Something a bit different today, a very sad poem that I wrote in 2008 when my skin and allergies were particularly raw. I am happy to report my skin is so much better but I thought it might sound familiar to some of you.
Just stop scratching…
By Ruth Holroyd
The itch is consuming
It takes over my brain
My skin I am tearing
The relief is the pain
Thickened and swollen
Red and sore
Constant skin crawling
I can’t take any more
My eyes are all puffy
My skin is inflamed
All red and angry
I feel so ashamed
I scratch and I scratch
I scratch all day long
The irritation is relentless
And I know that it’s wrong
My nails I cut short
So I use other things
Tweezers, combs, my brush
Clothing and rings
It prickles and tickles
All day and all night
I try all solutions
But no help is in sight
Elimination diets, sun bed treatments
Chinese remedies, herbal potions
Steroids, creams, ointments,
old wives tails and random notions
“Stop scratching” they say
“If only you would try”
“Oh thank you so much”
I feel like I could cry…
It just isn’t that simple
When your skin is so dry
Lumps keep rising, oozing,
Livid, heated. Oh so weary.
I dream of soft skin
Velvet smooth and silky
Of waking in comfort
A shiny new perfect me
The Shape of Skin – poetry book for eczema people
If you enjoyed this poem, you might love my poetry book, The Shape of Skin, packed full of poems about eczema, itching, from childhood eczema to learning to love my skin. All itchy people will love it!
Strange, striking and sensitive poetry about skin, eczema, psoriasis, topical steroid withdrawal and troubled skin.
These are the poems I wish I could have read throughout my life with eczema. I could never find my life, my skin, my feelings represented as poetry so I wrote my own. It’s been so much fun and also powerful therapy and healing to write and I hope you love them.
“Poems to make you empathise, laugh and cry. Fabulous book.” Emma
“Relatable, honest and raw.” This is truly a project of love and you will have emotions reading it.” Amy
“These are bloody amazing – pun intended…” Sean Dillnutt
Debbie Green says
My mother read your article in the Australian Womans Day but not until December 2010. I am SO GLAD we have found you!! Our youngest son who is almost 18 is on the rollercoaster medical ride with CHRONIC IDIO PATHIC URTACARIA ANAPHYLAXIS, since being “sort of diagnosed” in July of 2010. We know the signs, we have seen what causes it. We have tried “everything and everyone” we know and still his body breaks out. He is under the so called specialists at the well known Alfred HOspital in Melbourne, he is on huge doses of medication for his asthma, polyops and this hideous condition which is debilitating and is devastating as a mother. If feel like I am losing my baby. I can’t stand by and accept the medication profession, don’t know how to fix it or what is causing it. They can only manage it. His medication has changed three times since diagnosis/attacks, because his rash breaks through, we seem to be going up the ladder of treatments to no avail. We are seeking natupath safe and complimentary treatments as well.
Ruth, could you PLEASE< PLEASE, PLEASE contact me, I am so interested to know all about your condition, if you are willing to share it with us, and any hints, suggestions, contacts, etc.etc. that we could help our son as a matter of urgency. He is again home from school, exhausted and irritated and emotional spent from the entire condition. Thanking you so ever much. Debbie Green for Nathan
Hey Debbie and Nathan, just got your comment. Hang in there. It’s very late here in the UK but I will reply properly tomorrow. Can I have your email address? Perhaps you cd drop me a quick email. I might be able to find it on here but am on mini iPhone screen at present. I really feel for you both. I’ve been there Nathan at about your age. Until tomorrow…
Hi Debbie, Nathan and family
Your email is bouncing so very quickly. You could try the following resources.
http://www.anaphylaxis.org.uk – this is out UK support group organisation
http://www.nasguk.org/ National allergy support group
Having also done a little bit of a google search I think I was in the Australia mag. I didn’t know the story had been sold to Aus! WOW! It’s a small world isn’t it? Must try and get a copy of that.
Thanks for letting me know.
Speak soon. Will reply in more detail soon.
The mind is the biggest problem. More soon.
I pray for a cure for my grandson and All people who are suffering from this in their lives. It doesn’t seem fair and I wonder why some are singled out to endure this menace.
Never give up. There is help out there. We just have to wait for the right answer to come along.
Thanks for the comment Shirl. It does seem unfair sometimes but I tell myself, it could be worse. On the whole I am healthy, and if I can avoid my bad foods I’m fine. It’s just a challenge but life is great. I hope your grandson is OK and stays safe.
Ruth what foods do you avoid, I am miserable and need all the help I can get!!
Hi Melissa. I have anaphylaxis to dairy and nuts. I also have very unpleasant reactions when I eat celery, tomatoes and coriander. NOT easy to avoid any of those so mostly freshly cooked, healthy food. Not such a bad thing. Makes me eat healthily and think about what I eat.
emma lake says
hi Ruth, i found some comfort in reading this sight i have suffered with eczema all my life. it seems to have settled more as iv got older but i get bad break outs in the cold weather and the pain in unbearable i don’t eat i don’t sleep i cry getting in the bath i cant av anyone touch me which is hard with a fiance and two little ones i hide in my house when my skin is flared up as i am ashamed of how i look with it. When i pregnant with my first child i had a break out due to the pregnancy hormones and could not use steroid lotion due to being pregnant i locked myself away in the house and from that alone i developed depression and panic attacks i was having up to 10 a day. After my skin settled the depression and panic attacks continued for a good while until after my second baby was born 3 years later. I have over come all this now but i do still get bad break outs in winter the worse the winter the worse my skin its awful. I find that sea water, swimming baths water and sunbeds help my skin other than that i try hard to do as the doctor says. Thank you for reading and for the comfort i had in reading your posts and poem :o) xxxx
Ruth Holroyd says
Thanks so much for your comment! I see I was very remiss and never replied but I’m still here writing poems!
very beautiful poem. i have suffered from eczema all my life. when i was in my late teens to mid 20s, i was able to eat anything, even foods that are known to cause allergies withou having any allergic reaction. All of a sudden, my eczema came back in full force. Now its even worse, my back and legs are full of hives dat itch like crazy. Atter of fact, as i’m typing this message, my back is itching me severely. Antihistamines are like a joke to my eczema, so my only remedy are corticosteroids, but they are making my skin too light…Here in Nigeria, it is a taboo for a man suspected of applying corticosteroids for skin lighting; and since eczema isnt common here, most people will not think you are using cortocosteroids to treat eczema flare-ups. Its really tough. I cant even wear short sleeve shirts due eczema flare ups on my arms + very light skin complexion from use of corticosteroids. People just dont know what it is to live with eczema. They dont know how good theyve got it….
Ruth Holroyd says
I’m so sorry I never replied and hope you are not having a hard time with your skin now. Happy New Year
ive just would your poem and it made me cry as that is how i feel every day with my eczema ive had it all my life. some day its calm and look ok but is always itchy and i hate it when people tell me not to cratch you’ll make it worse you can stop if you try! it makes you feel ashamed and that the eczena is your fault just they understood how iratating, itchy, tight and painful it is.
the only thing that gets me through the bad days is my boyfriend and i feel sorry for him puting up with my condition.
reading make me know im not alone with eczema x
Ruth Holroyd says
You are never alone! I’m so sorry I never replied to this when you wrote it but thanks so much for your kind words. Eczema is really tough to live with. I hope you are doing OK. Happy New Year.