Back in 2012, Elysha, the kids, and I suffered for months with a rash that could not be identified by doctors. For a while, we suspected bed bugs. Some experts agreed, and others did not, insisting that it must be our laundry detergent or some environmental change in our home. It was a harrowing time, particularly because Charlie had just been born, so to see an infant with red blotches on his body was terrible.
I was impacted the most by the rash. While Elysha and the kids had blotches scattered throughout their body, it was a head-to-toe itching and pain that became crippling at times for me.
Ultimately, we discovered, though a bizarre confluence of events (including a random encounter with our vet) that we were suffering from canine scabies, which our dog, Kaleigh, was transferring to us. This led to repeated applications of a head-to-toe medication, a bizarre trip to the Department of Agriculture, and for me, photographs and research by a dermatologist because unlike Elysha and the kids, who were only being indirectly effected by the scabies, the creatures has burrowed under my skin.
Possibly the first recorded instance of this for a human being.
Because that is the story of my life.
Since I wrote about our scabies adventure, others have found my blog and read about the incident, too. Folks suffering similar rashes of unknown origins scour the Internet for answers, stumbling upon my 2012 post, and reach out to me in desperation.
Yesterday I received an email from one such woman who first saw my photo and name in a medical journal and then found me online, hoping I could provide her with information and advice.
Isn’t that kind of crazy? The photos and case study done on me in 2012 has found its way into a medical journal, and some poor soul managed to find it and then me.
I told Elysha about this last night. “Remember that other poor woman who emailed me a year ago,” I said. “After she found my blog post. She sounded just as desperate as this latest woman.”
“We’re friends now,” Elysha said.
“That woman who emailed you last year?” she said. “I was exchanging emails with her about our situation. She didn’t end up having canine scabies. Just regular scabies. But yes, we’re friends now.”
Of course they are. Because that is the story of Elysha’s life.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. When you’re willing to put yourself into the world, either on the page or on the stage, crazy things can happen. Unbelievable connections, remarkable opportunities, miraculous moments, and even friendship.
Come forth from your shells, people, and let the world witness what you think and believe and do. Your life will be richer and far more interesting because of it.