Am I allergic to my security blanket? I doubt it, but we’re staying together either way

My eye situation became untenable. I went to the dermatologist. I don’t take going to the doctor lightly; we have a high deductible plan.

The problem started in July. The skin around my eyes was super itchy, red and puffy. It was right before my regularly scheduled physical.

No more summer physicals for me. It’s impossible to get good blood work when I’ve switched to a temporary diet of cheese burgers, beer and s’mores.

My doctor examined my eyes. She recommended eczema cream and vaseline.

I spent the summer looking like a shiny clown having an allergic reaction, my face smeared in white mineral sunscreen and vaseline.

I had high hopes for September, but alas salads, blueberries, and no facial products did not seem to change a thing. The redness and itchiness made me dream of pandemic isolation.

Friday I call the dermatologist. I’m going to be very angry if I pay $300 for a doctor to recommend vaseline.

“We have an appointment for this Tuesday.”


“It’s that or we’re looking at December.”

“I’ll take Tuesday!”

The doctor looks at my eyes,

“Contact dermatitis.”

Yes. My months of google research has led me to this diagnosis as well.

“Fifty precent of the time we’ll never figure out what the allergy is to.”

“I didn’t start using anything new.”

“You don’t have to. You can suddenly develop a sensitivity. It could even be to something in the air.”


“Never scratch it. You’ll make it worse. Really never scratch it.”

I spent my summer scratching it.

I’m watching my $300 float out the window.

“I’m going to give you this non-steroid prescription but insurance companies don’t like it because it’s too expensive. If the pharmacy tries to tell you it’s $400, don’t buy it. I can prescribe you hydrocortisone.”

I head to CVS. They tell me,

“You know this is $200? You insurance requires pre-approval.”

I try the hydrocortisone while I wait to hear from my insurance. My skin gets worse. I’m ready to pay $200.

My insurance denies me. I tell my doctor I’ll pay out of pocket. They email me a coupon making the prescription $80.

What is going on? Our insurance/medical system is a racket.

BEST $80 I’ve spent. My eyes are almost all better.

The doctor tells me,

“Lukewarm showers. Nothing on your face. No soap. Limit contacts. No makeup unless you have an important meeting.”

Otherwise known as going out with my friends?

I relay the new rules to Captain.

“I’m not supposed to put anything on my face.”

“No blankety?”


“Does that mean no blankety?”


Captain waivers,

“Blankety? Isn’t that what you call your security blanket?”

“The doctor did not say anything about my security blanket.”

Why would he? He said “nothing on my face” which encompasses all possibilities.

I remind Captain,

“I don’t rub Blankety on my eyes.”

As if the lower half of my face is so far away.

Captain is NOT getting rid of Blankety that easily.

What to do about a geriatric blanket

As you may or may not know, I have a security blanket. Her name is Blankety. Yes she is a she and no she does not like to be called Blankie.

Blankety is 36 years old. That is very old in security-blanket years.

I made that same joke in a 2013 blog, but I’m banking on you not remembering it.

Over the years she has started to show the wear and tear that anyone would show if someone slept on top of them every night. The more worn out she gets, the less I wash her.

And before or while you’re saying eeew, if someone told you the Notorious RBG would live longer if she stopped showering, tell me you wouldn’t go take away her soap.

For awhile I washed Blankety every year or so give or take a year. I washed her right before BB was born. And since then, by nothing short of a miracle, she has stayed free from spit-up, vomit and all other bodily fluids that have spewed out of my child.

We’re going on 3 years since the last wash. That may be a record. I’m more and more concerned that she has very few washes left in her.

My mom and I have mended her many times. The issue now is that she’s disappearing. The material is fading away before my very eyes. It’s hard to say how mending can help her.

I also have a blanket we wrapped Angel Baby in. It wasn’t really a conscious decision, but the night she died, I snuggled that blanket right up to Blankety and they haven’t been parted since. I don’t need AB’s blanket quite the same way as I need Blankety, but when I was trying to pack as light as possible to go to DC, I left a big empty spot in my rolling suitcase.

I tell my therapist,

“Looks like I’m going to travel with both blankets.”

“Sounds totally fine. You’re not hurting anyone.”

No I’m not. But I’ve just doubled the number of blankets I need and refuse to wash.