Finding Distractions: 24 Hours of Itch

Yesterday, I woke up with a feeling.

A feeling that this was going to be rough day.

I’ve been a trooper with the last stretch of this pregnancy, I think — but the latest indignity, near-constant itchiness, is starting to wear me down (I think I have PUPPP). I’ve tried everything — anti-itch cream, Benadryl, oatmeal baths, cold compresses — and nothing, and I mean NOTHING, works.

I lay there for a while, feeling spent, and then finally I rolled myself out of bed and got dressed. This — getting dressed — felt like a major accomplishment.

The morning progressed. Mid-day, I thought, “I’ll nourish this poor little body of mine.” I cooked a healthy lunch. There was quinoa:

I had four bunches of broccoli, but the idea of plain-old broccoli florets mixed with quinoa sounded boring and bland. I thought, “I’ll puree the broccoli.” So I boiled it, and then put it in the blender with some lemon zest, a handful of fresh mint, and a few swigs of olive oil:

I added a bit of Himalayan sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

The result, I must say, was delicious.

I also had a small amount of frozen peas so I threw those in as well, and mixed everything together, adding some parmesan cheese. The resulting dish was a bit odd, consistency-wise (the puree dominated), but the flavor was excellent. And I felt great for infusing my body with so many nutrients.

I capped things off with a square of dark chocolate and a mug of ginger tea.

And then the itching got so bad that I ripped my clothes off and got in the bath.

I dumped in heaps of baking soda. I spread baking soda paste over my ankles, which itched so badly that it took every ounce of self control not to claw them off.

I still itched.

I tried to read Yoga Journal, but all I could think about was how much I itched.

I closed my eyes and breathed and tried every relaxation and visualization technique I know. (Good rehearsal for labor, I suppose, but goddammit — must I suffer this much before The Big Day?!)

Finally, I effectively distracted myself by listening to Marc Maron’s interview with David Cross on the WTF podcast (Maron’s a comedian and does long, soul-searching interviews with other comedians from his garage). They talked about smoking crack, selling cheap-ass jewelry on Venice Beach, and maintaining artistic integrity. Whatever. Keep talking. Be interesting. Distract me.

I got out of the bath, rubbed lemon all over my body (this article said to try it, and I was willing to try anything), and lay down on the bed in defeat. I started listening to Maron’s interview with Carrie Brownstein, and promptly fell asleep (no offense, Carrie).

At 5:30, I summoned all my willpower and discipline to get up, get dressed, and drag myself to a movie… The Avengers. Another attempt at distraction. When we got to the theater, it was overrun with spastic children, one of whom kept stepping on my feet as he entered and exited our row over and over again. 

This was a low point.

I wrote angry, snarky tweets on my iPhone that I deleted before posting. No one wants to hear your bitching.

I seethed.

I stuffed movie popcorn into my mouth and drank down a Sprite.

The movie started. It was fine. It distracted me. Thank god.

Afterward, the boiling rage I’d felt when the lights went down had dissipated. I was myself again. Phew.

I got an ice cream cone at Blue Marble Ice Cream and it was delicious — mocha chip. We walked around Cobble Hill. The moon was full.

We took a taxi home. We watched this week’s episode of Parks and Recreation and a couple episodes of The IT Crowd. I laughed and forgot how itchy I was.

I went to bed. I slept. Sweet, sweet sleep.

This morning, I woke up, and enjoyed a few moments of awareness before I realized… yep. Still itchy.

Ok. Deep breath. Power up the arsenal of distractions. Pull out the sofa bed, build a cozy nest, pop in a movie… write a blog post.

Please, let this baby be born soon.

Photo credits (all via Flickr): Quinoa photo by sweetbeetandgreenbean. Broccoli photo by Steven Lilley. Lemon zest photo by Robert Couse-Baker. Mint photo by nozoomii. Olive oil photo by Artizone. Popcorn photo by Andhi J. Moon photo by William Ward.


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