In Which I Am Sugar-Cured

Let’s start the New Year off with a little disclaimer. After looking at my photos, you might not want to read this blog again. Because *ACK*. (Insert sound of cat coughing up hairball.)

Just ack.

I had an issue last fall. Yet you wonder how I could single out just one in many issues. This issue pushed itself right to the top of the list.

The skin around my eyes developed a burned appearance, like sun-burned.

But I hadn’t been out in the sun, and wouldn’t my entire face be burned?

It got better. It got worse. And it continued to cycle.

It was painful, and itchy. It flaked like the after-effects of a burn. It was puffy, and red dearholyjesusgod it was red.

Sugar and I put on our mystery-solving caps.

Perhaps it was an allergic reaction to a chemical. (But I’ve been around household chemicals for years, like Clorox and detergent.)

Perhaps it was an allergic reaction to mold. (But I live in moldy, damp SC.)

Perhaps it was an allergic reaction to my glasses, because it was only happening directly around my eyes, which would be in contact with my glasses frames. (But I’ve had these glasses for months.)

I tried moisturizing creams, and cold compresses, and cucumber slices applied to my eyes. Nothing changed. The condition continued to cycle, and I’d think it was going away, and then it would return.

Sugar had a brilliant idea.

Why not go to a doctor?

A doctor? Really? Why? The doctor in this town would just refer me to someone else, and I don’t have any money.

After months, I gave in and went to see the local physician’s assistant at the doctor’s office. Who was stumped and called the doctor in. Who also had stumpage. They noted that my throat seemed red and aggravated, and so they did a strep test, even though I said yes my throat hurts a bit but it doesn’t feel like strep. I’ve had strep a couple of times, a billion (or perhaps only 25 or 30) years ago, and it feels like you have attempted to swallow a jagged fingernail that got stuck and is scratching your throat.

The solution? To use a hydrocortisone cream around the eye, not getting it in the eye, and not to use for more than two weeks. And also Claritin.

Y’all already know that this did not solve anything.



Sugar pulled out the big guns. He got out the books, because friend internet was not helpy. He had been looking at his nutrition and vitamin books, which also were not perfectly helpy, then he remembered that years ago, he had seen a condition described as sunburn-like regarding a Vitamin B deficiency. He checked out the Vitamin B sections, which didn’t describe a sunburn condition, but did describe skin ailments with Vitamin B deficiency.

I started B-complex supplements. After a few weeks, it cleared up.

And I am Sugar-cured.

2 Responses to “In Which I Am Sugar-Cured”

  1. Sharon Says:

    Wow, Ruth, that was really interesting. It is amazing what a lack of certain vitamins can do and how no blood work was done to check levels for you. I guess that was too simple. Thank goodness Sugar has a good memory and dog-like determination.


    • ruthrawls Says:

      How sad that google and our friend the internet were not helpy. Trying googling that condition and see what you get.
      Sugar refers to it as the time I had pellegra, which is no laughing matter. I forgot to mention that I had little cracks of open skin at the corners of my mouth, which did not hurt or bleed, but did not heal. That’s all good now, too.


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