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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Two weeks later and recovered- Dealing with Contact Dermatitis

'Man proposes but God disposes'. This is a phrase that I've grown up with and have used it many a time myself.

But never has it applied so  much as what I've been through in the last couple of weeks.What rankled even more was the fact that I had to cancel the family holiday that we had been looking forward to for the last couple of months!

It started off as a mild skin rash but then I have sensitive skin in any case and after having lived in the Middle East for the last two decades, have developed a mild form of 'melasma', ( a slight darkening of the skin on the upper cheek bones), Having tried various forms of treatment, including Homeopathy, over the last few years, I've pretty much given up on it and have learnt to manage life effectively-treks, hikes, long walks in the desert, mountain climbing, I've managed them all, ensuring that my face is not directly exposed to the sun, as this is likely to increase the darkening.    

So what was it that propelled me to go to a chemist and buy a Bioderma product, White Objective, last month? For the life of me, I'll never really be able to comprehend that except for the fact that the mildly brown  patches were bothering me( from a cosmetic point of view) and I hoped that this would resolve the issue.( Incidentally, this is the same product I'd used last year and it had worked very well!)

Day 1 and I applied it at night- I remember Avi telling me" If it ain't broke, don't fix it" but I went ahead  anyway.

Day 2- Noticed  a slight redness and itching in the morning but thought nothing much of it and went about my day.Applied the serum again at night,.

Day 3- More redness and itching, but did I stop/ No I applied it AGAIN for the third time and what followed next was a nightmare..

Day 4- It seemed worse and there was some pain. I applied a basic skin medication and ice off and on. 

Day 5 Thursday--it looked worse, there was a swelling and a constant itching. That day, I applied ice packs off and on and took an anti allergy medication. Avi suggested that we visit the doctor,but I slept in the afternoon and in the evening was feeling too ill to go.At night, I taped my face with large bandage so that I would resist the urge to scratch through the night.

Day 6- Friday- Woke up in the morning and felt terrible. One look at my face in the mirror and what looked back at me was appalling- red, inflamed, with my left eye almost closed with the swelling and the pain- hard to describe, so I will let that pass...

Went to the doctor in the next hour and I clearly remember her look when I took off the dark glasses that I was wearing to conceal as much of my face as I could. A look of astonishment coupled with horror and I leave you to imagine the rest.The problem was identified as 'Contact dermatitis', with a secondary issue of pus and infection

And so I was put on a course of antibiotics for 5 days and supposed to visit the doctor for a review after that. Which incidentally, would be the day before we were supposed to go on vacation..

Over the next few days, the infection  seemed to be getting better but the pain and the redness remained. On the fifth day we went back to her- the left side of my face was red but luckily the pain had gone.

It was high time to visit a Skin Specialist now and that was what she suggested that morning. And so we visited a well known skin specialist her. After a thorough look at my face, he informed that there was no infection/pus any more and as for the redness" we will deal with it."

Armed with a renewed surge of confidence and a prescription for just two medicines, including a skin cream for 10 days,  I walked out and cancelled my trip. You see, there was no way that I could take any exposure to the sun during this period.

Today is Day 9 of that course and I've recovered. I feel normal  and the redness is almost all gone. I take precautions like not going out when the sun is directly overhead  and that's pretty much it.

As to what did I do with all my time indoors- well that's another whole story for another blog post...

PS- There has to be a reason why I haven't put up those pics of my face during that period...

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Random thoughts on Friendship Day

Here's something I wrote two years ago and to me its just as meaningful today on Friendship Day 2013.......

Memories of school in a lovely cantonment town, Meerut.

Having fun just sitting in class, waiting for the teacher to come in, giggling uncontrollably at silly jokes 

Heading towards Pritam chaatwala and ordering one 'patta of tikkis', which cost all of 50 paisas. Then feeling delighted as we shared it...even if it was just one bite... since there were usually 4-5 of us at a time.

Changing schools and cities as well and starting life all over again.
This time in very ' hip and happening' Delhi...

Then finding and making some more great friends!
All of whom enjoyed a lot of what I did. Music, games, sports, debating, watching movies, reading ...

Or the other friends who didn't, yet we managed to form bonds that lasted...

College at St. Stephens and the taste of freedom that it brought.

Learning to be more adventurous than before, travelling on DTC buses and learning to deal with people like never before. Then laughing over the gory 'umbrella stories' with friends as we compared notes.

The Cafe, Rohtas Dhaba, the LCR,the crushes, and the memories that came to stay...

AIR, Doordarshan, Roving Microphone, Yuva Vani, Triveni Art Gallery, Cottage, Nirulas...none of this would have been have as much fun, if one didn't have friends to share these with.

IIMC - Advertising and PR- and another lot of new and delightful friends.

More bonds formed and strengthened. Many of them lasting till date.

Marriage, childbirth, career and the onward progression.
Always, but always made easier by the sheer presence of friends.
Life...changes...more changes...friends...

And today, still game for making and forging new bonds.
Yet forever grateful for the ones that one has...

Happy Friendship Day!