Thursday, July 25, 2013

FREQUENTLY ASKED ANNOYING QUESTIONS



Well I'll be a horses saddle, I can't believe it's been six months I have been off TS. For anyone who has suffered with eczema, you know this is a HUGE deal to go this long without your meds.  In your mind when you are addicted to meds,you can barely go a couple days without your cream, never mind months on end!

What amazes me is that I don't look like a monster.  Yes I have had some ugly moments, but there is a pattern of healing and improvement!

When going through TSW, you have many people ask you a million and ten question about your skin. Here are the questions I have been asked, and how I answered them.  Forgive my sarcasm, I am a pretty nice person! LOL


QUESTION:What's wrong with your skin?
ANSWER:(uhh rude much...insert fake smile) Ohh it's eczema, well topical steroid withdrawal

QUESTION-What's that?
ANSWER-(since when are people so interested in my life?LOL) Basically I used steroid creams for my skin my entire life, they stopped working and the only way for  my skin to get better is to stop using them and get the steroids out of my skin.

QUESTION:Oh there isn't any medication or creams for it? (
ANSWER:(Didn't i just say,,,sigh, never mind...insert fake smile #2)  No unfortunately I just have to tough it out.

QUESTION:Have you seen a doctor?
ANSWER:(insert my fist in your face, right about now...hehe, insert real smile and the thought of that) I have seen a doctor yes.  They can't do anything

QUESTION: How long will it take to go away?
ANSWER: (what you think I am phycic?..)Not sure, a year or two.

QUESTION:I have eczema too(tiny patch) I use this for it and it helps, would you like to try some? ANSWER:(chuckle to self, of course its steroids) Oh no, I can't use any topical steroids because they make my skin worse.

QUESTION:But they don't make my eczema worse ?
ANSWER:(inside screaming THEY WILL) Well have you ever tried coming off them for a period of time and seeing if your "patch" will go away on its own?

STATEMENT:Oh yes, but then my skin gets really bad, so I used the creams to control it

ANSWER:I think you're
ADDICTED!!


I think it really blows peoples minds that we would subject ourselves to this, when we could just up the anti to our medication and have seemingly clear skin.  There is such a lack of knowledge regarding steroid creams, and often when I discuss it with others, it seems like I am speaking a foreign language.
I know someone who went swimming and they have eczema.  Now that's so painful during a flare, and probably not the best idea, but "dear doctor" said it was fine!  I said the same doctors that will give you steroid creams!  Doctors don't know much about eczema  They may know a thing or two about some other things, but I must say their lack of knowledge in this department has caused me to be a bit "leery" of their advice in other areas!

Why do I put myself through this? So one day I don't have to anymore!  Eczema is an incurable disease when you use the treatment for it!  TOPICAL STEROIDS.  But eczema is curable if you just LEAVE IT A LONE!

Also check the labels of things, cortisone is in a lot of over the counter creams and makeups!  That should be against the LAW!  So please, please, please, be careful as you wouldn't want to set yourself back! Or develop an addiction unknowingly!


That was my 5 cents for the day!! Have a great one!

xoxoxo
VEE
Here is a little before and after :)

3 Months IN
6 Months in










Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Skin Pics-Good lighting

As promised, I have attached some recent(today) photo's of my skin!

Funny Story:I was sitting at a red light while taking these.  I looked down at my skin and thought "mmmhh this is perfect lighting for a photo"...and click, click and a  honk from the car behind me later...and this photo shoot was born!


My skin feels decent, I was a bit itchy, but I had gone jogging so I think sweat contributes to that.  Some placed on my skin love the sweat (fold of arms, wrists, face and front of neck).  The other places like upper back and back of neck are completely dried out by sweat!  Ahhw well!

These photo's acurately portray what my skin looks like! :)
My upper lip and lower chin were having a good day! :)

Here I am, no makeup-not to shabby for TSW.  Neck is still a bit dark

My hands and wrists....what a turn around form earlier months

Folds of arms have been sweating like beasts, I think that is leading to faster healing in the area :)

Monday, July 22, 2013

Sweating! Healing! Flaring! Sweating!

Hey all!

Well I am happy to say my skin is finally sweating!  I can't say again, because I have NEVER been able to sweat!  Although high school, in track & cheerleading, I wouldn't even sweat a drip! My face would get super hot and red, but that was it!  I would be bone dry!

This past week, I began to do  pilates, and felt that first tingle of sweat.  Really didn't like the feeling!  Then I began running(my most fav form of exercise-I could run for hours... literally)
So as I am on my evening run, I feel wet drops on my neck!  I think to myself, 'it must be starting to rain?'... So I speed up, because there is no way I could tolerate rain on my skin.  The drops continue, but I am wondering 'why it's just my neck I am feeling the rain?'.  I touch and I realize the back of my neck is soaked...get this INCLUDING MY HAIR!  Then I notice the folds of my arms are wet too.  Now that could have been ooze, but this was profusely  so I think it was sweat.  I feel my back, my shirt is soaked. I couldn't believe how wet I was!  Kinda gross feeling, since I am not really accustomed to sweating, but at the same time I was excited, because I always here such good things about sweating, and that it' a good sign.

Only downer, was my smooth skin, turned a bit dry and flarey the next morning!  So I did feel like sweating sort of undid all calm skin I was experiencing.  But I want to press through and see if my skin will just get used to it!  This is a minor, completely manageable flare.

I have some really good news with my hands, they look AWESOME!  Like a 90  year old women's hands, but no red, no ooze, no inflammation, no scabs,  no hyper pigment! BOOYAH!  Over all I can see how my skin has gotten so much better since the initial withdrawal, but it's hard to see progress during a flare.  Especially the painful flares!  Also I would say my face is pretty normal again.  I look smooth.  My forehead still has a bit of a wrinkled texture, but not really noticeable to the average Joe.  My upper lip continues to open, split, bleed, flake and ooze.  But I am just grateful its not my entire face!


This is another topic, but I was thinking that on the ITSAN site and forum I haven't seen any "coloured" people healed.  Not to say they aren't out there, but there have been times I wondered if TSW was different for colored people.  I only say this because we have different hair, which is a form of skin, and even our skin typically is different.  I just wonder if the process of TSW differs for people of color?  Maybe not length wise, but severity, or even if it effects full healing?  I know our linchefication can look a lot more noticeable that a fairer skinned person.  But our redness is virtually invisible compared to a lighter skinned person!  I do look forward to healing, to encourage other people with darker skinned.  Because I know being darker you can be unsure if TSW really applies to you.

WELL all, I am off to run, forest run!  xoxox
HAppy Healing!

I will post some pics next time ! :)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Posting at 12 am

Well...I am just about 6 months into my withdrawal. Funny how I thought I would be much better by now. And in some ways I am, on others I  am not!  I  roughing out a flare right now. Silly me started exercising this week and flared my self up!  But good news...I  am sweating again!  Just don't like the effect the sweat has on my skin. So I doubt I will be continuing to exercise for now.

Right now my neck is super tight and yucky.
My wrists are all scratched up. Super itchy. Just scratch central. :(

On the bright side I have been sleeping better at night.  Minus tonight. I hope this is a one night thing...lack of sleep greatly effects my ability to function!

Anyhow I am still here, pressing on towards healing!  I hope you all are too!

Xoxox
Vee

Oh and that pick of the wrinkled skin is my neck...hot stuff eh? Lol

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Feeling ugly, Acting pretty

This morning was tough!  Not because I didn't sleep well. Not because my skin was weeping or burning.  It was tough because as I looked at my neck and arms I felt ugly.  It didn't really matter that my skin was getting some what better, its just not better enough.

I have been putting a double effort lately to try not to focus on my skin.  I quickly whiz through my routine and move on the next task.  But today I made the 'no no' of looking at my skin. And...well suffice to say it broke heart. 

Lately I have been tough, rocking my jacked up, discolored, dry skin.  I have sensed great liberty in doing this.  But yesterday I had someone make a comment about my skin.  They said 'oohh it got worse, have you gone to the doctor?'. Now this isn't the first time they have said this.  Nothing irritates me more than when someone asks 'have you gone to the doctors?'. Or 'have you tried any creams for eczema?'. For crying out loud... Do people honestly think I would look like this without any medical advice! 

Anyhow, after a couple of weeks of being tough I guess I am having a vulnerable moment.  As for a skin update:
Hands- dry,light patches, slight scratches. Looking better, elephant skin
Arms-scratched up, elephant skin, reddish, ugly-lol
Neck-dark, bumpy, back of neck filled with scabs, inflamed
Face looking good! Upper lip is dry, cracked and weeping :(

Well I am going to enjoy my day!  Shrug of the ugly skin... And look forward to the future!:)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Flarish, But coping

I officially am convinced my lack of sleep has to do with why I flare.  I have never woken up from a good sleep with my skin flarey.  Because of TSW, my sleep patterns are through the roof!  It doesn't matter if I nap or not, take melatonin or some other sleep aid(non prescription). I still end up awake for hours.  Last night from 4-1230 our power went out, the stress of that kept me up till 2.  And of course I am flaring!  I have been flaring since Monday. Which I find quite common since I have busy weekends. Monday is kind of a relax day... I often wake Mondays with sore, red inflamed skin. 

One down side of experiencing some healing is when it all undoes itself at your next flare.  It's funny how we can convince ourselves we won't flare again and we are almost healed...then bam... Skin is a mess.

It doesn't matter if logically I know I will flare again... The fact my skin feels and looks better overrides all TSW logic!  Anyone been there?

Ahh well such is life!  I am still making it my mission to somewhat ignore my TSW.  I have spent less time in forum, less time fussing over my skin and researching eczema cures! 
Just riding it out! I think I need that for a while.  Seems to be helping me, not putting to much attention to it. But I do want to help others, so I will update atleast once a week! 

Hope you are all well!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Its Friday... Time for an update!

Well I have to say this living like my skin is perfect is working well for me.  I stick to my routine and try not to think about my skin each day.  It works well for the most part.  I am flaring today... But I still kept busy.  That's a first. And by flaring just my skin has that terrible sore inflamed feeling.  It looks alright but doesn't feel good.  I am hoping the my skin is calm by tomorrow.  As I have a bit of a high school reunion to go to!  Aaaahh!  But whatever!  I loaded up with zinc tonight.  That always helps with redness and inflammation for myself. Hope to pop some melatonin and nock out till atleast 9.  I am hoping the good sleep and zinc will calm the flare.  Usually I flare around the time my monthly friend comes to visit.  Any other ladies have that problem?

Anyhow I added some photos. I must say my skin is looking better!  My neck isn't so dark!  Some days it even feels smooth!  Itchiness is still severe!  I really wrecked my arms this week! :( But they heal virtually over night!  I did some serious damage in the folds of my arms though!  I would say over the years my arms probably got the most steroids.  And that is where my eczema began, that and my eyelids.  So I am not surprised they are taking long to heal! 

Anyhow all my dear friends....happy weekend!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Toronto Girls Meet Up

Last evening, I had the wonderful privilege to meet two other RSS sufferers. Natcha & Gwen.

They too had had their fill of steroids  and have decided to ditch the roids and persue natural healing!  Healing that every doctor will tell you will never come and that we are stuck with this disease for life! Oh Poppy-cock!

Upon arriving to the restaurant I was super nervous to be meeting them!  You worry about conversation and chemistry.  To my surprise I was greeted by two sweet ladies that were absolutely gorgeous!  You can see for yourselves in the pictures!  They look good considering they were suffering through RSS!

Gwen is only 2 weeks in while Natcha has been off for awhile.  And then there is me, in the middle of withdrawal.  So we have a veteran, newbie and Vee!  Lol. We discussed so many things while each of us itched constantly.  It was quite comedic actually!

It was lovely to sit and eat with someone who completely understood why I am not eating meat, or why it took us forever to order trying to accommodate and elimination diet.  Normal people don't get that! 

One thing I found completely hilarious was the stash of TSW emergency kits these ladies had in there bags!  Shame on me, I wasn't even caring a single cream. So I was in good company!

Natcha( my personal RSS drug dealer) hooked me up with some melatonin and natural sleep pills-while Gwen ( my RSS pharmasist) allowed me to sample a variety of products! I was in TSW heaven!

Anyhow we did end the evening with some photos capturing our fab time together!  Hopefully this will encourage all the other Torontonians to make it next time!

Pic#1 The best drug deal on planet earth! :)
Pic#2 Gwen's oh so hot elephant skin! Work it girl!
Pic# 3 Gwen's 13 day steroid free old not so bad hands!
Pic#4 Natcha's perfect skin- she has slight linchefication in elbow area.  But has healed up amazing.  Her neck was bright red last year.  Can't tell now!
Pic# 4 Natcha & Gwen's Drug store! Samples are Free!
Pic#5& 6. Newbie, Veteran and Vee- reverse order but it sounded better!  And we were all supposed to have crazy faces in one, but I accidentally deleted it! 
Just because you have RSS doesn't mean you can have a good time! 

Thanks ladies for the lovely time!  I had a blast!