A blinking cursor begs for me to tell my story. A story of strength. A story of endurance. A story of hands wounded, split apart, torn and bleeding. Our hands interact with the world around us. They touch, caress and hold. They protect us. They interact on behalf of our thoughts, pecking words onto a screen of light.
A number of times, in the comment section of a past blog, Dyshidrotic Eczema: A Malady of Concerning Cause and Effect , I have promised to speak more on the matter. I was waiting for some sort of great unveiling to emerge as I continuously used myself as a test subject for the ailment that continues to re-emerge. To itch with the force of fire. To bleed. To ooze. For a while, I was positive that an allergy to cow’s milk was the cause of one of the most trialing experiences of my adult life. Now, I think I’ve got it figured out again, for myself at least. There is no cure for this ailment I have deemed “The beast.” A beast indeed. I am going to write the truth. I am not going to sugar coat my thoughts. I am going to tell you, straight up, what I have discovered to be the direct cause of DE: A physical sign of mental distress. Not a very encouraging diagnosis, is it? You’ve begged your doctors for an answer. Unless you’ve been to a psychiatrist, I fear the answer will never be found with traditional, prescription writing medicine. The medicine of the mind is what you need, dear friend. If you’re like me, your support system may be lacking due to confusion and misunderstanding. A lack of sympathy, of empathy may exude from those around you. Staring glances that can’t make eye contact may follow you out in public. Hold tight, dear friend… I may not know you, but I am with you. I am no doctor. I am no psychiatrist. But I have been and still am a fellow sufferer. I’ve used myself as a sort of “test subject”…working to find a natural cure. To dismiss modern medicine and get down to the nitty, gritty root system of the beast. I wish to uproot it for both myself and for you. So let’s get to it.
Have you recently had a life changing event? I have. Several…within the past year. I have been on the fast track to self-discovery. Our youngest son, Harper Tribann will turn one this month. Within the first year of his life, I had an outbreak of Dyshidrotic Eczema so bad that it was physically painful for me hold him. My fingers broke open and bled while I changed his diaper. Shortly thereafter, we explored and then discovered truth together that my husband, Aaron, has Aspergers. A few months later, my Mother essentially disowned me and told me that the Daddy I’d known my whole life was not my actual Father. Oh, and let’s not forget that the house that Aaron and I had bought together, our one and only house, was also burned to the ground in an accidental fire caused (but denied by), by our last set of renters.
Stress? You’d better believe it. Need I explain the intense stress of each situation above? More like EXTREME STRESS. Test the strength of your mind sort of stress. Which brings about my next thought: Mental Weakness. The boundaries of the mind I once knew have shifted since I exited what my husband deems, The Matrix. BREAKING AN ADDICTION to The world of technology that we live in is NO JOKE. We dropped out. We respectfully declined to play, play along. We dumped the internet off of our cell phones, moved in with a family member, shut down my successful photography business and entered into what my friend Carr!e calls “early retirement.” Jumping between the ships of what everyone else is doing (following the program) and what should be done is hard to do. A few friends of ours recently asked advice on how to do what we’re doing. How do you make the break, with children in tow? How do you stop working your life away for another’s profit? How do you become untethered to your mobile device? How do you detach yourself, your actual self, from your avatar? How do you leave Facebook, when communication has shifted from actual interaction, from good ole’ face to face conversation? How do you allow yourself to feel lonely as you shift away from constant instant gratification through likes, shares and comments. You are not your avatar. Separate the two and be free.
The cure? The answer? How do I heal these grotesque monster gloves for the public eye? Stop worrying about what everyone else thinks of your hands and start there. You are suffering. It is evident. Surely those who are gawking at and questioning the state of your hands can show you a bit of empathy and compassion, right? WRONG. Most of them, I fear—actually lack the ability. We are becoming a world consumed with and addicted to the internet. We are weakening our link to food, to nature. We are dangerously materialistic. We are forgetting that we still poop and pee just like the bears in the woods. We are becoming de-humanized…and I am SCARED to be a part of what I see. My family and I are taking a step backward toward progress.
My dear friend Carr!e is also brutally honest. I love that about her. She recently told me that I’m crotchety when it comes to technology. She knows me well. I do not have a cell phone that is internet capable. I have a dumb phone. Part of the marketing name behind “Smart Phone”, I’m sure. Not good for business…oh yeah, what business? 😉
Fellow sufferers, my advice to you is to be strong. Do you have unresolved issues about your childhood as an adult? Did the feces hit the swamp buggy boat’s fan? Are you tethered to your smart phone? Do you ignore or dismiss your children because you’re on a social media site or answering an email? Are you addicted to your phone and the internet? Are you truly living? Do you sometimes feel like a robot? Are you happy? Are you keeping yourself from being happy? These are all questions I have asked myself, step by step, during the healing process of both my hands AND my mind.
I have also begun, at age 33, my spiritual journey. A much needed path, full of light. I’m studying books about herbal remedy and medicine. I’m learning how to go back, way back…deep into the compressed soil of our past. To a time where we weren’t prescribed powerful, sometimes mind bending medication to deal with the world around us…
Create and use a Plantain Poultice. This is the best natural remedy I have found (using myself as a test subject) for Dyshidrotic Eczema. It presented itself to me almost instantly once I began to study plant medicine.
1. Pull one leaf out of the plant, pulling from the base of the plant (so that you’ve pulled the entire leaf all the way to the root).
2. Rinse the leaf.
3. Chew it like Bugs Bunny eats a carrot, keeping in your mouth (not swallowing) to make a spit poultice.
4. Once you’ve chewed the end of the plantain “carrot”, spit it onto the area that is itching or causing you the most pain…or have your lover do it 😉
5. Yes, it will burn. It is okay. You’ve dealt with much worse pain during this journey, right? Sit still with the poultice on your wound and imagine that the pain, the sting that you’re feeling is due to the fact that the plant is pulling the poison (the cause of the beast) out of your skin. It is ejecting the problem. It is cleansing you, healing you. Let it sit until the burn has stopped or the spit has dried.
6. Your hands/fingers will appear to have been dipped in the dirt. They should now appear to be brown instead of red. This, I believe, is because the plantain has helped your skin to enter the fast track of healing. For instance: You know how a scratch on your leg or arm is all red and swollen before it scabs up and turns brown? Plantain, (I maintain this theory), is a sort of step-skipper when it comes to waiting for the scab.
7. Don’t scratch the itch. Don’t. Mind over matter, my friend. Do you want to heal or not?
8. Let the scab fall off on its own. Do not pick it off, even though it looks like you have dirt on your hands. Do you want people to think you’ve been gardening or that you have a contagious disease? Why do you care what they think when it comes to healing yourself? (These are not prodding attacks at “you”, reader. These are all questions that I ask myself when I think about itching or picking. Create your own, or use mine. Itch and scratch and walk away from the path to healing. Mind over matter. Strength.
Banana peels are great for the morning guilty itch. I don’t know about you, but the morning is prime time for any problem areas that I have on my hands to itch. Both of our sons love to eat bananas for breakfast. One morning I took the inside of one of their banana peels to itch the end of my thumb (we all disappoint ourselves at times, don’t we?) The banana peel also turned my thumb a dirty, earthy brown color…like I had been digging in the Earth. It is as if something was telling me to get back outside and get my hands dirty, huh? Many hugs and smiles to a few recent friends of mine who put the idea into my head 😉
Stretch. We should all do this more often. Stretching without the fear of how silly we look (another problem I’ve been freeing myself of recently, I fear…) is essential. Work it OUT! Get that stress out? Feel like you can’t roll your neck around in one direction anymore because it is all tight and uncomfortable? Keep rolling it! Work it out! Trust yourself to heal yourself.
Be in the now.
Find time for yourself.
The rest of my advice to you is written above, in bold. Each holds its own explanation within your own life. Search for the meaning of each. Act upon the truths that you find. Communicate your feelings with those you love. Grow. Strengthen. Heal.