I'm a monster


I apologize for the impending pity party.

My body recently broke out in what can only be described as a head-to-toe field of rash patches and I'm so uncomfortable and embarrassed, I barely want to leave the house.


Several weeks ago I noticed a circular patch of pink, raised skin on my right shoulder and was devastated by the possibility that it was ringworm. Confident I caused it by wearing the same sweaty sports bra for several days in a row, I felt dirty and gross. I bought a tube of fungal cream (is "fungal" not one of the most unsexy words ever?) and applied it vigorously and liberally for over a week with zero improvements.

I was ready to just cut my shoulder off and call it a day.

To add insult to injury, last Wednesday I woke up with oval-shaped bumps all over my abdomen. The next day the bumps had multiplied and by the end of the weekend, I had raised pink patches all over my tummy, chest, neck and back.

Oh, and I itch like the dickens. I've been sitting on my hands in order to fight the urge to tear off my epidermis. I can't sit still for longer than five minutes without immediately scratching at my leg or back. The odd thing is, the pink patches don't itch ... my entire body does. My ears, my scalp, the bottoms of my feet--everything.

Almost immediately, Clayton recognized what he believes to be a case of pityriasis rosea (Google it). Apparently Clay had it when he was a teenager and what I'm going through mirrors his situation almost exactly. The big circular patch on my back is referred to as the "herald patch" and it shows up a few weeks before your body basically explodes into one giant rash. The small ovals begin in your lower abdomen and then work their way around your torso until no one wants to love you anymore.

The best part? There's no cure. You have to let it run its course. No one knows how pityriasis rosea develops (it's not a fungus, it's not a bacterial thing), so there's no real way to fix it. It's been suspected that it's viral and is oftentimes likened to the chicken pox. You just have to make yourself comfortable over the next several weeks or months (hopefully just a few weeks in my case). The good news is that I didn't get this because I'm some foul creature with bad hygiene. The bad news is that I have to just suffer with it for awhile.

I've been eating Benadryl like Pez in an effort to calm the excessive itching, but it's not helping much. I've been alternating oatmeal and Epsom salt baths and have even resorted to buying a few tanning bed sessions because it's heavily documented on the internet that the UV rays help. I've had to talk myself down from having a panic attack because I keep looking at photos and reading about a few people who suffered with this for almost a year (Clayton takes my phone away from me at night so I can't obsessively research this and freak myself out more).

I just hope that this is pityriasis rosea and not some chronic skin issue. Apparently once you have it, you rarely ever get it again (again, much like the chicken pox). It's not contagious, so you can all keep being my friends. But I did feel a little weepy and sorry for myself this morning when I put on one of my favorite work dresses and noticed that the herald patch is perfectly visible.

Argh. There are so many more important things going on in the world right now and I'm over here, talking about a rash. But we have the ability to make our worlds pretty small, eh?