This is a quick update on the progress of my skin and life in general over the past few weeks. I’m an optimistic person, so I’m not sitting at my computer downcast crying salty tears into the keyboard and messing up all the internal electronics, but things have not been easy. Here are the three trials I have been dealing with:
1. POSSIBILITY OF TOPICAL STEROID ADDICTION, aka red skin syndrome (RSS).
Multiple helpful bloggers have commented on my blog that my history and current rash/dermatitis sounds awfully like it is RSS. I had read about RSS before, but was reluctant to believe that I could have it, as I didn’t have any of the symptoms like stabbing pain, uncontrollable itching, burning, weeping, oozing, etc. I also had never used steroids long-term, but did use them sparingly over the course of a couple years. However, what I DID and DO have is a rash that would not clear up, spread insidiously, and for the most part is ONLY in the places where I’ve ever used steroids. And, I also CANNOT link it to anything concrete like diet, environment, etc., even though I’ve been trying for a good year or more. Oh yeah, and it always came back worse after I used steroids, even though it would take 7-10 days. The very last time that I used steroids (and the last time I intend on ever using them) was a few weeks ago when my face flared up like crazy along with having a cold and then bronchitis. Now I know that the crazy rashtastic rash on my body, and my face, was probably a rebound reaction after using steroids.
The past 2-3 weeks or so have been hell for my skin, especially my face. I’ve wanted to use steroids so bad, but I know that I’m taking steps toward healing by not using them. All last week and the week before, the skin on my face was ridiculously dry and red, and around my eyes would become so tight that I would be very uncomfortable as the day progressed. I’m happy to note that I appear to be entering a healing phase and look/feel much more normal. I’ve left so many flakes of skin in the bed and all over the house, but when it peels off, the skin underneath is closer to being healed. I’m certainly not totally healed (my hands and elbow creases are wrecked, for example… did I use steroids on these areas in the past? you bet), but I’m confident in my body’s ability to heal, given time. I’m also hoping that because I did not use steroids long term, the healing phase from them will be quick and maybe I can look reasonably clear-skinned again in a few months by summer.
2. CANDIDA DIET
Yes, I’m still on the candida diet, albeit a slightly looser version. I still have not had any caffeine, soy, dairy, gluten, or… hmm, I am probably forgetting something else. Today is day 18 and I’ve mostly gotten over the sugar cravings and feeling of deprivation. I have entered the stage where I completely feel as though I could adopt this diet for life if need be. I started to ‘cheat’ a bit a few days here and there (nothing big – I had a few foods with minimal added sugar, like sunflower seed butter, Rice Chex, and organic chicken sausage), but it didn’t seem to affect me. I also started eating some corn, i.e. corn chips and Corn Chex, as well as beans (which you are not supposed to introduce until stage 3 when you see noticeable improvement). So my current approach is the Mostly-Candida-Diet. I’m honestly afraid to have something outright sugary like a dessert, as I feel like it would cause havoc. However, if I really do have RSS/topical steroid addiction, diet may not play a big role in what bothers my skin. I guess the Candida Diet isn’t that terrible of a trial, but in the throes of a food craving, it isn’t very fun.
3. RELATIONSHIP TURMOIL.
I wrote about this in a previous post – the current strain on my relationship with my husband. So even though we’ve talked and discussed and been respectful of each other’s feelings, my husband is truly, totally convinced that we need to separate/divorce and that “I’ll thank him later”. WTF?!? Does he picture that I’m going to rush up to him a year from now and be like, “Oh, thank you, thank you! You broke my heart, I’m so grateful for that!?” I’ve written him a lot of angry/sad/spiteful emails to him over the past few days as I just don’t understand his reasoning behind wanting to leave someone that has been a devoted and loving companion for the past TEN YEARS (we started dating when I was 17! and have been married for almost 3 years), even though he insists that he’ll always love and care about me and that we can still be friends. One of his most hurtful and selfish statements was that he wanted to separate so he can start fresh and have a family, and that he wanted to spend time being single. So basically this implies, “I want children, just not with YOU” and “I want to run around and not be committed to anyone”. I’m not the biggest child-wanting person, but I was absolutely willing to sacrifice and compromise so we could have a family together. The threat of knowing he wants to leave me makes me want that even more strongly – I don’t want to be set adrift alone in the world and have to find someone else to love. I’m not here to rant about my husband, or someday ex-husband (ugh, I hate writing/seeing that phrase, it seems so sad – imagining me being a divorcee’ at the tender age of 26 😦 ), but this, as you can imagine, has been a huge source of stress and turmoil. It’s particularly awkward as we still live in the same house, but I don’t even want to talk to him as it’s the same repeated thing, he’s convinced we’ll be better off. I can’t move out yet because I’m still going to school, but if things get really bad, I’ll move back in with my parents. I still pray that it could work out, and I believe it could. He is absolutely convinced otherwise. I’m not going to cling to a sinking ship, so I just have been praying for God’s guidance and peace and hoping whatever’s out there in my future will more than make up for all the anguish so far.