With the title I could start a conversation about race and my country. But it is about “lekker in je vel zitten” or “feeling good about yourself”.
Have you ever smelled your skin? Have you ever washed blood grease and dead cells from under your nails? Wake up with blood stains on your sheets? Have you ever been stuck to your bedding? Used almost boiling water in a shower to burn away the nerves to stop the itch? Been in a hospital bed where the cleaners come sweep up a piles of dead skin dust from under your bed every couple of hours? Have your parents tried putting on soft mittens on your hands to prevent you from hurting yourself? Have you felt that you need to hide your body with clothes in hot days because of the embarrassment? Have you taken pain killers just to be able to move? Have you needed to sit and massage creams and oils into your skin for about an hour to sooth it enough to put on your clothes? Always being known as the person that takes forever to get ready? Have you lost your eyebrows? Stand on the side of the pool at your friend’s birthday party? Taken sleeping tablets to sleep? Taken calming tablets for paranoia? Avoided relationships? Have friends at school ask if you are dying? Have needed to take so many steroids that you start feeling so bloated that joints start to pain? So much cortisone you lost +/-85% of your vision. Been depressed? Jealous of someone wearing shorts? Needed more sleep? And more and more sleep? Tried every diet and remedy you could find? Seen doctor after doctor? Should I carry on? If you still don’t know or cannot imagine what I am talking about you have never had eczema or have never known anyone who has.
….time passes, I grow up and start learning to live with it:
I wake up this morning and start scratching. There is a slight sense of the smell I know (that is the start). I lie there for 5 min. Something I need to do (might know why if you read some of my other posts - paranoia) Today it is more deciding, changing my mindset and getting ready to move. Do I call in sick today? No I cannot do that. This is a normal eczema day… and really compared to what I have had this is that pimple on a teenager’s face.
Why am I telling you this now at the age of 36? Throughout your life you meet people that show you empathy. Try to give advice and help. You get encouragement from friends and family. Yet meeting someone that knows exactly what you have been through does not happen often or ever. It did this week.
That same day I met her I sent a message to my line manager that I was going to be late for work that morning because my eczema was bugging me. I don’t usually do that. I would rather say I overslept. Yes I got empathy and understanding back. But this can happen often!! ….So I started looking on the web if there are stories that could explain what a person like me goes through sometimes. Especially in a corporate environment. Have become aware that I am that guy who is usually in the bathroom putting on face cream. Funny how the one man calls it my beauty spot when he sees me doing it….little does he know I do it to be able to feel comfortable talking to someone sometime. I found some stories out there on the web but they didn't quite work enough to send to my line manager to explain me. And I know there must be hundreds of people like me out there going through it as well. Not even to mention the struggles of the parents of that little kid with the rough face. So here I am writing my own story. I could carry on and on. But think I have made my point.
It has made me who I am today. Think most of my friends and the people that know me would never have been able to tell what it has been like living in my skin by looking at the person I am today. I am sitting here with a big smile on my face writing this now where this morning when I woke up I couldn't stand the thought of opening up the covers I was hiding under. Am going to eat a peanut butter sandwich just now….something I wasn't allowed to eat for many years. ;-) Happiness!
To all the beautiful tough skinned people out there!