Ambient Poison

posted 04 April 2006

For the last couple of weeks, my daily life has become a gamble of health or sickness, comfort or agony. A subtle killer has been at work, slowly poisoning me, varying the dosage and the method of delivery. My poisoner is crafty, no doubt, and has thus far eluded me. My current suspect is exhibit A:

Ariel Liquitabs OF DEATH!!!111etc

My symptoms are mild but annoying: I'm itching. The itching gets worse and turns into spots, then the spots spread until I am an ongoing scratch-fest of irritated discomfort. At first I thought my new shower gel was responsible, but I discarded that and symptoms persisted. My new candidate has been promising: after buying Persil non-bio and re-washing my bedsheets, things got a lot better.

But I also washed a lot of clothes with those things, so despite a lot of precautionary re-washing, an unknown percentage of my wardrobe is still infected with the poison. So every morning I play itchy-day Russian Roulette, selecting clothes at random and hoping they're safe.

But when it's an itchy day, just knowing it's my clothes isn't enough: which item of clothing is it? I discard socks, then shoes, then shirt, then trousers in turn, hoping to pin down the end of the itching and thus condemn the offending item to an immediate wash. But alas, itching is an imprecise art. It doesn't stop the moment you remove the poison, as it remains in the bloodstream for a while. So I just wash everything, to be safe.

Today is a bad day. Today, despite swapping out every single item of clothing I have been wearing, I still remain itchy. I don't know why this is. I live in fear that it will turn out not to be the liquitabs, that it's asbestos, or the carpets in my lovely 80s flat, or that I've caught some horrible skin disease. It could be anything, this poisoner. It might not even be poison.

So I shall continue washing all my clothes frantically, and hoping that these symptoms do not persist. And scratching a lot.

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