“Well, that’s quite a rash you have there”
“Yes, it is–what is it?”
“That sounds serious?”
“It’s nothing to worry about”
“So, what do I do about it?”
“Nothing, it’ll go away on it’s own.”
“Seriously? There isn’t a cream or anything…it’s everywhere!?”
“Give it a couple of weeks, it’ll go away on it’s own.”
“But seriously, any tips?”
“Tips? Stay healthy and call us if it doesn’t go away in a month”
“Why is that?”
“Dunno? Just the way it works.”
This was the conversation that I had with my dermatologist. I sat in his office with a rash that covered my entire torso and neck, tiny little red flaky patches everywhere. They didn’t itch, they didn’t hurt, they didn’t burn, but I definitely felt slightly monstrous with them.
Sometimes it’s those purely aesthetic symptoms that can get to you the most. They are just so obvious and make you completely aware of how the outside world is perceiving you. A shift in gaze, a handshake that ended to quickly and perceived reluctance when giving someone a kiss good bye. It’s easy to get lost inside your own head.
So naturally, with this visit to the dermatologist, I was armed and ready to take action. To do whatever it took, rub whatever cream was necessary, take whatever amniotic, to make this go away. Based on the minimum pain involved, it seemed that it would be a relatively easy thing to cure. But being told to just do nothing, was oddly frustrating.
My brain was screaming WHAT DO YOU MEAN DO NOTHING?! THIS IS AMERICA! YOU HAVE A MEDICAL DEGREE! GIVE ME MEDICATION NOOOWWWWWWW!!!!!!!! But yet, that was not an option in this case.
I should have felt calm, right? That this would clear up on it’s own, but for some reason the idea that I just had to wait for my body to work itself out, was so stressful. It shouldn’t be, I took biology in high school and I’d learned about the wonders that my body was capable of. Why in my time of need did I suddenly doubt it? This wasn’t necessarily a bad diagnosis, it was a cost saver to not have to pay for more doctors visits, for treatments, for any future procedures–hell, this was a time saver! Yet, still shocked, still frustrated.
I finally just caved, went out and splurged on unnecessarily high end, luxury skin products and lathered myself in them for weeks. They had no effect whats soever on my rash, but I smelled amazing and my skin was baby soft.
4 weeks later, 2 weeks after the skin care products ran out, I was rash free.
It was a cathartic experience being told to do nothing, that my body would sort itself out. I think I’ve made it clear that it was frustrating, but also sort of amazing that my body could do that? There are things, or I guess organs, at work in there that I couldn’t have even fathomed and suddenly, I felt very aware. Very aware of what I put into my body, very aware of how I took care of it, of the exercises I was doing, the way it got me from point A to point B on two legs that I wasn’t even paying attention to as I blasted my daily playlist.
I couldn’t believe I ever doubted it, that it could help me, that it could beat a virus, that it could clear up a basic rash and it sounds corny, but I gave myself a hug and made a note to appreciate what I’m able to accomplish with it and not even realize.
So here is to bodies and organs everywhere, you are capable of so much and for that you, you are ALL amazing.