Monday, March 21, 2016

PAIN: Flare has no end in sight

Well this is unfortunate. I was so sure that my hell was over but it has returned to haunt me. Currently, my face, neck, shoulders, upper back, upper chest and arms are all flaring. No oozing but painful red dry flaky swollen skin is all over.

I had forgotten the pain that comes with topical steroid withdrawal and currently my dead sea salt baths are very rare (1-2 per week) and yet each one stings worse than the last. I'm still not moisturizing as the one time I did, my face turned into a desert quite rapidly with thick itchy flakes.

My sleep is now quite disturbed again and I resort to pain killers and benadryl to catch maintain my sleep schedule.

I even had to revive my topical steroid withdrawal wardrobe to cover my skin from even stagnant air. Unfortunately less and less companies are making fine cotton spandex  clothing so I'm constantly on the hunt for some more soft pieces of clothes.

Life day to day feels difficult again. My shoulders hunch from pain and my movement is limited. Most frustrating since I had just revived my workout routine and must put it on hold again. Those desperate and sad feelings are back periodically though most of the time I still trust the process despite the pain and discomfort.

I hope everyone out there is healing and I'd love to hear about those of you that have healed. I can't wait to join u guys soon.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

SURPRISE: I'm flaring again

Well,  I thought it was over but the end of February has been killer. My upper chest, upper back, arms, neck and face have been flaring the worst I've experienced in a year. I've been revisited with hyper shedding skin and the pain. Oh the pain.

I feel like I'm slightly less panicked and more able to cope with the symptoms now: pain killers for pain, lint rollers and constant wiping dead skin cells away, no showers baths or lotion for as long as I can take it, and a constant reminder to myself that this is just a temporary set back.

The following pictures were taken 2/25 after a bath. I started flaring maybe a week and a half before that. Today, I'm still in about the same state but I've avoided bathing so my skin feels marginally thicker.

This flare makes me think of the "first in last out" model of healing. I definitely started in my upper torso to face region so hopefully this is a sign of the topical steroid withdrawal burning out where it started. In any case, I look forward to being rid of this flare soon!

Stay dry, 

Friday, January 1, 2016

RENEWED: 99.999999999% healed!

I'm renewed in the year 2016! After a long journey since May 2013, I can finally say my topical steroid withdrawal journey is behind me!

Not only is my skin no longer a daily issue, but I can do my nails, diet, exercise, use products, pretty much without considering the repercussions.

Since my last post, I have:
  • grown nails
  • started a diet/exercise routine
  • worn lotion on occasion
  • worn makeup 
  • gone on dates
  • switched jobs
  • lost 10 lbs
  • accepted myself with good or bad skin 
I can't believe how far I've come, looking back at even just the most recent post (6 months ago). And I'm really happy to be where I am, and look at the new year with optimism for a new beginning. In my 30th year, I'm feeling energized to pursue all the things I never did before TSW and I'm pretty grateful that I went through this because it has truly been transformative both inside and out.

I want to thank all the TSW bloggers for their support and suggestions, especially Dan for urging me to go moisturizer free and trying dead sea salt baths. They were truly the ticket when it came to improving my quality of life as my skin layers restored.

My current routine is still very much similar to the one covered here:

Here is my current skin routine:
  • I take a dead sea salt bath every 3ish days, and shampoo with any shampoo. My skin is strong enough for me to rub off flakes now, even on my fingers pictured below.
  • My face doesn't need moisturizer.
  • I wear eye/eyebrow makeup but rarely use foundation. I remove eye makeup with witch hazel.
  • I use Jergen's bronzing glow on my legs when I want them to look nice, as there's still residual flakes, but typically this is every 3-4 days.

As my skin got better, I just realized I was living life again and thus became terrible at updating my blog, but I wanted to let you all out there know where I stand, in case you also need hope that the end of TSW is around the corner, so close you won't even realize it when you're there! Happy new year to all, and stay dry!