Usually the thing that wakes me up is one of my seemingly never ending trips to the bathroom at night. For I, have the bladder control of a septuagenarian. I tend to not sleep as much as I nap between pit stops.
So imagine my surprise when I awoke to an itch, a bizarre and strange itch on both of my hands. I immediately start rubbing both hands together in a manner that a Boy Scout might use to start a fire with two sticks. This is how it all started.
What followed was weeks of a skin irritation I chalked up to new soap. Nothing to be concerned about. That was until I started to get what looked to be acne..........on my fingers. Apparently a little later than usual my fingers JUST now were going through their awkward teen years. They'll never get a date for the prom now.
My wife convinces me it's okay to go to one of those drug store clinics and I do. There's a special magic you feel waiting to see a medical professional 5 feet away from a rack of Depends undergarments and looking up the shaving cream aisle. So the nurse on duty suggests it's just an irritation from a plant, poison oak or something which up until then I had assumed (and been told) I was resistant too. I had never had a poison ivy breakout. Poison Ivy?!? Pffft! I put that shit in my salad!
Off I go then to use the cream they prescribed. Only problem is, it never goes away. NOW I go see the REAL doctors, the one that you don't go down aisle 5 to see. It takes this guy 2 seconds to say "Eczema" and then I'm done and on a medication that seems to be working.
What I find out later on the internet shocks me though. This isn't just something I caught once and it will fade away in my memory years later.......this, is a disease.
That's right I said it, eczema is a full blown, chronic, never getting rid of it disease. It's like having a venereal disease without the benefits of all the sex. There's a foundation (http://www.nationaleczema.org/) and they take donations and all that crap that you'd see for a full blown....well, disease!
THIS just might be the cause i've been looking for. It's time for me to get active, to get involved. I'll organize fund raisers...yeah! I'll become THE face of this pain in the ass affliction. I can just see the TV commercials now "Hi, I'm Ray....if you're one of the millions affected by this illness I want you to know you're not alone. Look at little Timmy here, so young....so innocent....so itchy....won't you please help him?". Now I just need to convince Bono to write a song for it and i'm set!!