After three months of feeling like a prisoner in my itchy, rash-covered, swollen body, I finally have some relief! I had hoped I was going to be able to take care of the situation naturally which is why for almost a month now I have been caffeine, wheat, sugar, and dairy free. I drank apple cider vinegar for a few days, I said prayers, I exercised, tried showering less often, tried showering more often, replaced all my shampoos, soaps, stopped wearing makeup, recited the alphabet backwards while standing on my head, nothing worked!
On Tuesday, July 19th I saw an allergist who gave me A LOT of creams and medicines to try. A lot meaning $200 worth after insurance.
When the pharmacist told me the price I shrieked and said “are you kidding me?!?!” To add insult to injury, after leaving CVS I got a phone call my from my bank; they wanted to make sure my debit card hadn’t been stolen because of the amount charged to it at CVS. I reluctantly explained to them that I did in fact spend $200 at CVS on my debit card after three failed attempts to put it on the credit card.
It’s only been 4 days on my body lotion cocktail and I feel amazing. I still have remnants of rashes on my arms but my face is clear! I no longer wake up with swollen shut eyes and a heavy heart. I no longer intentionally close my eyes when walking past a mirror. My skin is actually glowing now! I feel back to normal and downright giddy. Even though the doctor gave me oral Prednisone (steroids) to take, I decided to forgo those at this point. I’m glad I did, my body seems to be responding incredibly to the magic skin potions. Isaac was rubbing my back last night and couldn’t believe how smooth it was! It hasn’t felt like this in…years? I was gushing with excitement and as always he reassured me that over the past few months he has never looked at me differently, “everyday you’re still just my cute adorable Courtney no matter how bad you feel.” Melt.
This whole situation has been a nice big serving of perspective for me. On the way to work this morning I was overwhelmed by how happy I felt, all because my thoughts aren’t completely consumed with how miserable I feel. In some ways, it’s almost like a blessing in disguise. Because of my trials and suffering, I find joy and utter happiness in a completely normal day. Things that would normally make me irate, driving to work behind a man going 15mph, were no big deal. I was actually pleased because hey, now I get an extra few minutes to sing along to Taylor Swift.
I found myself almost feeling sorry for people that have perfect skin, impeccable health, no real problems in their life. How can they appreciate the good days when they have no truly bad days? I know everyone has bad days, but I’m talking about something deeper. The feeling of not being in control of your own body and feeling helpless- that kind of bad day. The kind of bad day where you want to cry, but can’t let the tears spill from your eyes because you know it will cause your eyes to swell shut and hives to take over your face. Sadly, my reality for the past few months.
Several months ago my therapist asked me to journal about why I love my anxiety. One of my paragraphs started like this: I love my anxiety because it is difficult to deal with. It is miserable. I love my anxiety because it is like holding your hand on a hot stove. It hurts and it’s painful, but it feels so good when it stops. That is my definition of perspective: It feels so good when it (whatever is troubling you) stops and you can look around and realize how very blessed you are. I don’t wish pain and suffering on anybody, but I hope that everyone gets a chance to experience perspective in this way.
My aunt sent me this quote yesterday, what impeccable timing:
The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.