Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Day 86

I was sitting in the back garden earlier today enjoying the sunshine pondering thoughts.  It dawned on me how far I have come over the past few months.

I remember an incident at work a month before I topped using topical steroids.  My skin had been playing up a lot around this time.  I was having horrible face flushes where my skin would go blotchy red and irritated.  On this particular day I was feeling self conscious and more fragile than usual.  I work in community arts with people with learning difficulties and had been putting up with more comments than usual.  The likes of 'what's wrong with your face'  and that sort of thing.  I was answering the obligatory explanations and answers as tiring as it was.  I remember catching sight of myself in a mirror that morning and burst into tears.  I ran out of work sobbing hysterically.  It may sound dramatic and it was.  I guess it had been building up to this point for months and I cracked.  It was then I realised I would do anything it took to improve the state of my skin and my deteriorating mental state.

So here I find myself 4 months on and 86 days into TSW.  I'm hopeful and to be hopeful is something I never had prior.  Having been told by numerous dermatologists and doctors that I had chronic eczema that would gradually worsen over time and there wasn't a lot I could do about it.  Other than put up with it and be prescribed harsher more potent drugs.  At least with this road I'm on, as bumpy as it is, there may be light at the end of the tunnel.  Rather than a life time of irritation and upset.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Day 65

Alcohol for me is a definite no go.. much to my annoyance!  Not saying I'm a raging alcoholic or anything however I do miss being able to have a few drinks without waking up with a red blotchy inflamed face.  I have learnt the hard way! I will just have to be patient for the now, it's not worth it as I realised last Saturday night :(

On a brighter note here I am at Day 65 well over two months into withdrawal woohoo!!  I am continuing to see improvements.  I may flare for a few days though the flares are easier to manage and less extreme.

Arms are no longer red and inflamed.  I now only have topical steroid induced eczema on the inside of my elbows and wrists.

Hands have a few small red blisters, nothing that causes me to much bother.

Backs of knees which use to have a redness and dryness spreading down the backs of my legs have all but cleared.

Face is not as pink as it was though I can still flush during a flare.  I still have a persistent area above my lips and sides of nose that gets dry and crusty and is slightly red.  This area is improving very gradually.  I am still avoiding make up as I feel my skin is still too sensitive to deal with the chemicals.

My neck is the worst area.  The skin on my neck has been discoloured and scarred for the past few years due to topical steroids, scratching and staph infections.   I am hoping this will disappear eventually, I'm guessing this will take a long time though.

Chest has continued to be inflamed throughout this process.  It does seem to be improving gradually.  It is my chest, face and neck which seems to be the worst areas now during a flare (where I applied the most steroids).

Backs or ears have remained oozy and cut up since starting the withdrawal, again improving slowly.  Ooze has pretty much stopped happening everywhere else which is great.

My glands are still up and down..  I am not too concerned with this as I am hoping they will go down eventually.  My glands have been like this for the past year really when I was still using topical steroids.

Dryness has been improving also.  I am no longer shedding near the amounts I was in the first  6 weeks.  I have stopped having to wash my bedding every other day and continuously hoovering.  My neck and face remain the driest areas (where I used the most topical steroid) I am putting on Vaseline twice a day.

Itchiness is not as extreme as it was in the early days of withdrawal.  I still get itchy usually at bedtime or during the night.  I take antihistamine before I go to bed to help me sleep.  I am not waking up with crazy itchiness as much as I was thought it does happen occasionally.

My bodies temperature is no longer fluctuating.

So I am overall happy with my progress.  I have continued to show improvements since the initial terrible flare and am optimistic for the future.  It feels nice not to have to deal with the tiring daily ritual of applying nasty steroid ointments and smothering liquid parrafin on continuously.  Which I was having to do prior to stopping and the eczema and it was still spreading and seeming to get worse!

I am starting back at work soon which I am anxious about in case my skin gets worse due to living a more stressful life.  I wonder if my progress has been so good due to the fact I am having an easy time of it with minimum stress.  I'll keep you posted and let you know how it goes as well as adding some more update photos.  Good luck to all of you going through TSW x