3:46 p.m. on April 28, 2004
So, I have a rash. Not on me bum, but pretty much everywhere else. It started out as a dry itchy spot on my right shoulder, then spread the length of my right arm, then jumped over to my left arm and so on. I had never had any trouble with my skin whatsoever & in fact have been envied for my trouble-free epidermis. I was once told that my skin seemed “fresh from the box”. No longer. At first I tried over-the-counter pills, lotions and ointments. There were times when it seemed this might work, but mostly I was a raging, itchy mess and I started to draw blood as I scratched incessantly at the inflammation. After one month it started attacking my legs and back, so I finally went to my Doctor. When I pulled up my sleeve to show him my little skin complaint, he gasped loudly & said: “OH MY GOD!” That was about the extent of his examination. He gave me a prescription to an antihistamine called Zertec and 3 tubes of an Ointment called Desodine. Within one day of using the ointment, I saw results. Within a week, the nasty wounds on my arms all but disappeared and any new spot the rash appeared seemed to go away. Trouble was, there was always a new spot, especially on my legs and it was hard to put this shit all over my body. It seemed like wherever the rash got cleared up, a new spot would crop up in its place, driving me to distraction. Then it came back to my arms, but this time it had morphed into something more hideous with bumps and white caps and seemed to defy the ointment. The itching was a nightmare. Realizing that this was just not going to work, I went back to my doctor, hoping he would do some tests to rule out that it was not my body’s way of telling me that I have toxic shock and am going into liver failure. He did no such tests. He just shook his head in bewilderment and referred me to a dermatologist. I had never been to a skin doctor before, so I got to fill out the health questionnaire. I am very lucky to still be at the age where I can basically check NO next to all the diseases and ailments that can befall us humans. I also answered NO to all the questions the dermatologist asked me: Any allergies, recent illnesses, new medications, new lotions, soaps or detergents, anyone in your family sick, any new hobbies or work environments, etc. What the fuck was this shit & where did I get it? The only possible connection was the blue ink in a tattoo I got almost 2 years ago is raised & had been since right around when this all started. Yes, she did think it was strange that I got the tattoo so long ago, but was just now having a reaction and yes she did think it was strange that there was no evidence of a rash on or near the tattoo or even a sign of infection on the tattoo. She gave me a prescription to Predazone, which she said should make me feel better after a couple of days and should disappear the rash within 3 weeks. This medication could also increase my appetite and screw with my menstrual cycle. She also said it could disrupt my sleep. A woman she knew that took it said it wired her out so bad, she could not handle it. Oh joy. I sure hope it does not affect my sleep, because this girl loves her sleep. In 3 weeks I am to return to the dermatologist & if I still have the rash, she will biopsy my tattoo & it may need to be removed. This would be pretty terrible, because I got this tattoo in memory of my mother who died 2 years ago (no, not from a rash) and I would hate to have to get it removed, even though my Mom would be more honored if I got ALL my tattoos removed in her memory. We’ll see.

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