20 September 2014

Hafiz Adewuyi



I am so ashamed at myself, at how difficult it has become, for me to settle down, focus and dole out an article boiling at the top of my mind in one sitting. In the past few weeks, I've sat down several times, with the goal of putting something on my mind to paper, but each time, I get to some point and just pull out, for the nearest no-brainer activity. 

Well, this is me saying to myself:
- There is no time for distractions, when you decide you need to reel out your mind;
- Your writing, when you decide to write is more important than any other sh*t that might come up;
- Your thoughts do not need to be perfectly well-formed, before you put fingers to keyboard;
- You would only get worse, if you keep procrastinating your writing tasks.
- Take some time each day, to use your beautiful articulation skills, to put something down, which you can look back at, in five to ten years' time and be truly proud of.


I really cannot express it in words, how great I feel about a miracle, of which I've recently been a beneficiary. A miracle of healing; healing from a pain that has caused me true misery in the past few months (since June/July).

It's kinda embarrassing to talk about this, but I feel the impulse to. The same joy which burned through me a few days ago, when I gleefully called my mum to break the good news to her, is still very much present. The same joy, again, prompted me to call her this evening, but I decided to divert the impulse to writing instead. Ain't it awesome to share good news; especially when you're the subject object of the news?

Well, the thing is... emm... that... emm... well, for the past few months, I've lived with this medical condition that caused me to go near to nuts, whenever I do anything remotely exciting. Activities like:

- taking a short brisk walk, 
- doing a light jog, 
- doing a short morning workout 
- stepping into a warm environment;

and on the more ridiculous end of the chain:

- laughing hard at something;
- getting embarrassed,

got me wanting to scratch my whole body simultaneously :-)). This sting itch, (whose intensity has now dropped to a fraction of what it was, just this last week) was so bad that at times, it brought me to the verge of breaking down in tears. Whenever it came upon me, I felt absolutely vulnerable and hopeless. Worst thing is, the itch was no respecter of circumstances. With no permission, it comes on and takes centre stage of my attention, not caring where I am or who I'm with. On a few occasions while at the office, I have had to run to the bathroom (dunno why everyone is shy of saying toilet now; too much Hollywood movies), strip of all of my clothing and indulge in a full-fledged scratching session ;-(. This thing practically barred me from doing anything remotely physically active; from going out in the sun.

The condition had some rather negative impacts on the general quality of my life, including the following:

- I had to drop out of my commitment to having brief workouts every morning; the moment I did up to five push-ups, I felt like you would feel, were you thrown into a virgin anthill;

- In public places, whenever the itch got triggered, I practically lost all composure and  decorum. Trust me, it takes a lot of focus to resist the reflex of scratching every spot on your body at the same time. All I can think of is how to get as quick as possible to a cool spot or to a place where I can just scratch away, care-freely;

Somehow, in all of it, I did not go on to seek any professional medical help.Yeah, I searched the web and I found more than a couple of forums in which myriads of folks described feeling the same symptoms as I did. The depressing thing though, about those sites, is that, the solution-to-complaint ratio was like 1/100. Verdict? The internet, as I know it (and know to use it), did not turn out to be of much help with my intended self-diagnosis and -medication.

 All in all, the only people who were aware of the condition before now, are my family, and surprisingly, my current closest friend at work (go figure).

I normally am so secretive, am surprised I let go of 'classified' information to my friend. A good explanation for this would be that I could relate the story to a shared experience She had called me at an earlier time of the same day, when I was in the middle of, arguably the worst bout of the condition; one which was triggered by me speed-walking on a sunny morning. A bout so grave, I just wanted to yank her off the phone, so grave, I can't even remember what we discussed during the call.

My family got to know, because for some weird reason, the itch often got triggered as soon as I got back home on the weekends (from the work week). And being that I have next to nothing to hide from them, I spared no effort in giving in to impulse, and scratching away to my heart's fill.

My mum got really concerned seeing me in those itching bouts, I could see it on her face, hear it in her voice. Over and over, she would ask me the same questions like: "Did you change your bathing soap?", just in an effort to diagnose the situation. It often got me irritated, because she would ask the same diagnostic questions, each time she saw me in the pain. Eventually, after I resisted all attempts by her to get me to go see the doctor (mainly because I was sceptical of the doctor's ability to help me), I got to try out a few of her myriad of suggestions:

- I began taking a daily dose of antihistamine. She'd suffered a similar condition before and the doctor had prescribed antihistamines to her - she found them effective. Before doing this though, I made sure I read about the drug and was convinced it could indeed come in handy. Sadly, this drug got me gravely disappointed. There was a day when I took it, and a few hours later, I happened to take a ten minute walk under the midday sun. You know, that was one of the times when I almost broke down in tears from the sheer frustration of not being able to attend to the body-wide tickle. I used it for about two weeks, and just, dumped it in the trash.

- More recently (last week's start), by virtue of her unbound benevolence towards me, she bought me a bath water disinfectant to use every morning. The adoption of this suggestion closely coincides with the period when I started to experience huge relief from the symptoms, so close, I'm tempted to think it could be the magic potion. However, I understandably would like to believe that my body has naturally healed itself.

Apart from mum's suggestion, a few things which also changed around the time I got a relief from this condition are:

- I resumed using a skin moisturising cream every morning. I had stopped this for almost a year, and thought skin malnourishment :-) might just be the reason for the condition;

The last time I really felt the itch at the regular massive scale was last Saturday (7 days ago). I had a hangout with a friend at UNILAG, and had travelled there by danfo. The weather was hot and humid, the perfect trigger, coupled with the fact that I always walk like I'm going to meet the president. Needless to say, I had a fit shortly after passing through the main gate, while strolling towards the cab park. Unfortunately, it was at this time, when I was mustering all my chi to avoid looking like a deranged heroin junkie, that another beloved friend (with whom I had not had contact in a long time), decided to call-in. Needless to say, I failed to add any life to the conversation and the call happened to end abruptly. As fate would have it, he called back later, at the end of the day.

How gracious. I never felt deserving of such awesome friends, for good reason. I'm eternally grateful for him and the few others friends who go out of their way to keep in touch with the ridiculous snob that yours sincerely can often be :'(

I remembered particularly trying to cancel the hangout that morning, because I didn't want to have another fit that day. Surprisingly enough, at no point during our numerous under-hot-sun trekking sessions (we eventually went for the hang out), did I experience the itch. And from that point on, despite having been exposed to the harshest of conditions that would have got me trying to scratch my skin off, the worst symptom of the condition that I've felt is a slight tickle, in very isolated regions of my skin.

As would be expected of any one who loves himself, I sincerely hope that this relief I feel, is indeed, the miracle I've tagged it as. It would pain me (so bad), to wake up next week, go confidently for a slightly physically exerting activity, and find myself in an itching fit that drives me nuts. I even secretly wonder if this relief could even be a sign that I have that I have become de-sensitized towards the itch (not likely as the relief was abrupt). Anyway, it feels awesome to be able to step out confidently for a short afternoon or evening walk; to be able to do a short run when I feel the impulse, to laugh from my heart, without having to worry about the looming consequence of my indulgence. Even the thought of constantly living on drugs to manage such a situation is one I do not like to entertain. This just has to be, the miracle, that I am so convicted it is.



Yeah. First completed article in ages. Wiza boy, oh, am I proud of you or what?

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