Very quick update on 50 days in (making 7 weeks of withdrawal).
Monday was a pretty amazing day. I actually went for a run wearing SHORTS (yes my legs were very far from perfect, but they felt good and no one was going to see them up close) and for a little bit, I forgot all about eczema and TSW. My elbow creases were pink and smooth and save for the clear demarcation of color between the red of those and the paler color of the rest of my forearm, they were looking really healed. I could have worn a t-shirt in dim light and probably looked fine. The rest of me was about the same, but I was so thankful to be seeing signs of healing that I was pretty overjoyed at those small improvements.
I was reminded that this journey is often described as “two steps forward, one step back”.
Yesterday my neck had been itching for literally three of the last hours at work. I used all the sheer willpower I had to not itch at it. Then I had to go to my former house (my husband’s house – I guess I’m just going to start calling him my ex-husband) to get some things. I could not resist the urge to itch anymore and promptly started ripping at my neck, leaving it scratched and oozing. Well THEN I had to go to class, so I was less than thrilled by having to sit all evening in a lecture. Oh, plus a classmate started telling me I look very tired and was I okay – so I gave him my explanation about how steroids poisoned my body. He just kept looking at me so I felt the need to babble awkwardly about the topical steroids and that I would be okay in a while, it just takes time. But then he just started asking a bunch of questions, saying I need a good dermatologist, and I didn’t feel like dealing with it. I was actually going to skip school for the third time, but I figured I better go before I miss too much. Being away from home for over 12 hours between work, ex-husband house, and school left my skin feeling stressed and unhappy, making me itch even more when I finally got home.
So I had a stressful day yesterday and I also had coffee. Yes, I went back to coffee after giving it up. I try to limit myself to 1-2 cups PER WEEK but with the whole adrenal suppression thing of TSW, intuition tells me that overworking my adrenals with caffeine is probably not what they need. However, the double-edged sword is that it wakes me up and helps me function and also boosts my mood – all things that I really need with TSW. Not sure if coffee had anything to do with my skin, therefore.
So today I appear to be starting another flare, since in the previous days I was doing better and getting some relief. I need a moment to whine. I am so done with TSW. I have had it! It can go away any time now! I know other people have had it much worse off, and I know I should be thankful that at least I’m 50 days in. But today I feel scraped all over, my face is tight and dry, my neck is stiff and itchy, my elbow creases have gone from smooth pink skin to wrecked red scratched skin, my hands are raw, whine whine whine. My face is SO red and I REALLY wish I could take a leave of absence from work. Working 40 hours a week and doing TSW is no joke. Even a week off work would help (of course then it would mean explaining to all my co-workers why I was gone), but the problem is that I would need a doctor’s note, and any dermatologist I see is NOT going to be understanding of TSW – I’ve SEEN probably 6-7 dermatologists in the area over the years and none of them really impressed me.
Bad day in skin world – I’m going home and going to bed after work today! I’ll be back next time with some more sunshine and optimism hopefully instead of complaints 🙂