Tuesday, June 17, 2014


About a month ago I woke up and found a weird, itchy, red splotch on my left wrist. 

It was about an inch and a half long and an inch wide, and it covered that knobby little wrist bone that sticks out on the side.  My first thought was that it was a bug bite, which didn't make me happy because that would mean something crawly and bitey had gotten in bed with me and decided to take a nibble of my arm.  I wasn't too worried, though, because it was just itchy and red, and as long as it didn't spread, I was OK with it. 

Well, it didn't spread, but it didn't get any better, either. In fact, it got worse. I couldn't see a bite mark on it, so I ruled out an insect bite, and decided that it was probably poison ivy.  I don't usually break out from poison ivy, but there is a first time for everything!  I remembered that when I was trying to pull a weed out of some of my flowers, the plant swung back and slapped me on the wrist and it stung.  OK, poison ivy it had to be, right?  The red splotch swelled up and got all wrinkled, like the skin of a naked mole rat.  Yeah, it was gross, but again, at least is didn't spread.

Since I'd never had a reaction to poison ivy before, I didn't know if that was normal or not.  It didn't seem like it would be normal, but I'm not a dermatologist!  I tried moving my FitBit to my other arm to keep it off of the rash, but it felt weird on that arm, so I found some of these little cuff things (I honestly don't know what they are, but they're like wide bracelets made out of tights) and started wearing them under my Fitbit to keep it off of the itchy spot as well as to cover it up.  I had to!  I didn't want someone coming to talk to me and suddenly seeing my naked-mole-rat-arm-rash and wondering if I was contagious!  It was embarrassing and itchy and gross and ugly, and I wasn't going to put anyone through that.
Two Words: Triage Fashion

So, that lasted about two weeks and during that time the pastor and Mr. Lee both asked me why I was wearing the cuff. I suppose fashion isn't a good enough answer!  So I showed them the rash and they said it was poison ivy and that I shouldn't wear the cuff over it.  It would get better sooner if I didn't cover it up.  OK, then.  I still wore the cuff while at church, just so I didn't gross anyone out, but I took it off at home.  It didn't get better.  In fact, it went from Naked Mole Rat to "Possibly Turning Into a Lizard" really fast.  Not to disgust you or anything, but the whole thing got scabby and red and it looked like I was molting like a snake. You're very lucky I didn't wake a picture of it because none of you would ever sit next to me again, just in case.  Steve said I should go to the doctor (and I'd have said the same thing if it was someone else) but I felt dumb going to the doctor over an arm rash!  That's like going to the doctor because you twisted your ankle! I told him it was just poison ivy and it would go away.  

I had ultimately taken to wearing the cuff all the time, as well as a giant band-aid, and putting cream on it every day. It seemed to slowly start to get better. Slowly.  However, the longer it was there, even in the "getting better" stage, I began to worry that it was something other than poison ivy.  If it had been a bug bite, it might have been something poisonous - and if you've ever seen what a brown recluse can do to a person, you'd have worried too.  But my arm didn't rot off, thank goodness.  It still looked like it was healing, but now it looked like I'd been badly burned and was healing.  Seriously, folks, it was less gross, but still gross. I had SCALES!

Finally, (and why I didn't think of it sooner, I'll never know) something that had been in the back of my mind the whole time suddenly popped up and I couldn't ignore it anymore.  When I'd bought my watch (It's a FitBit Force) there was a disclaimer that some people get skin irritation due to the charge port on the back of the thing.  I'd been wearing it for months with no problem, so ignored the warning.  It wasn't until things got as bad as they did that I decided to look up what kind of problems people were having.  All the pictures; Every. Stinking. One. Had the same kind of weird, wrinkly rash on it that I'd had.  I was allergic to my watch, and I'd continued to wear it on my bare skin, which is why it kept getting worse.  I had no idea because I'd never had a contact allergy before, so I didn't know what was going on.

Now that my arm is getting better, I've got to figure out a way to make a new band for the FitBit that will cover up the back of it so that my skin doesn't come into contact with the charging port anymore.  I could technically send it back and get refunded, but I like the thing.  I just feel stupid for not realizing what was going on sooner. As long as I don't actually turn into a reptile, I should be OK.
Actually, that might not be so bad...

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