A Hot (& Cold) Mess
November 13, 2013
Today's post title is a reference to me, and my current physical state, right now.
First, I managed to thwack off a not-insignificant chunk of my index finger last night while trying to cut a sweet potato in half with a crappy dull chef's knife.
It's DISGUSTING. Like, I didn't even realize what I'd done until I noticed that there was a flap of skin sort of merrily hanging there, semi-inside out. And although it's my left hand, it's still one of those injuries that I can't stop accidentally tapping, hitting, bumping, jamming, what-have-you. I'm trying to type right now with it pointed up and away from the keyboard because it huuuuuurts, but then I go to like, rub my nose or something and jab the bandaged finger in my eye, then I yelp and flinch and manage to smack it on my desk on the way down. Maybe later it'll get run over by a car or hacked off in the garbage disposal.
Second, and the reason I didn't just go with just the classic "hot mess," is because the cold weather is playing a major part in my State o' Mess.
I'm sure I've mentioned this before but I have a very annoying allergy — the fancy name for it is cold urticaria; the less-fancy name for it is "Hi, it's kinda cold outside today. You can tell it's cold outside because my face is COVERED IN HIVES." The allergy is particularly bad this time of year, when the DC-area weather makes its first real drop in temperature and is also kind of blustery and windy. The wind doesn't just blow on my face, it full-on backhands me until my cheeks are red and raised. And itchy and hot. I get lines of splotchy hives around my eyebrows and jawline and yes, they are very noticeable and very, VERY attractive.
But the REAL fun actually starts once I'm back inside and warming up — that's when the face hives, (sensing their imminent destruction, perhaps) spread down my neck and shoulders and start popping up all over my chest, back, stomach and arms. Maybe a couple behind my knees, just for kicks, especially if I'm wearing skinny jeans and can't easily yank the legs up to scratch and gawk at my own weirdness.
AND THEN, for the rest of the day, my skin remains on High Irritation Alert and will break out in raised welts at the slightest provocation. The touch of my shirt against my shoulders, for example, or the slight pressure of a sliding bra strap. I have to wash off any makeup I'm wearing or my face will continue to flare up over and over. If I forget and absentmindedly scratch at an unrelated arm itch, the tracks of my nails immediately appear raised up on my skin. Look, Ma! It's a demon! Time for my seasonal exorcism, I reckon!
If you go and do an image search for cold uticaria (which I would not necessarily recommend, but hey, go ahead and knock your lunch off its axis if you want to), you'll eventually come across people having a little fun with the condition by writing and drawing on themselves with a fingernail and watching the red welt-y magic come to life.
I started taking Zyrtec this week which usually gets my reactions down to a more manageable level (like I can keep my makeup on without my entire face turning inside out), but it takes a few days to kick in and I am clearly not there yet. Between taking breaks to scratch at myself and then to freak out because I accidentally tried to scratch at myself with my bloody zombie finger, I have been typing this entry for approximately 17 straight hours.
If anybody needs me, I'll be in my belltower.