Since you're reading this, you probably like me, and since you like me, you probably want to know what I want for Christmas, which is, according to the dining hall, only 50 days away. Since I'm nice, I'll tell you what I really, really want.
1. No more spots to appear on my legs (or feet, arms, torso, fingers, etc.).
2. The spots that are there, to stop growing.
3. The large red patches and scabs, to heal.
4. The bumps, to shrink and soften.
5. The rash, to go away.
I really wish that one of these times when I am taking a shower -- one of the four or five times a day -- the bumps would just explode. I wish they would explode and make a huge bloody projectile mess and eject the parasites as far away from my skin as possible. I wish I could take hot water and spray it into the open wounds and scour all the parasites away. I just want them to leave. I hate them. I hate that they live in my skin. I hate that my skin is repulsive and bumpy. I would take pain over this. I just want my skin back.
This parasite has made my very unsympathetic. I truly believe that I have the worst case in the NESCAC, that I am the most miserable of anyone, that this parasite is worse than just about anything else anyone could possibly have. I'm wrong, of course, but that doesn't make it stop itching.
I can't concentrate on anything for very long, and when it really itches, it's all I can do to stay still and not scratch trenches into my legs. And it gets worse every day. Little spots are filling in the gaps between the original spots. Spots now cover my ankles, and ten or so appeared on each foot yesterday, whereas before the spots were just on my legs. I now have three on my torso and five on my arm -- areas that were formerly uncolonized.
Neal thinks it's funny, but he's wrong. When I take a hot shower, a rage builds up inside me. I want to tear open my skin with my fingernails; I want my legs to expode. I become calm again when I turn the water as cold as it will go and stand with the rash under the stream, without goosebumps, waiting for the itch to subside.
I go to the health center every day, but they can do nothing for me. They give me tubs of hydrocortizone and bottles of antihistamines; they write prescriptions for stronger creams and stronger pills, but they have no effect. I tell them the itching is making it impossible for me to do anything, and they try to comfort me by saying that it's the same for everyone who goes to the health center, that it's driving everyone crazy. It doesn't work.
My dad says that Pete told the parents about the rash, but said it wasn't serious. I told my dad that's because Pete doesn't have it. It's not life-threatening, but it's mind-threatening. I had to take my math GRE on Saturday despite the itch, and I could barely concentrate. Problems that I could normally solve in a minute or so, I had no idea how to start. It's future-threatening. It's serious. It's driving all of us crazy.
I wear pants all the time so I don't have to look at it. When I take off my pants to shower or apply more lotion, I am disgusted. I have five hundred raised red bumps on my legs. It doesn't feel like skin; it feels like textured carpeting. I run scalding hot water on the bumps because I want to kill them. I hate them. I want to burn them, boil them, freeze them, annihilate them.
All I want is for the bumps to go away.
10/16/17 PHD comic: 'Confusing Malaise'
1 day ago