I have sun poisoning.
I do not want it.
If you don’t know what that is, because I sure as fuck didn’t until a couple of days ago: it’s basically a turbo-sunburn.
So, here’s the thing. The AC in my car did not work on my trip. My trip that was to LA/San Diego. In late July. My AC was broken, and my dumb ass was like “Yes I’m sure it’s till fine to drive down there.” From Seattle. An 18 hour drive, most of which is through Sunny California, which sounds lovely if maybe you have some fucking air conditioning to combat the hateful fucking sun.
So, I had to keep the window open or I would have become a small puddle at the bottom of my damn car. But leaving the window open (which honestly didn’t even help the heat much but it probably kept me from extreme heat death) meant that my left arm was just in the sun at all times. Guys, I tried real hard, but there was just no way to keep it out of the sun.
I was pretty badly sunburned on Thursday, especially after nearly dying in the Corn Wastes while my tires conspired against me.
Then I still had to drive around southern California on Friday, Saturday, plus drive back home on Sunday. I would say I got a good, solid four-layer sunburn on my poor arm. I was the color of an excited lobster.
Now, I didn’t know this, but it’s entirely possible to not just burn your skin, but to over-radiate it. My arm has basically been doing it’s best Hulk impression for three days, and by the drive home it had seriously had enough. I was unaware of this, however. I expected it to be uncomfortable while it healed, maybe blister a bit. I can tough that kind of shit out just fine, though, because my pain tolerance is pretty insane. My mild irritation tolerance, however, is much lower, which is definitely what is causing me problems now.
The sun was juuuust starting to set when I pulled in to a gas station to get some dinner, and I felt the first tell-tale itch. Me, being the aforementioned dumbass, thought that perhaps it was starting to peel, which would have been a good and pure healing process. I scratched it a bit, because that’s never ruined a sunburn before, especially not when it was peeling.
Boy oh boy, did I regret that.
I have never found the phrase “What fresh, new hell is this?” more applicable before than it was to what happened to my arm. If you get sun poisoning, you will break out in a zesty rash. It will itch like nobody’s fucking business, but if you scratch it, you will be in the worst pain. You see, scratching that rash seems to activate the latent radiation that your skin is humming with, and it will immediately start to burn. And I am NOT talking about the standard burn you might feel with a sunburn, where your skin is a lil bit hot. This burn was like fucking Mordor had taken up residence in my veins. The sun itself was being reborn beneath my skin, the fury of a million boiling stars bubbling away so that I was - no joke - actually concerned that my skin could catch on fire of its own volition.
Fast forward to ten minutes later and I am dumping bottles of cold water on my arm and being yelled at in all-caps by @illneverrecover who definitely made it sound like I was going to die. I finally get some relief by slathering myself with aloe, and the burning stops a bit later. THAT particular symptom stays away as long as I’m not scratching.
But it gets better. You see, the thing with sun poisoning that is extra special is that the problem is no longer limited to the area that was burned. Yes, the burn and the rash are the worst of the symptoms, but because you are radiated to the point of having an allergic reaction, you get other fun things happening. Like a low-grade fever. Oh, and total exhaustion. Also, I think I drank about 160 oz of water in a ten hour period and only had to pee once. Fuck if I know where all that liquid went. I would not have been surprised if I was just steaming - in the most literal sense of the word that can exist - as I drove back home.
Anyways, I’m back, my arm still itches and probably will for another week, and I’m still having flu-like symptoms so that I’m exhausted and loopy.
so, fuck sun poisoning. Don’t get it. Just don’t. This has been a PSA, I guess, I don’t fucking know I just needed to whine about it for a hot minute because I WANT TO SCRATCH MY ARM SO BAD THAT I AM CONSIDERING LOPPING IT OFF JUST SO IT CANNOT ITCH ANYMORE.