Monday, August 26, 2013

Whaaaat?? Normal(ish) skin?! -- Aug 26 2013 picture post!

Happy Monday!! Pardon the excessive use of exclamation points but today is a good day. 

It got off to a kind of crappy start as I was jolted awake at 6AM by an itch attack. My skin has been kind of calming down the past few days and I was looking forward to seeing the other side of this flare but the itch put me into a desperate frenzy of scratching all over.

I ran into the bathroom to scratch in the tub (so it catches all my flakes) and stripped my long sleeve sleep shirt off. To my surprise, what did I see but normal looking skin with hardly any flakes! 

Ok, not exactly normal. The texture is still "elephanty" (lack of elasticity if I bend or stretch it) but it isn't as swollen and the lack of flakes is really the most amazing part. There is a definite demarkation line where my healthy skin ends and my TSW skin starts but the swelling and redness are all down.

This is the best my skin has been in the last 3 months of this hell known as topical steroid withdrawal and I'm beginning to feel hopeful that there's an end to this thing. 

With that, we have pictures...

Color's a little off here, I'm still pink but swelling is down and skin looks smoother!

Center back of neck is still a trouble spot (I scratch there a lot) but normal colored skin is peaking through!

Pardon the camera stand (a vase and a glass :P) I can still tell the line where TSW skin is but wow compared to before I feel like I'm over TSW! (Overstated I know, but I like to indulge)

Hang in there everyone, there is a light at the end of the tunnel and I'm starting to see it!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Month 3 done

Today is my 3 month mark (..yay..).

Not much to update on though because I feel like I've reached a relative plateau compared to the first couple months, perhaps slowly worsening again.

Since my last update, I had a very itchy day and probably did more harm than good by indulging my itch with some serious scratching. I've started weeping again, specifically on my left shoulder/back and neck crease and face (cheeks to chin).

My sleep has been sporadic the last two days, waking up after about five hours of sleep and being unable to go back to sleep until maybe two hours later. I'm hoping this is an aberration and that I'll get back to my sleep schedule again.

Emotionally, I've felt pretty withdrawn, almost like I just want to disappear until this whole thing is over. Also quite lethargic in the afternoon even though I'm not moving much at work. Even this post is difficult to type because I almost don't feel like this thing is worth extra thought or discussion, but since it's my month update I forced myself to do it.

Hope y'all are doing well. Wishing for quicker healing for all of us.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Am I healing?????? (cautiously optimistic update)

I'm very hesitant to blog about taking a turn for the better. 

Why you ask? Well, the pessimist in me (and that's most of me) thinks I'll just take a turn for the worst the next day. 

But since I've given it a couple days and I seem to be in one trajectory, seems like a good time for an update.

Everything is better! (*applause*)

Sleep: getting 6-8 hours of continuous sleep(!!! time to throw a parade!!!). With the help of Vicodin and Advil every night, I'm able to stay asleep once I've fallen asleep. Though I still feel fatigued by late afternoon, my mental state has been much better since I've been able to catch my sleep. This is a huge coup since at the beginning I could barely even stay asleep for 2-3 hours. I'm able to go to work on time! Amazing.

Skin color/texture: In general, only pink at max! The swelling and elephant skin has thinned out a lot. Right now, I wake up with skin-colored skin. After my shower, I'm pink again because I do the majority of my scratching and skin shedding there which leads me to....

Flakes: A LOT finer. In the midst of my flare, I was shedding a ton of skin each shower and every time I took my shirt off, I could make a substantial pile more. The flakes were also quite large and visible. Now, I am shedding less and the flakes are much smaller. It seems like my skin is staying on for longer which seems like a good sign. 

Itching: Still gets pretty intense on my chest and elbow creases, especially if I start scratching. It's still a struggle recovering from an "itch trance" but amazingly, my skin doesn't rip open. Well, maybe after 30 minutes it does but I definitely have way less gashes all over. 

General notes about localization: None of the spots seem to be shrinking. Still have it all over my torso to face, inner thighs and behind the knees. Right now, my knees seem the most behind but they also started the latest. 

Ok, maybe not everything is better. My eye did swell up and was sore starting Friday, looked pretty freaky over the weekend but today it is almost gone. I feel a bit like the hunchback of Notre Dame with my busted eye and hunched over posture. I wonder if my body is just weaker against infection and so a small eye infection can catch on quick. 

I did change a few things in my routine just before my turn around but I don't know if they are what helped this improvement. I'm pretty happy with my current routine as my skin stays relatively comfortable throughout the day. I will do a blog post on this next because I think it deserves a separate one. 

It's definitely a good day and though another flare may be around the corner, I will celebrate today as a good day and a step toward healthier skin!

Monday, August 5, 2013

less red, more weeping pix

Quick photo update. A horrible night last night. Woke up with gloves drenched in ooze and blood from the back of my neck, too disgusting to take a picture. Up for 3 hours trying to manage ooze. This morning, face was red, raw and oozy. I'll let the pix tell the rest.

Face is weeping at all the raw spots. Hurts to be outside in the wind.

Back super spotty but not too weepy. Worst weeping from neck, nonstop at night.

Back of my hands are weeping like crazy. Also red and bumpy skin. Upper chest kind of weepy and very itchy. Inner thighs have elephant skin now, especially closer to groin.

My red sleeves where I've been itching and scratching a lot. Over night I made some new wounds :(