A couple of weeks ago, I developed a rash all around my chest area. The itch is maddening, especially when it wakes me up at night. I thought I was having a hives episode, related to stress. However, recently, my skin started to peel and turn purple, and I decided a visit to my doctor was in order.
I saw him on Monday. Heís not sure whatís going on, but figures eczema is as good a diagnosis as any. He ordered blood work, STAT, prescribed a topical steroid, and referred me to a dermatologist.
Out of curiosity, I did a Web search on eczema and stress, and found that ďstress causes physiological changes that tend to weaken our immune system. When our immune system becomes compromised, our health can be negatively affected: infections and illness occur more frequently, and immune system disorders such as psoriasis and eczema can flare up."
Furthermore, ďthe relationship between stress and psoriasis or eczema is complex. Not only does stress make eczema worse, but eczema itself causes stress. The disfiguring nature of eczema, people's attitudes toward it, and the discomfort associated with the disease all cause stress for someone with eczema.Ē
Well, isnít that special.
In other news, Iíll be hosting the holiday gathering this year. Michele did Thanksgiving, so Iíll do Christmas. I have a small house, which means it's going to be a tight squeeze. If everyone comes (including the boyfriends), 22 sardines will be packed into the can. The lowest possible number of guests will be 16.
I donít know how Iím going to get the house ready and do the necessary food preparation before then. I also need to find time to make fudge and cinnamon pecans. It looks like Sunday is going to be a day of heavy labor because my schedule is fully booked every day until then.
This evening, Mike is coming over to bring containers of Markís ashes for me to give to Markís daughter, his fiancťe and her daughter. Tomorrow I have to pick up my motherís Christmas gift, and do some grocery shopping for Christmas dinner. On Friday, my mother and I are going to visit Markís daughter and bring presents to his granddaughter. We are also going to drop by the site of the duck blind to throw a wreath or balsam spray into the river. On Saturday, several of us are going to Pattiís to bake cookies, and give Markís fiancťeís daughter her gifts.
It would be hard enough for me to find the energy to do all these things under the best of circumstances, but itís even more difficult to get motivated when my spirits are so low. As is to be expected, I have good days and bad ones. Yesterday and today could not be counted among the good.
Seeing all the coverage about the lost Mount Hood climbers hasnít helped. Donít get me wrong. My heart goes out to them and their families. However, I canít help but think about how the entire nation is watching and waiting for word, while my family waited pretty much alone (at least by comparison).
Was my brotherís life less valuable or less important than the lives of the climbers? Was our worry and fear less significant and our grief less profound than that of the climbersí families? Of course not. So why wasnít the nation watching and waiting with US while Mark was missing for twenty six agonizing days? What makes one missing person tragedy more news (and assistance) worthy than another? I donít get it.
There is so much about life that I donít understandÖ
Fa la la la la la la la la.