You can know anything. It's all there. You just have to find it.

-Neil Gaiman


Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Pityriasis Rosea

My new word of the day - because I have it. I thought I had eczema, then thought maybe hives, but it is going on three weeks now, so I went over to the Boynton Clinic on campus, and luckily there was an opening at the moment I arrived, so I met with Dr. Coomes.

I am sitting in the little room, after the nurse has decided that I don't have a temperature, my blood pressure and heart rate are good, and inquiring about my possible recreational drug use. She is hesitant when she sees my rash and puts on rubber gloves to take my pulse, making me feel like a leper, though I try not to take it personal.

When Dr. Coomes comes in, he reminds me of an athletic Santa. He has the white beard and glasses. He is wearing sporty Merrell hiking shoes. He shakes my hand, not weirded out by my leprosy.

"Hi, I'm Mike."

"Hi. Mindy."

Then he proceeds to ask me many questions, from my job, to pets, to traveling, to medication, the whole nine yards.
Then he looks at my back.

"Oh yeah, Pityriasis Rosea."

"What? You've seen this before?"

"Oh yeah, lots of times."

"What's it from?"

"Not eating your vegetables."

I see he is kidding.

"Nobody really knows," he says. "Some say it could possibly be viral."


"It's not contagious, and it happens more during the spring and fall. You probably started out with a large patch on your back and then it spread a week later."

"That's exactly what happened."

"It's called a herald patch. It doesn't really itch. Not like it would if you had hives. The downside is that it takes about 2-3 months for it to fade away."

"Is there anything I can do for it."

He nods. "You have to bury a potato under a full moon."

It takes me a second to realize he is joking.

He writes my disease down on a piece of paper. "Here, now you can Google it. But only believe about half of what you read."

I walk out of Boynton super happy, that I only have another month or so of this.

Thank you, Dr. Coomes!

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