A man furiously scratches at his neck.

The Worst Days with Atopic Dermatitis

First of all, why are there more bad days than good? Perhaps it's just me, but the good days never seem to last long. Maybe three days max? Okay, this article is going to be more ranty than usual. Apologies in advance as we embark on this 'bumpy' journey together. Seatbelts fastened, bad mood dials turned up to eleven, itch detectors on high alert, dust extractors activated! Hold tight, people... here we go!

End of lockdown apprehension

Today is not a good day. I got to sleep at 4 am. I think it's because lockdown is ending, which is great because I can get back to work, but I'd be lying if I didn't say it's causing some anxiety. I've had one month off work, and it feels strangely odd to have to go back and work for a living. I know once I'm back, I will love it. Right now, though, my eczema is flaring. It kept me up all night, and I am in a perpetual state of soreness, dryness, anxiety, and deflation. My eczema on my wrists/arms, back of my knees, and face have taken a turn for the worse. This is the worst bunch of feelings that any eczema sufferer will tell you that can occur. I feel like I'm existing rather than living.

Stressful mornings with eczema

An oddly anxiety-inducing situation for me is when I have to pick out what clothes to wear for the day. This probably means I have to update my wardrobe. Picture the scene - this morning, I was stood at the wardrobe in my boxers, freezing cold because, annoyingly, my heating hadn't kicked in. I was asthmatic, sore, dry, cold, and highly irritable. Am I after sympathy, I hear you ask? Yep. I want loads of it today. Tons of the stuff, please. Nothing I can do will bring relief today. I can just sense the type of day I'm going to have.

Even as I type this piece, I have to stop and scratch. I can't begin to communicate just how maddening this is. The very words I type seem to reduce or undermine the frustration. Almost as if the more I write, the harder it is to convey the total sense of helplessness of all this. Wouldn’t it be great if you could give this horrible disease to another person just for one day so that they could fully appreciate or understand what we eczema warriors go through? Actually, not even a day-long, just twenty minutes will do the trick.

Stress on top of stress

Tomorrow will be my first day back at work. I'm a driving instructor. I have a twelve-hour day, which includes traveling time to and from pick-up points. The thought of having to meet and engage with people and having the stress of teaching them how to drive, looking as I do, is causing me to fret somewhat. Fingers crossed, I get a decent night's sleep.

I have skipped my exercise routine this morning because obviously I was, and am in no fit state to do anything. Again, this causes me to stress out a little because it means that I will take two steps back with my asthma. I really wish there was a cure. I often fantasize about the global scientific community coming together, like they're currently doing with the multiple vaccines for COVID, and focusing on banging out some magical pill or something that will bring an instant and lifelong cure. Wishful thinking, I know.

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