The good news: We’ve made some headway on finding stuff to soothe Tim’s eczema.
The bad news: It’s all from the company Philosophy. In other words, even more expensive than The Body Shop’s hemp line.
But it works. In the end, any relief is worth its weight in gold. (Can you imagine itching everywhere, all the time? Yeesh.)
Frankly, I’m shocked that Philosophy doesn’t advertise more for people with eczema, though perhaps that would start a whole FDA issue.
Thing is, a couple of the products are made with omega 3-6-9 oil — the same stuff that anyone with eczema doesn’t make enough of. So it’s pretty ideal for the purpose of soothing irritated, eczema skin.
Over the last four years, I also discovered that Tim itches most when his skin builds up. (Think about how itchy your head gets when you don’t brush your hair.) Since he manufactures skin at rates that would impress anyone and everyone short of Wolverine… Well, exfoliation is a big issue.
The Microdermabrasion Peel is great for that. It’s pretty gentle, especially for a peel. The two times a week we use it, Tim says his face itches a lot less than normal. (And if you think that’s damning with faint praise, just remember: itching everywhere, constantly.)
There’s a daily Microdermabrasion Face Wash for normal days, which is nice and gentle. And lots of moisturizers that are light and very hydrating.
But, apparently not content with turning Tim onto a whole new, expensive line of indispensable products, I also got him to check out the Clarisonic brush.
For those of you not familiar with it, the brush was created by the same guy who made the Sonicare toothbrush. The brush is great at deep cleaning, which is great since Tim’s skin feels dirty really easily, but the real reason it caught my attention was its exfoliating ability.
Up until now, I’ve had to help Tim do a good chunk of the exfoliating. He goes too easily from well-intentioned exfoliation to an all-out scratchfest. He does as much as he can on his own and, when I have the energy, I pitch in. (Incidentally, it’s a lot more labor-intensive than it initially sounds. You work up a sweat easily.)
This brush, though, works best when you simply hold it to the skin. Any real amount of pressure can actually inhibit the efficacy. So Tim is finding it easier to use the brush on his own. And, when I do help out, it’s a lot less work for me. It’d be even less if I remembered my own advice about putting pressure on the brush.
So, in that sense, the brush is worth its weight in some very precious substance. But in a very real sense, it actually costs its weight in some very precious substance.
To be exact, the model we got was $225. I pounced on a 20-percent-off sale, which took it down to a slightly less appalling $180. But it still hurt.
Once you add in the brush heads, $25 each and to be replaced every three months, this is not a cheap route. But it seems to be one that is working. So I stocked up on it and the Philosophy products (themselves 15 percent off) and tried not to wince at the totals.
It made sense to stock up, of course. And we’re set for about a year on the brush, about three months on the Philosophy. Still, it hurt. A lot. To the tune of $750. We will get over $150 back. But I keep having to remind myself to breathe when I think about the totals.
But here’s the weird thing: I keep realizing, we can pay it off at the end of the month. It’s a wonderful, novel little feeling.
Granted, I think it will take us an extra month to pay off Tim’s student loans. Still, it’s very freeing to realize we’re going to be okay. That even prohibitively expensive items can be worked into our budget now.
To that end, Tim’s going to make an appointment for a doctor in the next week or so. I want him to get a new prescription for his inhalers — one written for the next size up — but also for Spiriva. It was a controller med he was only able to try for a month due to finances. (It was over $100, even with insurance.)
Doing a little research, I found a good price at the Canadian pharmacy that used to fill get my energy meds. A 90-day supply there is $209 plus $15 shipping, compared to $240ish for a 30-day supply in the U.S.
If it lessens his inhaler use even remotely, it will be completely worth the money. If it doesn’t, at least we know we’ve tried it.
I guess all this is a very long way of saying how really wonderful it is to be able to consider new expenses without seeing the credit card companies doing a little gleeful, capitalist dance. As new expenses come up, I know the money is coming in for them.
It’s a strange, wonderful feeling — one that I could really get used to.