I am a young professional with a background in the sciences. I grew up in your typical Silicon Valley ways, computers, Alpha Beta Supermarkets, and drives on the 280. Ever since I was born I’ve had eczema. It’s come and gone the way a denim jacket does. You put it away, it’s forgotten and one day it stares you in the face and you can’t get rid of it. There’s too much history and you know no other way than to keep it.
Several days ago, I found myself awoken to a clawing, scratching crazy rash all over my body. How to describe the feeling…imagine when you get a haircut and there’s those little hairs that get stuck in your shirt. It pokes at you, sometimes sharp, sometimes tickling. You can swipe them away and even when they’re gone, you keep swiping, feeling like it’s still there. Now there’s like a thousand of them all over your body, but it’s not really swiping away rather it’s cutting into your skin. Needless to say the night was full of tossing and turning, ice packs on the raw skin until the sun rose and my eyes swelled shut.
Next day I find myself heading to Urgent Care (it’s pretty much the ER). A young doctor takes a look at me and I’m feeling desperate and defeated that stupid eczema brought me here.
I’m angry because I’m expecting him to prescribe some junk cream that the pharmaceuticals have sold to me and many doctors of the past. After talking a short time he says “Have you tried eliminating gluten?”
Flashback 1: High School. Friendly teasing. ” Is that hickey on your neck?” Me, “No I wish, it’s eczema.” ( I’d rather it be a hickey, even Drew Barrymore in Never Been Kissed didn’t have eczema.)
Flashback 2: Sudden list of cosmetic products I’ve tried, they total in the thousands of $s.
This may go away by “eliminating gluten.” Sounds so simple.
I am a woman, I am an engineer, I am rational, I am sensitive, I am giving up gluten…for 90 days. I choose 90 days because gluten might not be my problem, it could be pine cones, chives, pickles, milk, dust, smog, stress, or maybe my old denim jacket containing a skin drying disease in it. If this theory is true, I guess I need to continue this, but if not I may go back to my old ways, Doritos, wheat bread and all.
Thanks for reading.