The boyfriend recently went in for a patch test. The whys and wherefores are a long story, and not a particularly pleasant one at that, so I’ll skip that bit.
If you’ve never had one, patch tests aren’t pleasant things in and of themselves. You get large strips with various patches of common allergens (not food allergens, by and large, because this is more of a contact-allergy thing) stuck on your back. For two days, you can’t shower—sponge bathing is allowed, though—twist your torso, or even really bend over or backward all that much. It’s a good way to practice your posture. And end up with sore shoulders. All of this and more, the boyfriend bore with much fortitude. He’s cool like that.
But the fun doesn’t stop there; no sir! For another 5 days after the patches are removed, you need to make sure the outlines of the patches stay well-drawn, and you need to monitor your back for any changes. As we kinda only live together, the task fell to me. I accepted it with much dignity, probably rather more than it was due, but it was kind of fun to have something to take so seriously.
Now, something else one is not supposed to do is get very sweaty, especially while the patches are applied, but this holds true somewhat even after the patches are removed. Sweat has a funny way of eating through permanent marker and ruining adhesive and carrying allergens around on skin. Being that it’s been rather warmer than we’re used to lately, and our apartment very much lacks for air conditioning, this one’s been a little tricky.
The first night, after a day when it hit roughly 10 degrees above the norm (I admit it, I’m a wimp. Temperature hits about 80, and I just want to shut down.), it was the first time to see what sort of damage had been done. The boyfriend readied himself, and a lesser girlfriend might have been overcome with passion by the loveliness that is the boyfriend’s torso, but I would not be so easily swayed. (Okay, I may have looked longer than strictly necessary. But are you really going to tell me I’m not allowed?) First things first: make back less sweaty. Thankfully, I do have a fan.
After cooling him down for a few minutes, I re-drew the markings to indicate where the tests had been, careful to stay as on the lines as possible. The fact that he (unfortunately) seems to be reacting to a few things was helpful. He asked me to take pictures (my pleasure, really!), and to diagram the spots so that we both knew where things might be reacting. While there is really only one orientation to the diagram that makes sense, I am known for a bit of a wicked sense of humor, and labeled down with “your arse” juuuuust to be sure.
It’s a few days in, and so far, things look okay. No nasty, oozing, itching, burning reactions yet, which is a pretty good sign, I’d say. Though it does leave me to wonder what caused this in the first place…
Well, we shall see in another few days. If nothing else, this is one of those moments in a relationship—whether it’s a romantic one or not—that you realize just how accustomed you are to having that person around and how relaxed you are around them.
In other news, I’m finally not breaking stuff at work! Well, at least, it’s not totally my fault… It took my mentor and 2 other SDEs (and a lot of laughing) to figure out where I was going wrong. At one point, my mentor saw the issue and said, “Why did you put that? It’s supposed to be this!”
I came back with a “That’s what you told me to use!”
He actually had to go check his computer to see the ping he’d sent me. I was right. The other two SDEs couldn’t hold back their laughter, and neither could we for that matter.
Now that work’s going much better, I’m almost excited at the beginning of the day. Almost.
What can I say? My life is average.
I think that’s why I love it.