Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Rash Decisions in Richmond

On July 3, 2014, Linda Lewis and I hopped into my car and drove south.  We drove straight to Richmond, Virginia.  It took quite some time due to traffic, but we made it eventually.  During the ride, my left ankle itched.  I scratched it occasionally and thought nothing of it.

Ready for Richmond!

The day was hot, and we were fairly tired.  However, seeing my dear friend Ally immediately brought Linda and I back to life.  Ally suggested lunch at a local Irish pub, O'Tooles.  As I love Irish pubs, I was happy to go.  There were maybe a dozen people in the place, and the three of us sat at the back half of the bar.  We weren't there five minutes before an older guy came over and gave us all his business card.  he flirted very hard with Ally while doing so.  I think that of the three of us, I'm the only one who still has his card.  Why, I have no idea.  I kind of think it's funny I guess.

Three Vanity Club sisters having a serious conversation at O'Tooles

That night, we went to Karaoke at a hotel restaurant called Nacho Mamas (not to be confused with the Baltimore institution).  The place was small with an oddly shaped bar, kind of triangular with fully half of it walled off.  The karaoke was behind the bar with views of the people down two sides of the triangle.

Ready to Sing!
We found a table near the back, and I put in to sing the Grateful Dead's Friend of the Devil, one of my usual songs.  As I sang, half of the crowd were busy texting or otherwise not giving a damn.  So I guess i was less than riveting.

Friend of the Devil

Later, I sang the Beatles "I've Just Seen a Face."  As I took the microphone, a heavy set African American woman called over to me "Girl, you'd better sing!"  Well, my reception on my second song was as indifferent as my first, so I gave up.  A couple of songs later, Ally stood and beautifully sang a Stevie Wonder song.

Ally sings; hearts break

Soon after, our night ended.  Everyone was very tired, so we returned to Ally's house, and went to bed.

The next morning was July 4th, which dawned hot, bright, and beautiful.  I thought a bit while showering, and wrote my thoughts in a quick blog entry.  Some people sing in the shower- I think.  The night before cured me of my singing bug for a bit.

I noticed little bumps above my eye, on my left ankle, and on a finger.  What in the world?  Hives?  What are they?  I threw makeup over the face bumps and got ready.  I didn't want to be a party pooper, and there was a pig roast to attend! 

LtoR:  Random guest, Me, Linda Lewis, Ally

The party was in a nice Richmond neighborhood, and was open to all the neighbors as well.  There was quite a good turnout.  The hosts were very genial, and had a wicked sense of humor, as evidenced by the signs all over the house.
Snobby Cat

The food was wonderful, and a couple hours after we arrived, the pig was ready.  The hosts chopped the meat into barbecue and everyone feasted.  It was SO GOOD!

Roast Pig

Chop Chop
While there, I met many people, including someone who works at a Richmond location of the book store where I am employed.  We compared notes.  He was a very pleasant person.  I also met a couple who were extremely nice.  He was legally blind and she was all but deaf.  As she said, the deaf was leading the blind!  

After a long afternoon of eating far too much, laughing a lot and, yes, drinking a bit much, we went back to Ally's house.  We were all thoroughly exhausted.  That's when I removed my makeup and saw what the itching was all about.

My old enemy Poison Ivy was back with a vengeance... and this time it was on my face.  My ankle was also covered, and it had a large blister filled with oil.  Ally had calamine lotion, which I used.  I still had medication from last summer, but it was back in Pennsylvania.

I slept uneasily, my face and ankle oozing oil and covered with tissues.  

The Beginning

The next morning both my face and ankle were far worse.  I decided that I should head back to PA to get the meds.  Ally, Linda and I had planned to bop about Richmond for the day, but the rash was severe enough to scare me.  I remembered last summer when I had the rash all summer long, and was worried that this would scar my face as the rash scarred my legs the previous year.  So, reluctantly, Linda and I bid Ally and Jay goodbye and headed north.

During the previous day, I'd been texting with the amazing Jenny North, a Vanity Club sister from Alexandria, Virginia area.  She was the one who'd made my session at Keystone so memorable.  She said she's love to see us as we drove past her area, so we stopped for lunch in beautiful downtown Alexandria.  Jenny met us and led us to an Irish pub called Murphy's.  The inside was crowded with people watching a World Cup match. 

We had a wonderful time with Jenny, who was a great hostess.  Soon it was time to go, but we stopped in a drug store so I could get some cortisone creme for my rash, which was oozing a river of oil.

With the Beautiful Jenny North

Back on the road until Baltimore.  Sandy Empanada was busy with family, so we couldn't see her.  I decided I'd stop at the site of Lisa's death.  So, on a hot sunny late afternoon, I pulled off the road next to where Lisa had parked the van all those months ago.  And just as I did the last time I'd passed by, I said a prayer for her.  I also updated her on my life, and cried fairly hard.  Linda waited in the car to give me privacy.

The rest of the trip back was uneventful.  I stopped at MIL's place so I could pick up the prescription creme.  I had given it to Wife to combat a case of poison Ivy she had a month prior.

The rash kept getting steadily worse. It was crusted over with hardened yellow puss.  On Monday, I called out of work and went to see a doctor.  She prescribed prednisone, and I kept using the creme.  To date, nearly two weeks later, the rash on my face is gone without scars, but the rash on my ankle is still healing.  At the peak, I counted 44 blisters on my ankle, all of which eventually popped and are finally healing.  

I really wanted to stay the full time in Richmond, but couldn't.  Ally and Jay were amazing hosts again, and Linda seemed to enjoy her time there as well.  I still have no idea from where the rash came, but that's kind of a moot point right now.  It's healing.

Since then, it's been back to work.  Linda is still looking for a job.  Without it, even if our third person moves in, we are sunk.  And as that third person hasn't told us when she is moving in yet, we may be sunk already.

So I've been a bit depressed.  Money woes will do that.  Hopefully Linda will find a job soon, and A will move in so we can keep the apartment.  If not, well, we're homeless.

Not a cheery thought to end the blog entry, but there it is. I've brought it all up to date.

1 comment:

  1. I don't know what to say...so many highs and lows in such a short time. Thank you so much for sharing! It was always wonderful to read, though I know it was often painful to endure.