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A Day in My Life With Eczema

As a retired person, there's not usually any rush to get out of bed in the morning. But then again, like most older people, I wake up early anyway. Even when it’s been a restless night trying not to scratch. That's when I lay in bed thinking, checking, have I scratched any spots on my face enough to bleed? Or is that one finger that's always so itchy bleeding?

Cleaning up my skin flakes

I wonder, as I make my bed, is it enough to brush the mountain of dry skin flakes out today, or should I toss the bedding in the laundry again. I never know if washing them so often is helping or making it worse. I send the Roomba around the bedroom to clean up those flakes. It makes me feel better when they're gone.

Getting ready for a walk

I try not to scratch my way through my morning coffee. Check the weather, then the pollen report. If the pollen count is low, and the temperature is not too hot, it'll be a good day for a walk. A quick wash, lots of skin cream, do I need an antihistamine? On go the sunglasses and out the door before anything changes.

Interacting with friends

My walking friends are a wonderful group of women from all walks of life, who feel as I do that as long as we keep going, we'll be able to keep going. After a good hour and a half, we have coffee on the outdoor patio of whichever cafe or little shop we're near. Social interaction is just as important as exercise. In the beginning, someone would ask if I was alright, as my face was often red and inflamed. Then the explanation - it's just eczema. Now, they don't even notice.

COVID-19 masks are still required indoors, and one of my group will always offer to bring my coffee out, so I don't need to put on the mask to go inside. They know how much it bothers my face, especially on a warm day.

Freshening up

Then home and a shower, knowing that, thankfully, today should not be quite as bad as it has been the last few weeks. Those patches of open skin are beginning to heal, and the stream of water seems just a bit more gentle. But there's that itchy flare reminding me it's trying to be in charge again. Then take the time to apply my CeraVe cream. Wait a few minutes and do it again. If you have extremely dry skin, you've been there.

What eczema-friendly food is there for lunch? And what to get out of the freezer for dinner? One good thing about living alone; there are none of my food allergy triggers in the cupboard to tempt me.

Getting ready for bed

Often I use cotton gloves at night, sometimes over Watkins medicated ointment, sometimes over a prescription cortisone ointment. Covered with plastic gloves on the worst days, though I know that's not a great idea. Try not to let the pain, itch, and stress of eczema keep me from sleeping.

Yes, there have been times when eczema sits quietly in the background, and I happily spend my days like a "normal" person. I try just to enjoy those times, not let the fear that they'll end quickly ruin them. How about you? How has your day gone?

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