Thursday, 10 March 2016

Ignore this, if you like, just having a general whinge about this sodding itching which has beset me for these past five months

I’ve got to say very little has been on my mind except looking forward to the day when this perpetual torso itching goes away. Writing it here is intended to help my see the situation more clearly, and if you decided you really don’t want to carry on reading, I shan’t be offended. (In fact, I shan’t even know, shall I?)

Some days are worse than others, but none is better than pretty damn uncomfortable. My GP did blood tests and I was hoping something might be found to be amiss so that some kind of treatment could start, but Sod’s Law, I passed all tests with flying colours. That would normally be good news but it wasn’t. That consultation, at the end of last week, ended with him saying ‘well, there’s nothing more I can do for you. I could send you to see a dermatologists’. I was rather taken aback that he should give up so quickly and that his offer of ‘seeing a dermatologist’ should be made almost as a favour. I said yes, of course, and was hoping the system would have moved so fast that when I got back from London last night waiting for me would be an appointment. Well, what do you think? Nothing.

Last night wasn’t just uncomfortable but downright unpleasant. I woke as some point and itched all over, although as you are half-asleep and probably still dreaming, and as I am starting a cold and as my wife has already put away the heavy duvet for the winter and I was freezing - though still half-asleep - and as, for some very odd reason an iPad and a task I had to get done with the iPad was all a part of it - I spent a few miserable hours until daybreak, half-awak, half-asleep and wholly not knowing what the hell was going on.

I have, naturally, scoured the internet for causes, but nothing I have come across seems to fit what I am getting. Oh, and there’s the usual trick of using a medical word for the condition - pruritis - which spuriously seems to persuade you that, now it has ‘a name’, you are some way along the road
to recovery. Well, you are not. I shall try to describe the symptoms, by way of trying to get my head around them and in the hope that they might ring a bell with someone out there who found treatment: at different times, I can itch all over my torso, neck, forehead and scalp, though not beneath the waste. Although I have irregular red marks, some tiny, some a little bigger, some of the itching areas show no marks at all. While I was in Rome two weeks ago, the red marks I had became quite prominent, but although still in evidence have faded somewhat. When it is really bad, as it was in Rome, my whole back feels raw and it’s it as though I am wearing a hair shirt. As a rule I cover my upper torso with cream everywhere (except a spot above the small of my back which I can’t reach) and that sometimes soothes the skin and banishes the itching and sometimes doesn’t (Last night it bloody didn’t!).

My doctor initially prescribed anti-histamine tablets and I regularly take those, though whether or not they are effective I really don’t know. From my trawl through the net I am pretty certain it is not exczema or anything like that. The closest I have come is hives, except that hives are supposed to come and go in a matter of days, whereas I have had this sodding itching for at least five months now (Christ, that long?).

As I told my GP, I feel rather silly in that many of his patients come to him with rather nastier ailments (my nearest neighbour here up the road was diagnosed with prostate cancer a few years ago after successfully overcoming another ailment, and, of course, my stepmother suffered her second stroke just before Christmas) but on the other hand it seems rather silly to put up with something which you might be able to do something about.

Pip, pip.

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