The Hazards of Blogging


My legs are much nicer than this, but this is a good comparison.

So here’s the deal.  I’m burned out on politics, burned out on life.  I’m tired of bitching about the idiots we elected to represent us and I’m tired of ranting about medical marijuana.  I just moved to a new MUCH smaller home in a MUCH smaller town (Red Lodge) and can’t find anything.  I’m eating ice cream (Wilcoxson’s Chocolate Runs Through it) like it is going out of style and soon my jeans will not fit.  It has rained 5 inches so far since Saturday and creek beds are overflowing and houses are flooding, including mine.   It is cold, gray, dreary and humid so I’m spinning off into irrelevant territory for a moment.

I’m warning you, the following has nothing to do with politics, nothing to do with Montana, nothing to do with medical marijuana either.  But, it is important, because it involves my leg.

Last November, Billings received record amounts of snowfall sandwiched between layers of ice.  Because of my location, directly beneath the rims (just a few blocks away from this) at the end of a narrow, steep street, I was often housebound in stormy weather.  When I mustered the courage to attempt to navigate a path down my street, or even to retrieve my mail at the bottom of my driveway, I often fell down several, if not all, of my concrete steps.  On a particularly icy morning, when running late to take my daughter to school across town, my fall even knocked me unconscious for a short time and for weeks I had bruises covering most of my body.

About a month ago, I noticed that one of my bruises, covering most of my left thigh,  was not only still visible, but actually looked far more horrible than I’d remembered.  The lacy, mottled appearance was like nothing I’d ever seen before and it almost had the disgusting appearance, from my vantage point; of dimpled cellulite.  I panicked as I wondered how I could have allowed my typically toned leg to become something so very horrifying.  I showed a male friend who has seen my thigh many times and he uncomfortably winced.  I showed my mother, who immediately offered to make me an appointment with a specialist.   These  were both signs that this was no ordinary case of saddlebags or run-of-the-mill age-related dimpling.  I decided that research was in order unless I intended to awaken my physician far past his bedtime to set my mind at ease.

After spending quite some time perusing online dermatology websites, I found a photo, posted below, which looked eerily similar to my own leg.  It isn’t my leg, however.  As I read about the causes of the condition, Erythema ab igne, I knew I’d found my diagnosis.  I am not only a blogger but a laptop addict.  Instead of sleeping with humans, I sleep with computers.  Each night, I fall asleep while typing with my laptop propped up on my left thigh.  Sometimes it gets a bit warm and I make a mental note to clean my fans and eliminate some processes, but inevitably; I forget.  Sometimes it gets REALLY warm and I worry not so much about my skin, but about the health of my laptop. 

Erythema ab igne can be caused by long-term exposure to infrared radiation in the form of heat. Laptop optical drives, batteries or ventilation fans can emit enough heat over a long period of time to cause  mottled discoloration. While not immediately dangerous, the discoloration can persist indefinitely (severe cases don’t typically resolve)  and in some cases it can lead to skin cancer.  In my case, any pain caused by the condition is vanity-based but believe me, knowing it may not go away- ever- is frightening.

In my short blogging career, I’ve attracted some crazed politicians and now an irreparable and hideous skin condition.  Gone are the days of me wearing a bikini without scaring people and gone are the days of me associating with Yellowstone County folk simply because they have an (R) behind their name.  Maybe I just grew up.

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18 thoughts on “The Hazards of Blogging

  1. I wish I could say something pithy and helpful, but all I have is this. You could do a lot worse than Chocolate Runs Through It. BEST ICE CREAM EVER! Take care y’self. None of this online is worth damage. (For the record, desktops lead to spinal problems and sciatica.)

    • Haha, Rob! I know… best ice cream ever! I was actually just trying to take a break from the same old same old posts. Soon, we won’t have to worry about my unsightly thigh because the Chocolate Runs Through It will be located right there…. making my thigh unsightly enough anyway.

  2. If you get tired of Chocolate Runs Through It – try Blue Bunny’s Cherry Chocolate Bordeaux (or Bordeaux Cherry Chocolate – I never can keep the name straight). OUT.OF. THIS. WORLD. Honest.

    In the meantime – hope your leg gets better! Take care of yourself!

    While we don’t agree on the medical marijuana issue, you need to keep fighting for your position. It’s because of the passion that we bring to the things that we each care about most that the best changes happen. Take a rest, heal, and then get back there and fight! You can’t give up

    “Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did.” ~Newt Gingrich

    • While I trust that your choice of ice cream is wonderful, I don’t eat any fruits (or vegetables). I know, I’m a total weirdo. I can tell if a fruit has ever even TOUCHED a food I’m eating and I’m immediately repelled.

      It appears that my leg issue is permanent but may fade over the course of several years. A laser may help. I never dreamed my laptop addiction would manifest itself in this way.

      Thank you for the supportive words, I won’t give up. I guess I’m just a little weary after so many beat-downs provided by the last legislative session. I have a new town to get acquainted with though, so I’m going to be positive. 🙂

  3. So sorry for the damage….BUMMER!

    I completely understand re: weary…..I am personally EXHAUSTED after this session – and I look forward to the day I can slow down and enjoy my kid and horse, and maybe sleep longer than 4 hours at a time again. Don’t know if my achy body will ever let me….but I can hope for sleep again one day.

    Explore – Enjoy – and take an UMBRELLA! Oh wait….maybe a boat.

    Hell – take BOTH!

    • It appears to have lifted. Not too soon however, there is rampant flooding here. Instead of a boat and an umbrella, I will be taking an air mattress and a newspaper. Thanks to the legislature, it is all I can afford these days.

  4. Good Morning,
    I too live in Red Lodge. The rain really does suck, but this morning does appear to show signs of changing. Sorry to hear about the leg, but pleased to know that you have found the cause. As a mother what lesson have you learned??? Thanks for all your help during this legislative session. I think the battle is just beginning however.

    • Hey! This morning is beautiful! I’m not too worried about my leg but I have learned my lesson…. sort of anyway. Our battle is indeed just beginning, I’m just going to battle from here rather than from Billings. We will have to get together!

    • Not in itself. I already have one. I couldn’t get one for this though as it causes me only mental anguish. There is no pain involved…. yet anyway. If it develops into cancer, perhaps.

  5. You live in Red Lodge??? Heck, you got NO reason to be depressed! It’s my all time favorite place. It’s the nicest place in Montana. Spent many hours just wandering the hills and mountains around there. There’s a great hike or run from Palisades up to the ski hill. At least there used to be. I’m not sure what’s there now. I heard they had a fire in there a while back. Or, you can run up the hill toward Bear Creek and come back along the flume ditch. You’ll see some wildlife maybe. And then, you can hike up from the campground up to Hell Roaring Plateau. What fun. Damn I envy you! So, stop being depressed. If you’re alive, and in Red Lodge, you’ve got NO reason to be burned out. That is recharge heaven! I taught high school there one year, and I would have stayed, but we couldn’t sell our house in Billings and move.

    • I JUST moved here, Larry. I moved here for the very reasons you mentioned actually. Billings and the legislature burned me out so I decided I needed a recharge. The sun came out for the first time since I moved here this morning and I couldn’t be more pleased. I walked downtown and am currently having a beer (alone) before I head back to dig in the flowerbeds. Tomorrow night is the county gop convention. Will see if I’ve been ostracized yet. 😉

  6. Come down to the Lumberyard Saturday and smell the flowers & say Hi – we’re open 8:00 to 4:00 on Saturdays –

    BTW – you haven’t been ostracized. You’re NOT John Bohlinger – LOL

  7. Looks like second stage rash from Fifth Disease…maybe not though. (My son had it in third grade.) It’s caused by parvovirus and goes away in a couple of weeks. Since you fell, I would guess that you could have attributed any pain you experienced from it to the fall.

    • While it is nice to know there COULD be an alternate explanation, the diagnosis of Erythema ab igne has been confirmed by a physician. It has yet to go away. Thanks, Lisa. As always, you are a wealth of knowledge.

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