Today is one of the last fair weather days we Pittsburghers are likely to see till June.
Since I live in a sort of woodsy setting, with only one neighbor nearby, and that nearby neighbor apparently out for the day, I took the opportunity to subject my lesion to a new self-help cure attempt.
Before describing this one-two-three therapy I am attempting, let me briefly describe the theoretical basis for this intervention.
A one-time frequent poster to these forums, the Mayo Clinic's very own Dr. Tom Jaeger, AKA, Jaegermeister, opined to me through a private message (which I had earnestly and somewhat shamelessly solicted) that:
A) my pictures of the lesion made him chuckle (what an enormous relief! I know Tom to be the most honorable of all doctors, and surely chuckling at a patient's terminal condition is something he would never, ever do on purpose; thus, from his reaction, I intuited the likelihood that I will live)
B) that he could not diagnose the condition long-distance, but judging from appearances, he had a "hunch" it was fungal (you will recall that our favorite beloved fake doctor, that is to say, me, came to the very same conclusion last week)Armed thusly with this new insight from Minnesota, and inspired by the virtually unheard of appearance of the sun in our parts, I began Sherlocke Holmsing some possibilities.
Ille: Fungus. Hmm. What do we know about fungus?
Hic: Well, a mushroom is a fungus.
Ille: Yes, yes. It is, isn't it? And where do mushrooms prosper?
Hic: I am fairly certain that mushrooms, like vicious gossip about the size of Jim Thornton's manhood, prosper in the dark.
Ille: Yes, the dark! And what else?
Hic: Mushrooms like moisture, as well. Dark, moist, dare I say dank chambers! Like a basement in the Delta Delta Delta sorority house.
Ille: Yes, they do like such places. Again, the same venue as where vicious gossip prospers, too. So, what do you think we should do about making the mushrooms in Jim's lesion uncomfortable?
Hic: That is elementary, my dear Ille! Sunburn and dessication therapy!
Today's picture reveals the lesion after:
- 10 minutes of full sunbathing on the front porch
- a shower with Ivory soap
- 15 minutes of high speed fan blown directly upon the lesion
- cotton balls to soak up the epithelial moisture
After the above therapy, I quickly photographed the lesion for today's visual progress report then anointed the area with the second thin layer of antibiotic cream, packed wound with further layers of cotton balls and toilet paper, put on clean underwear to hold the packing in place, and began writing the vlog.
Life, however, does not stop for a vloggist, but rather continues to crank out new elements to examine and suffer or be delighted by.
As Epictetus himself so nicely put it:
Time is a river, and a violent stream, and as soon as a thing is seen, another takes its place, and this too will be carried away. One of each of these species of distraction accosted me as I was preparing to upload today's picture.
On the delightful side, the phone rang, and after a number of cautious inquiries by a female voice on the other hand, it was determined that I am me, at which point the lovely Anna Lea Matysek announced her own identity.
She was calling to tell me that she is an expert on Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, and that I am not a victim of it. Tragically, her father died from the condition a decade ago, most likely the result of taking and developing an allergic reaction to the sulfa drug Bactrim. He might have avoided the condition altogether except that his immune system was already compromised by chemo therapy for non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma.
I asked Anna Lea if it was possible that I had Johnson's-Steven Syndrome instead of Steven's Johnson Syndrome, at which point her husband and (web) master, Jim Matysek, could be heard opining in the background that I definitely appear to have some sort of Johnson syndrome.
Perhaps not wishing to offend me, he quickly added, Maximus Johnson Syndrome, to which I had no choice but to come completely clean on such a front and add, "It is obvious he has never been in the basement of Delta Delta Delta."
On the suffering side, our phone conversation was suddenly interrupted by the leaf blowing, lawn mowing sounds of heavy machinery outside my lady-bug-encrusted windows.
The lawn guy had arrived with his arsenal of plant torturing devices.
I realized that our beloved Linus, the family guinea pig, whom we will only eat in the absolutely most dire of protein-deficient circumstances , if even then, we love him so much, was outside grazing on the hydrangea and enjoying the freedom that comes from being a guinea pig owned by benevolent owners.
Our two pugs, Lefty and Biscuit, were out guarding him from hawks. (We are pretty sure that Linus, who cannot see himself in a mirror, and thus has no idea what he looks like, has come to the conclusion that he is a pug. The three of them get along quite well and I am sure Lefty and Biscuit have no designs on making him into a meal, either.)
Dragging Anna Lea via portable phone out into the cacophony of the afternoon, I ran up to the lawn guy and told him to not harvest Linus by mistake with his leaf blower.
I wasn't able to find Linus--he may have taken refuge in a burrow. But I suspect he will come back home when it's time for his nightly carrot.
Okay, now, what I suspect you have all been waiting for: today's lesion update picture.
Maybe I am deluding myself, but it does look to this fake doctor's eye that a wee, wee, wee bit of improvement is now discernible in the flayed skin.
Or maybe it's just true that, with the exception of mushrooms, pretty much everything looks better with a tan.