"One Man's Fun Is Another's Hell!"--Metallica, from "My Friend Of Misery"

We are now in the "lazy crazy, hazy days of Summer." For many, this time of year means visions of the beach, swimming pools, ice-cream--and many other summertime niceities. For You's Truly, however, Summertime is not a season for rejoicing...but staying indoors until the heat of the day has past.

Leading off my problems is Atopic Dermatitis. This little fun gem manifested itself in my early teens, and wrecked the only source of spending loot I had outside my Dad. For those not in the know, Atopic Dermatitis is a skin condition that features extremely dry skin, itching, and flaking of dead skin patches. What makes this condition scary is that it almost killed me back in 2005. Staph Areus lives on your skin (along with millions of other bacteria). If the bacterium gets into your system by broken skin, you have a problem. If the Staph Areus is the Methycillian Resistant variety (as in MRSA)...pray for delieverance and get your butt to the nearest ER immediately! What is even worse is that in hot weather, my sweat is supposed to help cool me off. However, if my sweat hits an area of skin affected by a severe Atopic Dermatitis episode? My skin burns like a blowtorch! The only relief is a "bi-temp" shower: hot at first to soothe nerve tissue and kill off the histamines on my skin, then down to tepid to bring my body temperature down.

Another problem is the medication I take to deal with "the family curse"--hypertension (High Blood Pressure to those not in the know). The medication that I use is one that renders my skin photosensitive...which means I burn very easily. Unfortunately, my Medicare Part D plan will only pay for that medication (since it is cheaper than a more effective med that also make me less sensitive to sunlight).

When I am at home, I swig down liters of water (or non-sugared Kool-Aid analog), have both fans going full-tilt boogie, and keep the blinds drawn until about 5pm. That, and know that the heat will be going bye-bye in October (when the first storms usually arrive), and that we have a nice El Nino headed our way for this winter. There is nothing else that I can do that does not involve a trip to Scripps Vista Clinic to see the doctor. I slather on plenty of Eucerin analog after each shower (keeping my skin moist), stay hydrated...and stay indoors!

Not my glass of iced tea, really. But you can only do what can be done, and leave the rest to the Higher Power that you follow. Life's like that...and will remain so until the End of Time.


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