The sales girls jaw dropped while her eyes popped out in a cartoon like manner reminiscent of Jim Carry’s character in the mask; “what happened?” She stared in disbelief as I held my arm up over my head feeling like a five year old showing her mom a boo-boo.
Her question was one I had been asking myself relentlessly as I attempted to solve the mystery of the leprosy like rash that had taken over my entire left arm pit. It started with a single itchy bump and over the course of two weeks had morphed into a rash that could easily cause mothers to shield their child’s eyes while they rush them off in the complete opposite direction. I quickly became my own Sherlock Holmes in an attempt to solve this great mystery, and like any legendary detective, I began making a checklist and stocking the most likely of culprits:
Mr. Razor – normally a kind fellow, was fairly new to the bathtub, but a suspect none-the-less. Changing to another new blade proved his innocence while the rash continued to take over the left side of my body.
Madame Shower Puff - aha, now I had it! Although she was also an upgrade to my morning routine, she hurt like the dickens when I used her over the raised red bumps. But I quickly had to admit that using her hurt because there was a rash, not that I had a rash because she hurt. Another dead end.
The checklist dwindled as I crossed off Sir Laundry Detergent, the Sultan of Olive Oil, Her Royal Highness The Body Wash, and the Mafia of my medication cabinet, until all that was left was Senorita Deodorant; but there was no possible way it could be my deodorant, after all, it was natural!
Turns out... it was the deodorant.
With my cancerous lump so close to my armpit, I couldn’t get myself to use my usual preferred deodorant. There’s no proof that deodorants can cause cancer, but after what I’ve been through, I’m going to remove any possible miscreants and leave nothing to chance. Hunting for a natural deodorant that actually works had my head haunted by visions of Lollapalooza, Pig Pen from Peanuts, and never raising my arms again in fear that the stench would challenge that of my cancer farts. But I also knew that products had come a long way since it was first suggested that rubbing a rock under your armpit could protect you from the forces of evil that seeps out during stressful situations. I could figure this out.
And low and behold, wonder of wonders I found the miracle natural deodorant. Not only was it made in Canada, came with cheeky names such as Lucy in the Sky, Like a Boss and Bonita Applebom, I couldn’t find a bad review anywhere. Plus, the one I had decided on was called Cat Lady and smelled like my kitchen when I go on a cupcake baking spree, how could I go wrong?
What I learned the hard way after using the crazy Cat Lady for month, and being tickled that it passed the 45 degree weather test in Florida, was that I’m allergic to baking soda. The other head scratching question was, why only one arm pit? Then it struck me like an anvil to the coyote; my right side had experienced copious amounts of radiation, so not only did hair no longer grow under my right arm and 10% of my lung was nuked, it had also clearly killed any possible reaction to a simple body product.
In this never ending lesson of going with the flow and letting go of what doesn’t serve me there’s also attached the need to be open to different perspectives. Just because I think something should or shouldn’t be, doesn’t mean it isn’t. I could tell myself all I wanted to that the deodorant was fine, but it didn’t stop the Cat Lady from striking.
Standing in the middle of a busy store with my left arm over my head, and fellow shoppers attempting to hide the fact they were staring, the very curious sales associate inspected the red boil like formations that were now beginning to spread up my arm and down my side. It was clear she wasn’t feeling qualified to confirm my baking soda suspicions when she called in a reinforcement who, with barely even a glance at my art deco pit, became my pit soulmate as she admitted that the same thing had happened to her. With reassurance she replaced my new favorite Cat Lady deodorant with baking soda free Sexy Sadie from the same line and just like that, the Cat Lady’s reign of terror had ended.