Monday, July 30, 2012

Trouble Praying the Rosary

Last year, I figured out that my mysterious recurrent eczema was coming from my rosary.

It had taken me 4 years to finally put the pieces together.

I generally say the Office of Readings, but when I go in the field, I don't like to pack the breviary, which at that time was already fairly battered. My rosary is much more portable, so I would say that.

My hands tended to break out in little weird bumps during field season, but since I was spending 10 hours a day digging, often in clumps of poison ivy, I figured it might be ant bites or a contact allergy from soil or plants. I also had to wash my hands multiple times a day and of course couldn't bring my GOOD lotion in the field because it is in such a big, terrorist-y bottle that it can't get through security.

Then I started noticing that even when I was back working in the lab, I would get what a couple of friends identified as eczema.

I switched lotions from my fun, scented lotions to Aveeno unscented products, and that helped cut down on a lot of it. However, there could still be weeks of this weird, moderately annoying skin condition.

I finally figured out it was my rosary because the eczema was now confined to only those spots on my hands that the rosary beads touch. I was using one of those rose-petal ones, and since fragrances can irritate sensitive skin, I switched to a plain wooden one. Sorry, Confirmation sponsor!

All was well, but when I started saying the Rosary every day recently, I found myself breaking out again, though to a much smaller extent than before. I don't break out the second I pick up a rosary, just if I use it for more than a few days.

I am still praying it every day! I just alternate days with the actual rosary beads, using my fingers, and the excellent website

I thought it might be a classy move to just use gloves, but the only ones I have available are lab gloves -- and I do get tired of wearing them all day long.

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