Distracted by Eczema: How Itching Affects My Focus | MyEczemaTeam

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Distracted by Eczema: How Itching Affects My Focus

Written by Eric Tilley
Posted on February 14, 2024

One thing I won’t be doing again: scratching my back (as we all do — admit it) on the ancient, jagged walls of London while using my cellphone and taking photos. My back is covered, so I should be safe, right?

Wrong!

While sitting in traffic in a Freenow car one night near Tower Bridge, I saw three hooded and masked bike riders quickly and silently ride up onto the sidewalk and snatch two cellphones from two people, a man and a woman, who stood agog until the woman started to chase the thieves. She was never going to catch them, but all she had to do was make a call to deactivate the phone so it would be as worthless as possible.

Still, watching the drama made me realize how many times that day I’d put myself in a vulnerable position just so I could scratch my sweaty, eczema-afflicted back as carefully and discreetly as possible on 2,000-year-old marble, oblivious to anything but my itch and my phone. I could have been either of the victims of the crime I’d just witnessed, all possibly because of this disease!

Am I overreacting? I’m just saying that having eczema is distracting enough — now I have to double-check my personal security just to scratch my back?

Well, not always, but it’s always a good idea to just be aware, folks. The bad guys are out there, and they’re professionals. Any type of distraction plays in their favor, so don’t be a victim. Pay attention to your surroundings when visiting foreign and even familiar lands.

Speaking of Freenow, this ride-sharing app was very handy in getting us a nice car and driver within minutes of our requests in France, Italy, and England when my wife and I recently traveled to Europe. Traffic in Rome and London was miserable due to construction and repair. Booking with almost any ride-share company, like Uber or Lyft, makes getting around any city much easier and more entertaining. Who knows — it might even ward off a stress-induced flare.

When we arrived in Paris, before London, the set taxi fee of 62 euros from the airport to the Hotel Derby Eiffel was definitely worth it. When my wife and I finally got to the Derby, it was past midnight, but the front desk was open and waiting for us. The gentleman at the desk asked me specifically if we wanted one or two “queen” beds. I sleepily told him that one would be fine, not realizing that “queen” meant “double” to the night manager. Once we got to our rather cramped room with one tiny double bed, we were far too tired to do anything but get to know each other like a couple of sardines. Exhaustion makes for great bedfellows no matter how small the mattress — and even if one fellow otherwise tends to be kept awake by eczema.

The Derby was very kind and gave us a much larger and better room the next day, with two double beds (with eczema, separate beds can save the night and maybe your marriage) and with the Eiffel Tower just to the right of our window.

Like any military campaign, exploring Napoleon’s tomb in the rain requires planning and a good breakfast if you want to make it to lunch. We had ours at the hotel and later enjoyed a fine lunch at the Cafe des Officiers. I had the most incredible bowl of French onion soup I’d ever had, while Napoleon’s officers looked down from the walls they once sat within at that very same cafe. To think I’d have missed seeing those portraits of long-ago patrons if — in my quest to keep cool and avoid flaring symptoms — I hadn’t asked for a table away from the overbearing gas space heaters outside.

History rocks — sometimes even with eczema.

On MyEczemaTeam, members discuss eczema from a specific point of view. Would you like to share your personal story to help others living with eczema? You can learn more about this paid writing opportunity from MyEczemaTeam here.

Members’ articles don’t reflect the opinions of MyEczemaTeam staff, medical experts, partners, advertisers, or sponsors. Content on MyEczemaTeam isn’t intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Posted on February 14, 2024
All updates must be accompanied by text or a picture.

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Eric Tilley attempts to honestly document his journey with eczema and learn how others are dealing with the disease. Learn more about him here.

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