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My Summer in Gloves

I used to be like you. I usually used the appropriate hand clothes (‘hand clothes’ is what I call gloves, i guess - I just came up with that) for each season. I had thin ones for fall windshield scraping and thick ones for winter snowball creating. But I this summer I had to add white cotton gloves to my hands’ wardrobe. 

You may be wondering: am I a debutante attending cotillion? Am I your grandmas perpetually overdressed friend attending a religious service? 

No.  I have fucked up hands.

Don't worry, I won't be including photos of my post-apocalyptic hands, but for the curious imagine a burn victim grafted onto my palms.  I have horrible eczema.  It is NOT a contagious condition, but I prefer to hide my flesh-eating bacteria looking hands in public.  Yes, I’m being superficial AF, however I’m pretty sure people would be wary of being handed an item by someone with Freddy Kruegers face on their palms. FYI, eczema is 100% not contagious.  You can't catch it if you touch it, but you might get nauseous or short of breath from being in contact with it, especially on a stranger. Ew, can you imagine? Gross! 

I've had eczema most of my life. I'm sure it's mostly related to being a European Jew with a dairy intolerance, but nevertheless, I've dealt with it off and on since I was little. It started as itchy patches behind my knees, and then on my shins, inside my elbows, and now my hands. I got patches of eczema on my hands like this when I was pregnant but they weren’t this bad and cleared up after the baby was born. 

until...

This July I got dry itchy patches on my palms. I tried extra lotion for a while which did very little, but it wasn’t getting worse. Then I went to Cape Cod with my family. I always thought that salt water and sun were good for clearing up eczema but I was wrong. Very, very wrong. After being at the beach or in the ocean for about 2 hours, we headed home and I bathed both kids and myself.  (Side note: There is an outdoor shower at our house there, and it is the freaking BEST! If you have the opportunity to try {or build} one, do it!)  So anyway, it was a lovely shower, but pain was settling in my palms. A quiet warning of what was to come…

Fast forward a week and my hands are officially fucked. They are peeling, raw, itchy, super sensitive to touch and temperature, irritated by most soaps, lotions, and even what I eat! It started spreading from my palms onto my fingers, slowly climbing up and around my hands. It looked like a vine of hamburger meat twisting and turning around my inflamed digits.

On the last day of vacation, I was holding out hope for the new cream I found online. It had been delivered! It was at the house!(!) I even asked my husband to bring it with him when he picked us up at the airport!(!!) It was going to be my miracle potion, it was totally going to work!(!!!) I was so excited!(!!!!)

It didn't work!(!!!!!)

All this drama and I haven't even gotten to the white gloves yet (insert maniacal laugh)!

The new cream kind of burned (as much as everything else though, I guess). And it made my hands sticky and greasy both at once.  I had to use the gloves.  I used to be able to wear them just at night after applying a coat of over the counter creams; but with this flare up I had to wear them at night, reapply the super lotion in the morning and put the gloves back on to start my day.

Since the gloves are cotton and hold moisture (which is not good for the eczema) all kitchen tasks require rubber gauntlets OVER the white cotton gloves.  I double up my gloves and make coffee, cook breakfast, wash dishes (which is what the outer glove layer is actually for, haha!).

Because I am forced to get my hands wet when I brush my teeth, wash my face, wash my hands, shower, etc. I reapply the cream about 6 times a day. I have to change the gloves a few times a day too if they get wet or dirty, or I take them off and leave them somewhere (the car, the studio, the bathroom, the couch, the mailbox(?)).  They stop fitting because they shrink when I wash them.  But am I going to throw these gloves away after one use? Fuck NO!  So I squeeze my hands in, slowly, sliding the fingers through the tight sheath so the crotch of the glove is an inch above the actual finger base. (is that a real word? ‘Finger Base’ sounds so dirty).

Discarded gloves on the couch, probably because I was trying to use my phone.

(Discarded gloves, probably removed to use my phone)

Oh, and have you tried using a cell phone while wearing gloves? Its maddening!

Also, I don't wear them in public, cause what the hell am I going to do, explain to everyone I encounter why I'm wearing white gloves in August in 95 degree weather?!?! No, of course not. So I take them off and subject my poor hands to the elements.

In case you are screaming at me right now "USE A STEROID CREAM! I have used steroid creams in the past, and they work. But then my body becomes reliant on the cream so when I stop, the eczema comes right back. This issue has caused me enough trouble I have tried every cure on the internet.  I even drank celery juice.  Yes. That’s a thing and it’s terrible. 16 oz every morning.  It’s gross.  I even add half an apple and it’s still gross.  I have eliminated 99.5% of my dairy intake and still no results.

I started a new cream.  It still burned a little.  It seemed like it was working, but when I took my daughter to swimming lessons all my hard work went out the window. My hands constantly hurt. If I graze my finger nail onto my other hand it feels like being stabbed with a rusty nail. I had to stop washing my hands as much as I would like to.  Judge me if you must, it was necessary.

All in one night my carpal tunnel started acting up, my knuckles and joints swelled up and I was in so much discomfort I had to visit urgent care.  The doctor gave me a prescription for a steroid cream, (been there, done that) and a "don't get your hands wet". Thanks Doc (enter eye roll here). I've got an appointment with a dermatologist for the extreme eczema this week, then I go to a physical therapist to check out my carpal tunnel. You can imagine how hot I must look at night with my cotton gloves pulled under my left AND right wrist braces. Ooh La La!  A lady of desire.

And that brings us to today. Waiting in limbo for the steroid cream to work, or to meet with the dermatologist and hopefully get some magical treatment. Luckily, the weather is getting colder and maybe the gloves will start to pass in public.  I can even start dressing in black pants, a black and white striped top, a red scarf around my neck, and a beret!  I’m French now! Or a mime! Problem solved! Oh, except for the constant pain and the fact that I still have to get my hands wet about 300 times a day (I have 2 little kids and a dog at home, plus flu season is upon us!).

If you know of any other treatments I should try I AM INTERESTED! If you want to send me a care package to help lift my spirits, please do! If you want to buy all the magnets in my shop to help me pay for the therapy I'm going to need from this, DO IT NOW! Or if you just want to comment a quick "feel better soon!" I would accept that as well.

I wouldn't wish this on anyone. (Except Trump.  Fuck that asshole. I hope he gets eczema all over his body and inside his mouth (I don't think that’s a thing but I wish it on him) so they have to wrap him up in bandages and he can't talk, or move or use his gloved fingers to tweet from his cell phone). 

Wanna hang out? ;)

I'm happy, no really!


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