Creeping crud

By Mir
September 8, 2004

(Or, What The Hell Is Up With My Skin?)

So I mentioned my hair appointment that I had earlier. I always feel a little pretty when I leave the salon. But of course we can’t have a feeling like that lasting for too long, because then I might turn into a well-adjusted human with a shred of self-esteem, and then what would I write about?

Hmmmm. Now what could I do to make sure that I return to my normal, mutant-feeling self as soon as possible. Let me think. I know I know! I’ll go to the doctor to address all of my various bizarre and disturbing skin issues! Yay!!

I experienced the onset of adult acne (after a relatively oil-free teenage run) in my twenties. My one greatest hope for the hysterectomy–other than it not being cancer, and, okay, hoping that I would stop bleeding all the damn time, and all that–was that once my hormones were levelled out, my acne would calm down. I half got my wish. The acne situation has settled down significantly and for that, I am truly grateful.

But perhaps you remember my post operative check-up where I was told that my scar was healing abnormally, and furthermore, I had something called granulation tissue up in that region where I would really not like to have anything at all unless it is attached to a very handsome, very wealthy man. I was told to use scar sheets to smooth out the keloiding of my scar, and swabbed with some silver nitrate to treat the granulation. My doc then told me to see either her or my regular doctor if either situation hadn’t shown improvement in a month.

I have continued religiously shaving hair that should not be shaved unless your normal means of income is people stuffing bills in your g-string, so that I can wear these big funky oversized rubbery band-aid things that will supposedly smooth out my scar. So far the only change that I’ve noticed is that, oh yeah, I have less pubic hair. Which makes that nasty red ridge a lot easier to see. But at least I paid $27 for that box of scar sheets.

The granulation tissue has been a bit more of a mystery, as I don’t spend a whole lot of time contemplating my vaginal cuff. (Truly, prior to the hysterectomy, I had no idea my vagina had a cuff. But I’ve been enlightened and now you all will suffer the consequences.) But there are a few telltale signs that are even more gross and disgusting that the usual Too Much Information sorts of things I share here, and suffice it to say that I’m certain that this “overzealous healing” is still plaguing my nether bits. And lo, there was granulation; and verily, I say unto you: it was ikky.

These two things are cause enough to visit the doctor. But because I take such excellent care of myself and furthermore, have had just such heart-warming experiences within the medical profession of late, I was prepared to continue on with a strict regimen of denial. Can you see my granulated vaginal cuff? Do I have to display my pubic hair to anyone other than the spiders in the shower? No, and no. Out of sight, out of mind; and there’s a $15 copay saved, to boot. I am nothing if not economical.

But you see, dear ones, my mutinous skin has betrayed me once again. Clearly enraged that I would not take my abnormalities to the doctor post haste, my cells held a meeting and decided that if I had just one more malady, perhaps I would cave.

And so it came to pass that I developed a tiny patch of eczema on the inner wrist of my right arm. No biggie. It itched, a little. I found myself taking my watch off, more often than not, so that nothing would rub against it. It would flare, then fade, then flare again. It flared and itched maddeningly and I scratched it raw, and still I held firm! I can cope with this! I do not need to see the doctor! Skin changes are often to be expected in post-menopausal women (natural or surgical), and I will triumph without medical intervention!

I could’ve done it, too. But then, you see, the fates pulled out the Big Guns. A second patch of eczema. On my face. Specifically, under my nose.

Hi, I’m Mir, and I seem to have a little bit of mystery eczema action going on here right in the middle of my face. Or, perhaps, I’m a sloppy cocaine addict. Your call.

So, yeah. I can’t be having that. I fought the good fight for several weeks; I applied Aquafor and Eucerin and Neosporin (when I couldn’t help scratching it and it got gross-looking) and switched to sensitive skin facial products and resisted the urge to use cover-up except for interviews (because, um, it’s hard to land a job when people think you might be snorting coke or picking your nose or both). It’s not improving.

Tomorrow morning, I’ll inflict myself upon my doctor, and insist that she please fix all of the things wrong with my skin before I have a nervous breakdown. Bonus points if she can give me just one ointment for all three deformities, but I’m not counting on that. I hope to emerge from my appointment on the road to some sort of healing. That seems like a reasonable expectation, and an acceptable trade-off, for what is likely to be another episode of Really Not Feeling Even A Little Pretty.


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