Thin Skinned

   I’m thin skinned. I don’t mean I’m testy, and take everything I read and hear the wrong way, I mean I really have thin skin. My skin used to have layers upon layers of epidermal material. It took a lot to make me bruise and in most cases my skin rarely broke open, except for paper cuts. What is it with paper?? Is it the forest’s way of exacting a little pay-back? The thing is, I would not be considered the most graceful of people. I have bumped into a lot of stuff over the course of my life, but my skin used to handle it. This is not the case any longer.

Surely, having thin skin is not unique to me. I doubt anyone over the age of fifty would disagree, we bruise easier, and don’t heal like we used to. It also hurts more, but that could just be me. I can bruise with a squeeze that is a little too firm or stumbling into a door frame. Yes, I still do that on occasion, but nothing out of the ordinary. I chalked that up to aging. As we age, we become more prone to bruising, I had started to see that even before I became ill. Killing off my platelets with a heavy dose of chemo hasn’t helped, but the bruising was happening regardless.

   I expected the bruising, but no one told me my skin would break away any time it experienced trauma. Is this happening to everyone else out there too? At sixty is it normal for your skin to start popping off in little pieces?? Every scratch is now two or three times bigger than it used to be! There is always blood!! Is this normal?? It’s not listed in any side effect to do with my meds. Why aren’t others talking about this?? They talk about erectile disfunction!! You would think skin popping would be relevant, and worth at least a mention from the elderly!!

I didn’t know this was going to happen. My hair has grown back thick, my nails still need to be trimmed. Aren’t they made up of dead skin too?? I have to armour up to do anything that might lead me to epidermal trauma. Even that is not a guarantee of protection. I’m trying to do construction! I’m working with tools! And cement!! I’m wearing work gloves!! My left hand has five bandages on it!!! My skin is offering me zero protection!! I could see the blood seeping through the material! All I did was scrape my hand against cement. The glove only got dirty! It survived the contact, my hand didn’t! One of the wounds is from a bandage I was removing to check another wound! The glue on the strip tore another chunk off my hand!! Shouldn’t there be a warning on the box about this?!!? Like, ‘people sixty and older should remove using warm water and soap’ or ‘do not remove. Let strip fall off in the shower’. Something!!

It would be one thing if it were just paper-cuts but large chunks of my skin are coming off in one fell swoop. A piece just pops off! To add to this, is the fact that I don’t even realize it’s happened! Not until I see the blood dripping on the floor or Honey says, “Did you know you have blood running down your arm?” “Oh? Missed that one.” I reply looking at my arm. “Thanks.”

I have to say, that I am none too happy about not getting the warning about the thin skin, when the bruising thing began. A little heads up from someone older and wiser maybe. So, before I forget, for those of you that are not yet sixty, let me start the conversation. ‘I regret to inform you that when you turn sixty-years of age your skin will start to pop off… in pieces.’ You heard it here first.

On a brighter note, there has been something positive that has come from this unexpected life-event. I have learned two valuable skills. I have learned how to remove blood from fabrics, and the proper way to clean, disinfect, and bandage a wound, using only one hand.




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1 Comment

  1. //

    “…we bruise easier, and don’t heal like we used to. It also hurts more, but that could just be me…”

    Nope, it’s not just you.

    ‘… Is this happening to everyone else out there too?'”

    I don’t know for sure, but probably.

    I guess I should have warned you. My bad.

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