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Impact on Daily Life

A Day in the Life: Flare-ups

Heather S. | Financial Manager, Mother of 1

Actual Eczema Sufferer

Impact on Daily Life

A Day in the Life: Flare-ups

Heather S. | Financial Manager, Mother of 1

Actual Eczema Sufferer

Well good morning, Beautiful. This is my daily morning affirmation, even though I don’t really feel beautiful today.

Last night I didn’t get that coveted beauty sleep. Sure, I was physically in bed for 9 hours, but of those hours, I slept for a total of maybe 2…in 20-minute increments. The hotter I got the more back sweat I got, and the more back sweat I got, the more I want to go to town on my back with a scratching post.

My husband, who works early morning hours, has already given up trying to stay in bed. It’s 5 AM and he’s making coffee because I’ve kept him up with the scratching. He’d tried rubbing my back and turning the ceiling fan to turbo speed to cool off the room. It didn’t work.

I roll out of bed and see that, once again, I need to strip the sheets because the blood and skin flakes have soiled them. It’s such a common occurrence that it’s part of my morning routine almost every day and if I fail to wash them quick enough, they’ll be stained. One day I will have sheets that aren’t permanently stained on my side of the bed, but not today. Off to the laundry room with the sheets to start a load.

I go to the kitchen for that glorious first cup of coffee and do my morning meditation and reflection. I try to relax and pray. As I close my eyes, I start drifting back to sleep, but this is no time for the weary. The washing machine’s buzzer sounds; it’s time to change the load over to the dryer.

It’s 7 AM and the rest of the family is up, and the morning rush starts with lunches and the to-do list, but all I keep saying to myself is “relax and don’t you scratch that back.” But I’m a rebel with a cause, and all I want to do is get to the magic spot on my back, no matter what.

The morning rush finishes, and the house is quiet until the dryer buzzer goes off. Now I can make the bed with the clean sheets, but all I really want to do is lie down and sleep. Realistically, that is not an option. I have to get to work and try to make it through another day feeling like a huge, red-spotted canvas of pain.

I stand in my closet trying to figure out what outfit to wear, what outfit will cover up those spots on my back, what outfit will keep me from scratching, what outfit will hide the blood if I do scratch, so I don’t have to explain to another stranger that no,I’m not contagious. Somehow, I manage to get through the day.

It’s 9 PM and that bed with the clean sheets is calling my name.… Okay, here we go:

  • Humidifier on? Check.
  • Eye mask? Check.
  • Water for nighttime hydration? Check.
  • Prayers? Check.

Not all days are bad and not all nights sleepless. So as my head hits the pillow, I tell myself: Here’s to a great day tomorrow, Beautiful.

Caregiver and patient stories reflect personal stories. Individual experiences may vary.