« What To Do When You Have Scabies | Main | Damn You, David Sedaris!!! »

July 08, 2008

Disappointing News: I Do Not Have Scabies

After spending nearly nine minutes researching scabies, a further eleven minutes writing about scabies, and nearly an hour of my day driving to, seeing, and returning from the doctor, I am disappointed to report that I do not have scabies. Instead, my original diagnosis was correct: contact dermatitis. What is dermatitis? In layman’s terms, it’s itis of the derma.

What this means is that I have an itchy, blotchy rash that is slowly forming itself into the shape of Mickey Mouse across my torso.

How I did I contract this horrible, symmetrical rash? The doctor could not say, but I suspect the poison ivy dreamcatcher I’ve been weaving may have played a part. Honest people may disagree about whether or not creating a beautiful dreamcatcher out of poison ivy is a good idea, particularly when the person doing the creating is highly allergic, but that would be missing the point. The point is that I am half Ojibwa, and one of the many ways I honor my culture is to sleep with a dreamcatcher above my bed. My last dreamcatcher was full, and so I had to make a new one. Was poison ivy the best material with which to weave it? In hindsight, probably not. Were I to do it all over again, I might just use twine.

But what’s done is done and now the question is what do I do about it? The doctor gave me a topical steroid cream to apply, but I’m not going to go slathering myself with ointment because that seems kind of gay. Instead I am choosing to go the more manly route and burn the shit off. Before you go, “Hey, you shouldn’t burn off your skin,” let me reassure you all by saying I checked it out on WebMD so it’s cool.

(Just to clarify, WebMD did not advocate burning yourself as a cure for poison ivy, but nor did they say not to burn yourself. They didn’t say anything about it all, which leads me to believe it’s probably fine. After all, if burning yourself was such a terrible idea, don’t you think it would say that?)

The way I figure it, if I can just get all the itchy skin to cauterize, that will probably stop the itching because all the nerve endings will be dead. The trick, obviously, is not to “overdo it.” If I get carried away, guess what happens? Scars. The best way to accomplish this would be to use a solid-state laser, but after checking Amazon, Macys, and Restoration Hardware, I have come to realize that there is not a single commercially available solid-state laser on the market today. Why not? Laser pointers, yes, but those don’t generate nearly the kind of heat I need to burn my skin. I would use an acetylene torch, but the flame spreads too wide. So I’m a little bit over a barrel here.

Of course the irony this entire situation is that I spent all this time and energy weaving a dreamcatcher out of poison ivy, but in doing so I contracted a condition which prevents me from sleeping!!! LOL! In Ojibwa we have a saying for times like this. Roughly translated, it goes, “Don’t sleep with the wolf to protect you from the bear.” And then it says, “Because the wolf will probably eat your fucking face.” It sounds much more beautiful in the original Ojibwean.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Disappointing News: I Do Not Have Scabies:


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


A simple little ordinary dermatitis just doesn't seem fair. You deserve a much more important disease. Maybe next time (fingers crossed)!!


Sloppy seconds?! I suck...


For what it's worth, make sure your wife isn't using any skin care products by Prevage or Priori containing Idebenone. Maybe she did and then rubbed her face all over you and you might be allergic to that. I know it is a long shot, but I was given the line of products and while I have never been allergic to anything, this particular product gave me a crazy itchy rash that lasted several weeks. Luckily we knew the scientist who created the formula and he told me that while it is extremely rare, it does happen and to put loads of hydrocortisone cream on it to get rid of the itch.


And Preston, you do suck.


No scabies? I no longer love you.


No scabies? I no longer love you.


Wait -- Mickey Mouse shaped you say? Ok, Gi zah gin. Totally.

Baamaapii :)


Gi zah gin (had to say this twice to balance out other accidental double post).

Giminadan Gagiginonshiwan!

me again

Wow, blogging about skin conditions. This may be a new low? It feels like we're not that far away from posts of a scatological nature...

You should post a pic of your rashy tummy. I'm sure Chief Crazy Nut will help you. =)


it sounds pretty goddamn beautiful in the queen's amurican


I get contact dermatitis all the time, because as a healthcare worker, I have to wash my hands every five damned minutes with antibacterial soap.

The things that relieve it the best for me are Aubrey Organics Rosa Mosqueta moisturiser, applied frequently, and Zambuk ointment (an oldie but goodie).

If you're gonna burn it off, do it with the sun. My grandpa burnt off his dermatitis in the sun, and it was gone for good. Of course, that was back before everyone was worried about skin cancer.

Congrats on being Scabies free!

p.s. I got my copy of your book in the mail today. For once, England got in there first.


You're on the 'roids? Dude,you'll be ripped! If the itching is still driving you apeshit, you can get some of that Aveeno oatmeal bath,make a paste of it w/water and leave it on til it dries. It's temporary,but feels great.A scar in the shape of Mickey Mouse? Radical!


I like the idea of a poison ivy dreamcatcher. Then, if you have a nightmare, the ivy will poison the shit out of it, and it will itch bug itself a slow and painful death. As it should. Crappy nightmare comin' at the MIB. You suck!

(Digression, I realize itch bugs have nothing to do with this scenario -- nonetheless, I now adore the phrase "itch bug." I also realize the term is actually "itch _mite_" . . . nonetheless, it is "itch bug" that I adore. I also realize that "itch bug" is a noun and I have used it as a verb, but, yet, nonetheless, I . . . adore . . . "itch bug"!)


An "Indian" with sensitive skin? BOPBOPBOP!
You spin, and spin some more. You remind me of my old Irish Grandpa on my moms side. He was great fun. "And then I looked under the table and saw them - HOOVES! The man playing cards with me was Beezelbub himself!" And I always believed him too: "OH NO! What did you DO Grampa?!"

Contact dermatitis - first thing that pops into my head is Hydrocortisone. Then the next thing that poofs into my skull is a visual of that pink stuff you put on mosquito bites. The third thing that goes "PING!" into my cranium is a bottle of anti-inflammatories - like Ibuprofen. And that's it. Only 3 things can fit there at a time.

I hope you get better soon though. And thank GOD it's not scabies. Scabies are so...well...anyway...

Guess what? I SECOND a picture of a the Mickey Mouse chest rash!


I totally scheduled a dermatologist appointment after reading your last post. Which was the first post of yours I've read. So. Yeah. Next Tuesday at noon.


ojibwa? don't hide the truth from us... we all know you're an octoroon!


I have no advice to give you other than, "Next time, please post pictures of your filthy, itchy fingers." ;-)


Got the book today. I liked the forward by President Lincoln. He's a very insightful and noble man, even if you are a Jew. (By the way, if you order it online on Barnes and Noble they ship it out before the release date. They also took like $7 off the cost and gave me 3-day shipping free.)


And yes, I'm talking about in America.


A Jewish Ojibwa, interesting.

Oh by the way, thanks for the info Taylor.

Surfing for a pink slip

You know what the comment section of this blog reminds me of? It's like your blog is populated with bad kids who get into scraps and mishaps when the headmaster steps away. Not that you don't pay attention and feed us well. You do. We're just brats. (I'm the worst one of all).


Someone twittered your post, and I got to read this entertaining story! Cool. Sorry you're all itchy.


good news on being not infiltrated with tiny bugs. sad day for the rash though.

p.s. the last paragraph had me rolling. i wish i'd heard that advice earlier, because this one time, my family had a wolf. and it was awesome until it ate my brother's fucking face. talk about ironnyyyy.


Wait now... LOL!? Ick, Michael.


One time I thought I had contact dermatitis and the doctor at the clinic took one glance told me it was Scabies! I was so embarrassed! For the rest of the session he wouldn't even touch me or examine me closely. After washing with that crazy anti-scabies stuff I went to the emergency room with horrible burning on my skin only to discover from that doctor that I had contact dermatitis made worse by being in contact with scabies-remedy.

The comments to this entry are closed.