It's getting increasingly difficult to type as my hands become more and more sensitive. Previously my excuse for inaction was that nebulous malaise depression. A true, visible and physical reason for my inability to get things done has offended me in a way I hadn't anticipated. Trust this particular malady to coincide with, or perhaps trigger, a more productive or proactive portion of my life. I wonder if another me, or another you, would rail against the terrible treatment being received from God, Fate or The Spirits. Not me, I have (somewhat hypocritically) decided that I really am responsible for my life. Perhaps it's the scathing assault Dennis Miller made upon the useless, the stupid, the hapless and the evil. Of course, his best pearl of wisdom will stick with me forever. Most of Human endeavour exists simply to feel superior over someone else.

So back to my hands; something has caused most of the top layer of skin to flake away from my fingertips and palms. I have small red spots beneath the surface of my cracker* white skin. Where the skin has peeled away, my skin is red, extremely sensitive and very dry. We don't have Medical insurance, so in this land of the expensive I cannot simply make an appointment to see my GP like I would have in the UK. I don't know whether a new dishwashing liquid has caused this allergy, whether my childhood eczema is returning or whether some random plant infected me with something during my last walk in the woods. I do wish it would leave me alone, though it garners sympathy and feeds my martyr complex, I need my hands ship shape and squared away for almost everything I do. I am a computer geek; my raison d'etre is typing, communing with my tools through a keyboard. If it hurts to do that, that sucks, frankly.

This skin malady has had another, more serious effect. The daily, frequent backrubs I give my wife have all but ceased. She accepts my inability to help her, but I worry that she is feeling unattended or perhaps even less loved. This gentle sharing of touch is a central part of our relationship, something with which we bond and grow together over. Removing it from our routine has made me feel guilty.

Skin flakes also impacted my enjoyment of yesterday. I hid behind my stinging hands, refusing to get into the pool at the barbecue, refusing to hold the adorable 1 year old or to play with him at all.

I'm pondering whether or not I should simply dig into savings and see a doctor; money is tight, but my hands really hurt

oops! a dennis miller point deducted for using an african american slang term