– William Shakespeare
Some days are screwy right from the get go. The other morning was one such example; I woke up and my butt was on fire. I’m not taking about the flames and conflagration type. I’m talking about the blazing kind of burning that smolders below your skin, that even a dead man would scratch. And that’s exactly what I did.
Originally, I thought perhaps I had been bitten by some creepy crawler that had the nerve to invade the bliss of my sleep and the serenity of my bed. Still, there was no tell-tale signs of itchiness, welts, bumps, puncture marks or otherwise. There was only an inflamed hotspot raging on my left butt cheek. It felt feverish to the touch and dense to my groping. For a moment it occurred to me that the previous evening I had watched the Exorcist, but I quickly dismissed this mental digression.
Whatever it was, it had clearly manifested itself in such a way that it made its presence felt like a rabid dog in an alley. My right butt cheek, in comparison, was indifferent to its twin’s histrionics. Yes, there was certainly a great divide between the two.
I hadn’t completely ruled out being bitten, so I decided a closer examination was in order. This proved difficult, physically and mentally. Standing before a full length mirror, I held a hand mirror low trying hard to get an angle at which I could either see the offending heat patch or reflect it’s apparition to the larger mirror. I leaned over, bent backwards and even attempted a half-pretzel type position that would make the yoga intensive proud and the Karate Kid nervous. Yet, it was to no avail. I was denied further inspection by both my gut and poor vision.
Eventually, I sauntered off to the bathroom to take my morning shower, hoping that a cascading stream of cool water might douse the blaze and can the heat. I stood for some time in the bathtub letting a deluge of water, soap and suds wash over my backside. I imagined the heavens had opened on me, raining down relief via my shower head. Temporarily, I forgot my pestilent posterior and the marauding hotspot fanning the flames of my fanny.
I stepped from the shower and began to towel myself dry. To my horror, I discovered that my entire groin and lower torso had turned red! It was a glowing red. I realized that it was time to panic, as my cortisol levels began to soar, my glands began to throb, and sweat started to form on the bridge of my nose.
Was this something new? How could I have missed this when I did my ‘mirror contortion’ number? For awhile, I’ve harbored a growing suspicion that I might be allergic to my tap water. Was this new outbreak related to the confounding hotspot, still undulating waves of heat on my derriere, or at least half of it? What intrasomatic conspiracy was burgeoning in the recesses of my epidermis? Why had things gone from rump to rumpus?
Mustering the courage needed to combat this affront to my immune system, I dropped my towel, donned my bathrobe, and proceeded towards my arms cache to combat this onslaught of inflammation; this affront to my immune system. I gingerly opened the medicine cabinet and perused the collection of creams, ointments, and pills. By all that is holy I would slew this pillaging invader of my flesh.
Hydrocortisones, antihistamines, galore! Antifungals, anti-inflammatories and more! And, then the slathering, rubbing and massaging, and pill popping began in earnest. A few hours later I would be lying on my couch under the droning of the air conditioner, an empty bottle of baby powder in my hand, its contents swirling in puffy wisps around my shorts.
The next day, my rash had faded and the hotspot on my bottom had receded from whence it came. I apparently was the victim of an insidious hit and run heat rash that threatened to consume my nether regions, as well as my sanity. Of course, questions still remain concerning the mysterious hotspot that waxed and waned like the moon, … you know the one in the sky.
Lastly, concerning this last of a long line ongoing struggles with my body, this whole predicament has left me scratching my head, which is better than scratching my butt, which is exactly how that morning began. In retrospect, I should have known better, but at least, as they say, hindsight is always 20-20.
PS. Thanks for reading. Heat rashes are perfectly normal occurrences during heatwaves. Hydrocortisones usually work well, though people still prefer to sit in a bathtub full of oatmeal. Are you susceptible to heat rashes, or do you just embarrass easily?
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