Wednesday, April 14, 2010
My Own Snow Globe
The past six months of illness and treatment have brought many less-than-attractive changes to my body (which already needed all the help it could get before October). There are the lovely Dracula-esque markings all over my neck. I’ve got a pretty tough three-inch scar above my left breast where my defibrillator was implanted, not to mention the bulge of the actual device pushing against my skin. Then there are the needle marks up and down my arms that probably make strangers think I’m into hardcore drugs.
But the most charming of all of these bodily changes is the extreme dandruff I have developed on my right arm. There’s an area from my elbow to about five inches above my elbow that is not only constantly prevented from getting fresh air but also has not been washed since January. Early January. Can you imagine how disgusting your skin would be if you hadn’t bathed in over four months? That’s the deal with this particular area of my arm (fortunately for my coworkers, not my whole body). Because my PICC (peripherally inserted central catheter) line goes in through my upper right arm, part of it is constantly sealed and sterile (except when my [exceptional] home nurse changes the dressing once a week) and the whole area is hidden beneath my rubber sleeve when I bathe. Pretty much every time I move, a small snow storm erupts near my right arm. It's like my own personal snow globe.
So think about me the next time you skip your daily shower and feel like a slob. Multiply that skipped day by 120 and remember that’s how dirty my arm is. That ought to make you feel better about yourself.