Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Itch You Can't Scratch

Spring is here and it's BEAUTIFUL in Missouri right now, but there is a lot of pollen flying around in the air. Those microscopic particles from the flowers and trees coat everything in a yellow film and make allergy sufferers miserable! I've never really had bad allergies or been especially sensitive to pollen, but I DO seem to be itching more lately. Spring = pollen = more itches, and saying that itches are a nuisance for someone who can't move is a major understatement!
Having an itch you can't scratch is actually pretty cruel. Pure torture! I distinctly remember lying in bed once when I was still able-bodied, thinking of poor Christopher Reeve and what it would be like to be unable to scratch an itch. I lay there with a fierce itch in my nose, and I held off scratching it until I thought I would go mad. When I couldn't take it any more, I scratched and scratched until I completely relieved myself of the itch. It is SO ironic thinking of that incident now! (This really did happen, by the way.)

There is really an art and technique to scratching an itch, and it's a lot more involved than you might think. If your nose itches, for example, you can't just have someone timidly scratch the end of your nose and have that satisfy your itch. The exact location they scratch matters, as well as HOW they scratch and the amount of pressure they use. All of this can be difficult to explain to someone, especially when you can't gesture or point to indicate how/what you want. For this reason, I ask very few people to help me scratch my itches (basically only my mom and my youngest sister, Chandra). I'm not sure what would be worse: the agony of the itch, or the frustration of trying to teach someone how to scratch the itch in a satisfying way. I choose to just suffer with the itch in order to spare myself–and others–the frustration and awkwardness of the whole thing! [I've found that making up code names/phrases for the particular areas of your face that itch frequently help give your caregivers a point of reference to know where to scratch.]
Thankfully, I only experience the sensation of itching on my face, eyes, scalp and ears, and not anywhere from the neck down. I'm not sure why I don't itch on the rest of my body since I DO feel other sensations below my neck. I won't complain, though, and neither will my caregivers. ; ) I can only take so much, after all! 


Julie said...

Hi Heather - & your Mum.:)
This really touched me. It must be so have an itch that you can't scratch.

I'm really glad that your Mum & Chandra can do it just right for you.:)

I found this especially touching about Christopher Reeve.

By the way, it's getting exciting here as we wait for news of the new royal baby - not long to go now. I hope it's a girl.:)

Thanks for a brill blog.

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