Fast forward almost three years to this past December — Christmas, to be more precise. My special holiday present? The return of “The Mysterious Torso Itch” (to be read in a deep and ominous tone). I chalked my 2007 saga up to mostly winter dry skin, very severe winter dry skin, with perhaps some contribution from stress (studying for my MPH comprehensive exams, job hunting, housing hunting). I blame the hotel whirlpool in Tulsa, OK for triggering my most recent/current bout, which the dry winter air, and yes, perhaps some stress again, perpetuated.
This time, I experimented with a non-petroleum based moisturizing regime, namely, coconut butter, with a bit of olive oil thrown into the mix after a couple months over which the coconut butter alone wasn’t doing the trick. The Mysterious Torso Itch turned up it’s nose at all of the organic, extra virgin coconut oil and extra virgin, first cold-press olive oil that I threw its way. The Mysterious Torso Itch was not to be deterred.
Given their utter uselessness three years ago, I skipped the doctors completely this round.
I appropriated my husband’s cozy bathrobe and spent evenings, mornings, and weekends wearing little more than that. Abandoning the robe to put on real clothes and leave the apartment presented a serious challenge. Pants were the worst! What a terrible invention!
About a week ago, I gave up my futile attempts to fall asleep amid the thoughts in my head and the itchies. I hopped out of bed, walked purposefully over to the lotion (the not organic, definitely petroleum-based lotion), and applied it liberally to my lower back. “Okay, Back, fine! For MONTHS I baby you with really nice, simple, all-natural products, but do you get better? No! You’re just as itchy as ever. So here’s some special chemical- and petroleum-laden concoction for your greater pleasure. Puppy take that!” I returned to bed, feeling slightly better somehow, though no less itchy.
The good news? Cold, dry winter air is abating, and “The Mysterious Torso Itch” seems to be slowly packing its bags. I’m becoming a bit less reluctant to shed the robe and leave the apartment. If I’m lucky, it will be gone for good, but I’m not holding my breath.