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Why Painting Your Bedroom Wall Black Can Save You from Contact Dermatitis.

Updated: Nov 08, 2013 09:12
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First, if you actually suspect you have contact dermatitis, stop reading. Don’t pick up a paintbrush. Seek medical attention. Thank you.

But if allergic skin rashes are more of a general fear rather than an immediate threat, here is a story for you.

It started with a moldy couch.


Just like this…

I sat on it. In leggings. Next thing I knew, the back of my legs was a minefield of hives. Delightful. But all was well, because I was still living with the hippies in my funny flat that was actually an art project (long story), and we had an aloe plant. Of course we did!

Except, aloe sap doesn’t fix serious contact dermatitis. So I woke up with intense blisters – dozens and dozens of them. But it was Halloween, and I was due to move house. So I ignored them, packed up my room, carried out my bags, and….

…fell down the stairs. Really? Really.


Yes. A lot.

Just as my blisters developed a purplish backdrop, the man and his car who was supposed to help me move house called to say he had to go into work.

So I moved house in a taxi. And by the time my bags were in my new room, my legs felt like they might need to be amputated. They were oozing. Lots. Like, so gross, I know.

Off to Wyckoff Medical Centre I walked myself, to spend three hours in the Emergency Room of everyone’s favorite hospital. At least Halloween medical emergencies are relatively amusing.


This was the Halloween hospital scene.

But back home, in my strange room, by myself, I collapsed. A heap of bruises, blisters, steroids and antibiotics.

“A real grown up would be able to deal with this,” I thought to myself. “But all I really want is to go home.”

Poor, sad, self-pitying little me. I was in pain, don’t judge me!

But anyway, I woke up the next morning, and decided to do what I needed to – what I’d been avoiding for years.

I went out and bought:

1 quart of black paint            $18

2 sets of string lights            $5.98

1 super soft comforter           $12

1 sheet set                                 $9

1 voile curtain panel             $2

2 pairs of rubber gloves        $4

1 Mr. Muscle surface spray $4.29

1 box of ibuprofen                 $5.29

TOTAL:   $60.56

And with $60, four hours, and the invincible feeling of max strength painkillers, I made myself a home.


Cute, isn’t it?

When you’re on a budget, and renting month-to-month, it’s easy to forget to nest. In my last place, I didn’t even hang a poster. ($12 shipping from You’ve got to be kidding me…)

But on that shitty day when everything went wrong and I felt rotten, I remembered how important nesting is. How valuable it is to have somewhere safe and fuzzy to think of when you’re stuck waiting 37 minutes for the L-train at 2 in the morning. How nice it is to close the door, shut out this nutty city, and feel comfortable.

If you haven’t done it, I urge you to collect up your quarters and make a trip to the 99c store. Because, now, finally, I have a 7ft by 9ft space (with an emo black accent wall) that I can properly call home.


Tiny spaces are best.

Images: Hal Gage, ThePunyPundit, RuthandDave, Funi Pics

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Daisy Rawcliffe - Vafrous Vagabond

Daisy Rawcliffe - Vafrous Vagabond

Daisy grew up in the English countryside, where money grew on apple trees and blackberry bushes. But for her 13th birthday, she got a backpack, which she instantly dragged across the Sinai Desert, and has been hauling around ever since. It has now explored four continents, and collected her the information she uses to convince people to go on holiday, which pays her the pittance she lives off. After too much time in a tent, she's currently trying to adjust to the norms of civilised society, which, fortunately, seem fairly lax in Brooklyn.