|A welcome morning sun over Taylors' field after two days of endless rain. Now I wait to see if some of my garden goodies got hit by last night's slight frost. Schweitzer could open today with several inches of new snow. Ahhh, Summer!|
Well, I do have some breaking news for all locals. ProKera Lotion will be back at the Yoke's Pharmacy after Friday.
What does that have to do with itchers, some may ask.
My own itching has led to this news headline, and I also want all folks who suffer from cracked feet and hands like I have for years to know that ProKera is back and soon available right here in Sandpoint.
Here's the story.
Many readers may remember the post a while back when I told of an itch on my scalp, which drove me so nuts I thought I might have lice from our new puppy.
Later, after perusing many articles on the Internet, I learned that there's no way dogs can transmit lice to humans.
About the same time the itch was making me want to scratch, I went to my hairdresser. She and another hairdresser fingered through my hair and diagnosed a healthy scalp with no apparent weird diseases.
I thought I had discovered the culprit right after Sally shaved the baby hairs on my lower scalp. The itching stopped. That lasted about five days.
Then the itching returned. I went back to the Internet, looking for solutions. After all, Medicare had not kicked in, and I've always had a phobia for the white coats.
At one point through this saga, I thought I just had OLD skin. After all, it's soon turning 65, along with the rest of me.
So, I started searching for moisturizers.
Now, it's time to backtrack for a second in this story.
A while back, the Yoke's Pharmacy staff had recommended a lotion for me after I showed them my fingers---all but a couple covered with band aides to protect the unsightly and painful cracks at the tips.
On their recommendation, I bought a bottle of ProKera. It's pricey, and it doesn't have any smell.
Within weeks, after faithful daily use, my frequent purchase of Johnson and Johnson band aides decreased dramatically.
Only one stubborn thumb (still stubborn) required an occasional band aide, and even it---if I stayed out of the garden dirt without using gloves---healed completely.
I was hooked on ProKera.
Last year when a bottle was going empty, I went to Yoke's and could not find ProKera. Later, I learned that they weren't getting it anymore because they had been told the lady no longer distributed it.
So, they directed me to another lotion, which has been very helpful and has kept my fingers in toe/tow.
They also told me that day that a few sample bottles remained, so I bought five and held onto them should I ever have another skin crisis.
Well, thinking my aged skin probably did need some moisturizing, I started rubbing my itchy neck and throat area with ProKera. I also started bathing with Oil of Olay and using only a cold wash cloth on the itchy area.
This regimen gave me some relief. Occasionally, I would resort to the cortisone cream and an Allegra.
Some days my neck did not itch. Other days and some nights it drove me nuts.
I managed it as best I could, figuring I'd follow my journalistic curiosity and eventually would determine the cause.
Over time, I narrowed it down to being out in the sun (when we had it) too long, to maybe picking up something from constantly treating my Lefty horse with the skin problems to maybe being allergic to Foster.
The latter seemed to be the most likely because I remembered itching flare-ups especially after taking him to bed with me the night after his surgery and other times when I'd held him for extended periods of time on my lap.
This last week the itching seemed worse than ever, and my sample bottles of Pro Kera were running low. So, I looked up the website www.prokera.com, and it looked like they were still in business.
The lady behind ProKera is Rita Ryan; she is married to a dermatologist Michael Ryan. Her story tells of growing up in Montana with cracked fingers and eventually learning through dermatologists of an ingredient that could make a difference.
After reading a few items on the website, I sent off an email to Rita, asking if she still sold the product and if she would sell me a bottle directly.
The long and short of this story is that Rita and I talked on the phone and she offered to throw in a bottle of her anti-itch menthol lotion for me to try.
My ProKera products came Tuesday. I tried the menthol lotion, and, it, indeed, felt like heaven to be thinking about menthol rather than itching.
I also told the folks at the pharmacy that they had received some misinformation. Rita and the staff have talked and they'll be stocking ProKera again this week.
I still worried about the cause of my itching, so yesterday during the miserable rain storm when I couldn't do anything else, I stopped by Bonner General Immediate Care---NERVOUS as ever.
Well, they were really nice to me, as always, and after checking my neck, chest and scalp area thoroughly, the doctor told me it's definitely an allergy and probably the pup because of the timing.
She suggested what I'd been doing to manage the itch, plus wearing gloves and long sleeves when I hold Foster.
I also have a supply of Febreze allergen, which removes a lot of dander in the air and off from rugs and furniture. None available in Sandpoint, but Lowe's in Coeur d'Alene has it.
After being very careful handling Foster yesterday, I can say that I've hardly even thought of the itch this morning. It has subsided dramatically.
Long story, yes. I tell these stories for the same reason I've written so many other stories. If they can be of help to someone else, I don't mind being the self-deprecating guinea pig.
I go through the misery, tell the story and then hope others can save themselves a lot of hard times.
So, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. Check out the ProKera website, and please don't scratch too much after reading this post.