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.