Over the past few months, I've been developing more and more allergies. (I can't be bothered to look for links to earlier moaning - just trust me that there was some!). A few days ago, my forehead broke out in a red, itchy rash. Other parts of me are also itchy. I think it is contact vulvitis. Haven't bothered to see the doctor just yet, because I know it's not thrush or an STD, and it's blatently an allergic reaction. I itch when I wear underpants, but not when I stay in my pyjamas all day.
Well, looking down that list of contact irritants, I already avoid most of them because of previous allergic reactions. In fact, I'm becoming quite distressed by one in particular: condoms. I have extremely strong reasons for not wanting to get pregnant ever, and very strong reasons for not using hormonal contraception. Ruling out hormones means there isn't much left - the IUD is rarely fitted to women who have heavy periods and/or who haven't ever had a pregnancy go to term, and I fall into both categories. Also, it's definitely not a good thing to be putting in someone who's developing new allergies every couple of weeks! The diaphragm is a bit useless by itself, though I could conceivably get one as an extra precaution. We stopped using spermicidal condoms because I was having allergic reactions to nonoxynol-9, then I started reacting to latex, and now I'm having sodding allergic reactions even to polyurethane! If I could get my tubes tied tomorrow, this wouldn't be a problem, but I don't hold out any hope of being "allowed" it before I'm 30. I wish Richard wasn't so sodding monogamous, too! I am seriously contemplating not having PIV sex for the next four years, but this is a bit unfair on him.
Anyway. Contact irritants. I've always used a wet wipe after pooing, and this has become particularly important since the irritable bowel started - when you have what I shall term 15 minute diarrhoea (as in running to the bathroom every...), it is rather important to try to keep yourself clean. It is also important to try to clean yourself without irritating an already sore - hrm, I'll use the technical term - anus, and wet wipes are useful in this. Of course, being bloody allergic to everything, I've been fortunate to find precisely one that doesn't drive me itchy - Hakle Moist Camille - but a few months ago it mysteriously disappeared from the shops. I couldn't find anything else which claimed to be hypoallergenic (most said antibacterial! Badness!), and ended up buying Boots' own brand Baby Wipes, on the basis that I used them when I was a child without any itching occurring. Well, I don't think they've changed the formula - it's been the same since the 1970s at least - but now I suspect it's causing me discomfort. Of course, a female must wipe herself front to back, as it is very bad if - hrm - poo makes its way forward. However, when one's front is irritated by the wipe... well, I've tried starting in the middle instead, but being a wet wipe, the wet stays around for a little while, and when I get up, some very small amount of it runs into the front. And this is enough to cause me irritation.
Anyway. Since the time I had thrush, I've been extremely careful about irritants. I made sure all of my underpants were 100% cotton. They say you should wear white underpants that are 100% cotton (presumably because dye can irritate some people), but I didn't think my pants were the cause of the thrush (more likely, the 15 minute diarrhoea I had that week). So I just bought black 100% cotton pants. No problem. Erm, except, as I discovered this week, my pants have small print! They are 100% cotton except for the gusset! Oh yeah, that really makes sense - have 100% cotton for the parts that touch my leg skin, which probably couldn't care less what goes near it, then make the part that touches my delicate bits out of some synthetic crap! GAH!!
So I went to Marks & Spencer this evening and bought some fine white 100% cotton underpants, checking carefully that the gusset is also 100% cotton. I bought a size larger than the ones I normally wear, on the basis that being 100% cotton they probably wouldn't be as stretchy as normal pants. Held them up, and they looked approximately the size of one small whale, so I thought they would fit. But they're still not big enough. They fit, but they're tight, which almost makes the whiteness and 100% cottonness redundant. I'm going to have to go back tomorrow and buy some 3 sizes larger than my normal size, just to make sure they are suitably baggy. I might have to cut the labels out, so they're not saying size 24 at me when I'm still slightly funny in the head about taking a 16-18 these days. Blah. Yes, I would love to be skinny - I'd also like a body that didn't require me to spend 2 days in bed to recover from walking one mile *roll eyes*.
Of course, it occurs to me that underpants that are 100% cotton and bleached white could possibly be as irritating as ones that are dyed, but I really don't know where to get unbleached cotton pants. I've seen outer garments - t-shirts and trousers made of it, but not underwear. Might have to try. My bra is causing me grief too - it's a crop top with elastic rather than a proper bra, and I think the lycra or whatever is making my top girly bits itch too.
And I think I'll have put £100 on my credit card by the end of this month (fucking hate February and its 28 days, meaning that all my bills go out on the same day instead of being spread over 3 or 4 days), and I was supposed to be paying it off this month! (Well, I spent £40 on flowers for my mum in hospital, which was a necessary expense, but I'm not sure all the rest was). Bah. Stress. I'm sure someone is playing the world's smallest violin for me even as I type ;)