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Who calls into work sick because of eczema? That’s what I’m sure people thought when I was consistently missing work due to lack of sleep, broken and bleeding skin, and sometimes just feeling too emotionally unstable to hold it together in the office.
I was doing my best to get by. Long sleeves, naps in my car during lunch. Until another business trip came up. This time only one night in Seattle. Seemed easy enough, right?
Not only did I have to buy a long infinity scarf in the airport to cover my chest and neck for my meeting, but my client still noticed the inflamed skin on my hands. The flight home wasn’t much better. As soon as I landed and got back to the front steps of my apartment I lost it. I screamed. Loud. So loud that some of my neighbors opened their doors. Others threw open their blinds.
I was in trouble.
My skin had been flaring severely for months. I could no longer cover my eczema with clothing or makeup. I couldn’t focus at work. And my personal life? What personal life? I didn’t want to go outside of my house. I didn’t want anyone to see me. I was inside my own prison and eczema was the bars keeping me there.
The morning after the scream, I decided it was time to reach out and learn more about my options. That’s when I visited the National Eczema Association (NEA) website, and came across a wealth of eczema resources, including a link to a new atopic dermatitis clinical trial. Within weeks of applying for the trial online, I was accepted. Eleven months into the trial, my skin is almost perfectly clear. I sleep. Every single night. I recently won an award at work. And I can’t wait to wear a tank top this summer.
Today, I am no longer a woman suffering from eczema. I am a woman surviving it. NEA’s been a source of on-going support along the way. Which is why I, in turn, support NEA.
My donation to NEA ensures anyone with eczema has access to a wide variety of resources and that research and treatments that benefit all of us become realities thanks to NEA’s advocacy work. You, too, can become an active part of NEA’s movement to advance better eczema care by making a financial contribution. Join us! Please make a donation today.