Monday, December 06, 2004 ______________________________________________________________________________

Small White Bumps 

The title of this post has got nothing to do with Dave, the manager that I had referenced in an earlier post. In fact, now that I know him a little better, he really isn't the bear that I made him out to be. He's not someone I would hang out at the bar with after work, but he's alright. Sometimes he seems belligerent just because he doesn't smile much. Doesn't mean he's mean though.

Moving on. Small white bumps have been appearing either singly or in colonies of 5-12 all over my hands, mostly on my fingers. When they are new, they are rather hard to spot visually, but running your fingertips over the afflicted areas (which is damn near every inch of skin) will alert you to where the bumps are. Over time it will develop a darkish dot right in the middle of the bump. When these bumps are scratched they fill with fluid. So far, it's been a toss up between clear fluid and something with a reddish tint. So why would I scratch at them? Well, why would anyone scratch anything? They itch like you wouldn't believe. They itch so badly that they wake me up in the middle of the night with the itching. Today, I discovered that if I scratch them dedicatedly (so as to quickly bring them to the fluid-filled point) and then burst them open they stop itching. The only problem is that while this is all well and good for the areas on my hands with thinner skin like the sides of fingers it completely doesn't work for the areas where the skin is quite a bit thicker like all of the skin on the palm side of the hand. Genius that I am, I'm now stuck with fluid filled bumps that I can't burst. Bah.

Before people start thinking that I have leprosy or something I would like to qualify these bumps. They are all about 1mm across and are very uniform. So it's not like I have monster deformed bumpy lumpy hands. The bumps are so hard to see with the naked eye that even my doctor had trouble spotting them and my hands look normal, thank you very much. Yes, I have been to see a doctor about them. Apparently it's an allergic reaction, but she can't really tell me what it is a reaction to. She did give me a tube of Lyderm which is supposed to help. So far, I've seen them multiply and the itching does not abate after the twice daily application of the product. I would have to say that it doesn't work.

Prior to my visit to the doc, I was slathering on Tiger Balm to help soothe the itching. During my consultation with her, she told me that Tiger Balm would only serve to further irritate my skin. Then again, it was the only thing that helped me stop scratching long enough last night to fall asleep. I'm going to go buy some calamine lotion tonight. But if my memory serves me right, I don't think calamine lotion stopped me itching when I had chicken pox. I think it only worked to stop me scratching because the pink film it left on my skin was distracting and fun to play with. In that case, I think it would still work for me now, I'll just have to fall asleep with the lights on so that I can see the pink stuff on my hands.

When I was reading the online information about Lyderm (the cream that she gave me) I noted that a possible (although less common) side effect is numbness of fingers. You know what, I think it's happening to me. My chip cutting last night at the casino was a joke and for half of today I was walking around wondering why my fingers felt all tingly and stupid. I thought I had over scratched it or something. The numbing effect seems to last for only about 2 hours after application though so if this stuff is really going to get rid of the bumps then I'm going to keep using it. If symptoms persist for more than two weeks, I will consult my physician.

On a completely separate topic, I finally got an awesome gift idea for Jimmy and I've just "Buy it Now"ed and paid for it on eBay. I can't say what it is here because although he doesn't read my blog he is using the "What I Want for Christmas" sidebar (I think I'm going to get the PDA!). So he might see it in passing and I want to keep it a secret. In fact, I just called the seller long distance (seller is in Colorado) to request that any labels that might betray the contents of the box it is being shipped in be stripped. In addition I'm probably also buying the Shawshank Redemption Special Edition DVD just because he keeps asking for it. Plus, it's one of David's favourite movies so they can both watch it together when David comes over. Boy had he better be coming over. I mean, there are an awful lot of websites out there with extensive step-by-step instructions on how to construct a viable mail bomb...

posted by Joie! at 4:33 p.m.


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