Growing up, I used to have an allergic reaction that popped up once in a blue moon. It lasted for a few days, and tested my endurance sorely. I discovered I was the determining factor in how long it lasted. It would start as a rash, a very very itchy rash. And of course I would scratch it, and scratch it some more. The scratching seemed to bring momentary relief. But it actually made matters worse. When I was done scratching, the rash would swell up, transforming from a tiny rash to a puffy one right before my exasperated gaze. And of course the itch would increase in direct proportion. And I’d scratch some more, more vigorously. And oh, the swell would increase another notch. And the little kid I was had to do some quick thinking: I scratch, it swells up; what if I don’t scratch? And so my endurance test began. Continue reading “THE ITCH”