Heat Wave

by Jinryu

When I first moved to NDG, I started an ambitious project to make the backyard look nice.  Well, I did trim a fair amount of the vineyard, and to my credit, I think I removed 500 lbs of ragweed.  But whatever I planted just died off– the recent heat wave isn’t really all that kind.  I planted a couple of things but not only did they cook in the trunk of the car during transport, but they never managed to get their roots in and basically just cooked since we’ve been getting scorchers everyday for the past week or so.

About a week ago, my eczema came back. It’s the first time I’ve had it in a long time.  For those of you who have it, you know how annoying it is– for those of you who don’t, I wish a pox upon your house.  I’m jealous.

Normally it’s really not all that bad. If you manage it properly, mostly by not scratching it, it basically amounts to something similar to plain old dry skin.  However, working in a hospital, it seems that by scratching a bit my eczema got infected with a bacteria, which netted me a condition known as impetigo.  I’ll spare you the gruesome details, but the end result one week later is that I’m on antibiotics to get rid of it.  It’s mostly around my neck area, and a bit on my face, and the skin is more or less restored now, but on my face it looks like i’ve got some really old scar tissue, and on my neck, it looks like I was recently hanged.

One side effect of the condition is that, especially with Asian skin, I’m super suspect to sunburn.  The dermatologist who I went to said that if I expose that skin to sunlight before the barrier layer of my epidermis is restored, I’m going to burn, and those burn scars are going to be with me for a year.  On the plus side, I’ve had almost a week off work paid (since the impetigo is from work).  On the downside, I’m confined more or less to my apartment because I can’t go out during daylight.  After dusk it’s a different story, of course.

I feel like a vampire.

Because the condition was so bad at first (the affected areas were at once cracked, dry, and at times bleeding) I couldn’t even wear a bicycle helmet comfortably because the strap would get really irritating.  I couldn’t even turn my head 90 degrees to any side, because the pull on my neck’s skin would hurt so much.

Now, all that youthful elasticity is back.  It’s mostly just the scarring now that I’m trying to prevent, but for the most part I’m back to normal.

I feel fat though– ever since this started, I haven’t been training in any way in anything, because sweat would irritate the open wounds.  It’s pretty much today that everything is back to normal, so I went through a few routines in the dark safety of my apartment.  But man, do I ever feel out of shape after just a week off the routines….

[Kingston] has headed back to Vancouver, and thus ends that chapter.

If that whole experience taught me anything, it’s how important time is.  If anything, it’s not only that we hung out a lot– but that we had the time to do so, because our schedules matched.