Tuesday, April 21, 2009

coal tar, 'roid rage, chicken on a spit

There are a lot of reasons not to trust medical professionals these days - not just when it comes to getting the wrong foot cut off or medication mistakes. At twelve, when I had my first outbreak of psoriasis I would have to smear coal tar goo all over my body then wrap up in a couple hospital gowns and percolate for two hours in a room full of other folks doing the same thing. I have been covered in steroid creams and lotions of various strengths, and spent countless hours cutting little circles of steroid impregnated tape in the shape of little lesions so I could stick it to lesions too stubborn for cream. Occasionally I just drink a fluffy cocktail and sit in the sun until I burn the spots away. When I had my last big outbreak of psoriasis, a few years ago, I sought medical treatment at the local expert doctor, he of the best reputation for psoriasis treatment in the Intermountain West. He encouraged me to take a medication that makes one more photosensitve and to get UV light treatment in the fancy stand up box, but the special medication would require that I eat fatty food in order to not be nauseated in the fancy light box. Now, mind you, this is not a tanning bed, it is a stand up booth with medical quality lights. You don't lie down, you stand naked with arms above your head, and turn like a chicken on a spit, slowly. Because I never had psoriasis on my face and scalp, I was given a brown paper bag, cut off to such a length that it would only reach my shoulders, to protect my face from undue UV damage. Note, that was undue damage, the other damage would be, in fact, due. So I wouldn't use a new bag every day, we wrote my name on it so I could keep using it each time. Now, picture the overweight woman given a medication to make her photo sensitive taking the meds with fatty food before turning naked in a light box, head covered with a paper bag with her name written on it, trying not to vomit up her fatty food. Is there any chance at all that this image never made it on You Tube? I don't have the heart to find out, so I am headed to the gym, to "tan" in a nice "normal" bed with my sports bra artfully arranged over my face so I can breathe through the armhole.


  1. HAHAHA!


    Actually, I mostly just feel bad...

  2. As long as I made you laugh. I have to laugh so I don't find myself flicking tar/steroid boogers on flawless skinned tanning goddesses as they line up for a bronzing.

  3. Oh god, I laughed so much. You are a goddess. A named paper bag goddess. I LOVE YOU.

  4. I might adopt the paper bag thing anyway. I think that's just a practical, every day fashion tip. As for the rest. Urgh, poor, poor you.xx

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