Life in retirement has some ups and downs!
For the past 18 months I have been suffering from an itchy suppurating infection in the cleft of my left hand.
The doctor said try this cream – nothing doing. I am now at the point of suggesting surgery. (I have unusual hands and surgery could add some symmetry). Back to the doctor who showed little concern and said antibiotics (I hate them, they interfere with my innards and I think they are too easily prescribed, but I was suffering…). Antibiotics and sterocorticoid creams, extra algebra and Zambuk only suppressed symptoms.
Three agonising weeks later he said those awful words: I can do no more for you…!
The dermatologist said what have you been eating, doing that is different which may be a cause ? I said “My life was the inspiration for national groundhog day”. She prescribed another cream – no good. I am now considering amputation as a solution (itch is agony, let me tell you!) Back to the dermo – she brought out her big guns: six weeks antibiotics and six tubes of sterocorticoid cream. But I think what did it was that she said I must keep the hand dry.
I said that will be difficult as I am the washer-up! The wise doctor was insistent and even gave me a note to that effect for she who designates the division of labour in our menage!
Phew! after four months and no itch or ooze I thought maybe perhaps …
Eina pyn, jou bliksem – spoke too soon. The itch burn, inflammation returned. What evil could be pursuing me like this, is there a witch doctor hereabouts that I have offended?
In the middle of the night I had an epiphany: Nasturtiums – my belovedest flowers almost. We use its flowers, seeds and peppery leaves in salad; the parts that grow above the ground are used to make medicine.
People take nasturtium in combination with other herbs for urinary tract infections, swollen airways, cough, and bronchitis. Nasturtium is sometimes applied directly to the skin in combination with other herbs for mild muscular pain. it contains vitamin C and might help fight bacteria, fungi, viruses, and tumours.
Apparently it is part of the mustard seed family which can cause severe allergic reactions.
Lawks!! Mustard allergy can cause anaphylaxis!!
I picked the first bunch of Spring yesterday: a creamy yellow, shouting oranges, deep crimson, brilliant yellows … so lovely!
It turns out I have an allergic contact dermatitis. Fortunately I still have tubes of cream… at least I know now what caused it, even if it is so sad.
Apparently there is a large number of these potential killers on the loose in your flower beds, disguised as sweet smelling, colourful, joy giving blooms: sunflowers, inca lilies, jasmine, wisteria, some daisies aaand even chamomile! Life is sooo cruel!