) as talking has certainly helped me 🙂

Think of this as riding along on the Itchy Scratchy Express to Enlightenment from somebody who may well be very much like you – Clueless (for now!)

Andrew

Rant “Eczema isnt a real illness”

December 22, 2009

Grrr!!!

You try living with it for ONE day… One day I challenge you!

It’s not other peoples fault that they have this attitude because they don’t know any better but boy does it annoy me that A LOT of people don’t count Eczema as a serious illness.

Where do I start with this rant?

I suppose if we start with the fact that the skin is the largest organ in the body. If I then told you that my eczema can and does cover anywhere from 10% to 80-90% of my body during a flare up you may then realise how uncomfortable it can get.

How can I help people understand?

I could tell them about the pain and the suffering and the way it can rule your life and decision making…? Noooo… That would (of course!) be attention seeking and I’d never be able to get my point across.

The best way I explained this to a colleague recently is by comparing it to when they have a spot… How annoyed are they when they get a blemish on their face I asked?! Even the mere mention of such horrors got them talking quickly and I sat smiling as the tales of how it was an end of the world type scenario for them and how they suffer a crisis in confidence! Hundreds of pounds gets invested in potions and lotions bought to help it go away or to hide these types of things every year, they may even skip a night out they tell me…!

I wait politely for the quick outburst of panic to be over.

A moments realisation of why this subject was raised and the look of guilt is hard to hide when they suddenly realise that this one spot is but a mere fraction of what I have to put up with on a daily basis!

Now I DONT want you to feel guilty, and I certainly DONT want any sympathy – you have to play the hand your dealt. But what I DO want is my condition taken seriously and not to be made to feel small when I’m suffering just because eczema “isn’t a real illness”.

Rant Over 🙂