Updated: Jul 31, 2019
Itch, an unfathomable evil that everyone has experienced at least once in their life but many must deal with on a constant basis. A distracting tinge that has the power to keep you awake at night tossing, turning and trying to distract from an exigent sensation. It can take on many forms from prickly to tingling and even on to burning and stinging and it can only be "relieved" even sightly by one destructive action - scratching. A brief release from the evil grasp of itch which provides a moment of release often followed by an increase in said itch and pain or discomfort.
I have lived with itch from early in life from growing up with Eczema to developing Nodular Prurigo, it is something that has alway been a part of me. As a result of living with itch I have noticed the multiple effects it has had on my life such as increased irritability and an inability to concentrate effectively (and that's just the itch not the physical effects that accompanying rashes have on the body such as increased risk of infection not to mention the psychological or psychosocial effects, but we will address those another day).
Due to the chronic nature of my condition and its severity I have been prisoner to it disrupting my life on numerous occasions yet globally it is not recognised as a debilitating condition. Generally it is seen as a skin condition that can be annoying and not as the life altering illness that it can be.
This oversimplification of these conditions I have noticed in my case has also made me question the gravity of illness and my ability to cope with it. When I left college I felt like I didn't have a valid reason because 'I just had a rash' and how could a rash disrupt my life like this? Now when I am unable to go to work because I spent my night awake and scratching to the extent that by the time the morning comes I’ve had about 2 hours sleep and am shaking with pain with multiple open sores I fear that I don't have valid clause to call in sick, that people will think I am weak or dramatic or that 'I can`t handle a skin rash'.
I fear for every other person going through these motions, doubting whether or not they're 'sick enough' to say they're chronically ill and feeling alone in this as I often do.
Once again this issue boils down to lack of discussion about chronic skin conditions and living with them along with a blind eye of sorts being casted by Doctors alongside the government in what they consider a long term illness. In many specialist appointments and hospital visits I am often not taken as seriously as I should be I feel even though my particular rash is uncommon and has had a serious impact on my quality of life over the course of almost 5 years.
We as a society are leaving too many people out and alone by not opening dialogue about these topics. Unfortunately it is difficult to open a dialogue and spread awareness about something that doesn't affect everyone, people generally only tend to care about what directly impacts them but if you find yourself reading this and you don't happen to have a skin condition (lucky you) I guarantee that you have had an itch of some kind at one point or another in your life so before you click away consider this and maybe share;
Imagine that time you had a bite or allergic reaction or just had a random itch that you couldn’t ignore and that it never went away, imagine you had to live with that everyday as you tried to navigate your life and every single night while you desperately attempted to get some sleep. Please try to imagine yourself in those shoes for the thousands upon thousands of people living and navigating life in those shoes day in day out.
If you found any of that helpful please share with others to spread the positivity. If you would like to read more subscribe to the website (currently you have to sign up, until Wix steps up its game and gets rid of that nonsense) and follow me on instagram @marzi_murphy (I post regularly). Do you have any tips for living with itch you would like to share? comment them below.
Also if you are struggling with anything ranging from chronic conditions, skin conditions, auto-immune disorders, alopecia, burns, scarring or any other self-esteem altering condition and would like to share your story and join the movement get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. I am currently in contact with a number of people and developing articles about their stories.