[special post] what have i been up to?

what’s up my fellow warriors? the last time i posted the short entry, i was still enjoying my long awaited holiday. i had originally made plans to go back to hong kong in june 2011, but as you already know, i was put down with the TSW saga. it was a long wait but after 3.5 years i’m finally back home..

as you can see from the photo above, my face is pretty much close to perfect. my friends and family kept telling me how amazing it is for my face to be even better than before the TSW thing. I’M FLATTERED!!! strangers tell me my skin looks like the surface of a peeled hardboiled egg. i know i have to take them with a pinch of salt since everyone is so nice to me, but i have to agree that my skin is really GOD DAMN GOOD RIGHT NOW. (will do a skin care entry soon!)

here i am, with a new haircut and color, minimal make up and a hell of a good lighting from the bus i was on when i took this photo. this photo was dated 09 may 2013.

so what was i doing in the land of dim sum? i was eating so much everyday until i got a bout of indigestion which i’m still nursing right now. spending as much time as i can with my family, while stealing some time out to do my shoppings and basically, just roaming the land and exploring places i’ve never been to. that’s right, there are many places in hong kong that i haven’t been to. if you guys are actually interested, i can consider doing up another entry solely to share more stuff i saw in HK.

you know what, i think i’ll just go ahead and draft out that entry.. i remember a year ago when i was homebound, my heart had yearned to see the world. i suppose that’s how alot of you are feeling right now, so please let me have the honour to share with you some of my sightings, in hope of filling up that little void that was created by the TSW monster.

thank you to those who have been following my blog since its early (and depressing) days. i feel very motivated to keep writing after knowing how my blog has encouraged you guys. PLEASEEEE do leave a comment and let me know if you felt better after reading my blog. i just love to see those little words of appreciation, and i also love to show you my appreciation. ๐Ÿ˜€

it’s been a little more than 2 years, and i thought.. since i’m so much better now, i guess it’s ok for me to slip in a photo of me WITHOUT the hideous black rectangle or the shades. to be honest i never thought of showing my face without the censor to you all before. i guess it has to do with the lack of self confidence back then.. but now, i’m like a phoenix that has reborn from the ashes.

i know i’m only going to get increasingly awesome, i’m getting amazing amounts positive energies and i want to share them with you!

so for a head start, let me line out to you what i have accomplished in hk!

something that is rather important to me, I STARTED DRINKING AGAIN!!!! even though in just minute amount (like a small bottle of beer), but i’m really happy to report that i did not get any adverse reactions from it, neither did it make my skin itch more than usual.

i’m now able to put on my make up again, looking gorgeous and attracted many many pairs of eyes. thanks for giving me the positive energy ๐Ÿ™‚

my sleep is better than before! i feel sleepy around 12 or 1am, and i wake up around 8am next morning. pretty sick huh?

my skin can now go without its morning lotion routine. i guess it has to do with the humidity in HK. but.. yea my skin is pretty moisturized and soft on its own now.

i can also be out ALL DAY and not feel uncomfortable. perspiration does make me feel uncomfy for a bit, but really minimal interference.

i’m now confident enough to start making new friends. details won’t be divulged.. hehe~

while there are still some problem areas that can improve in time to come, i’m happy to report.. I’M REALLY HAPPY RIGHT NOW TO BE LIVING AGAIN.

ending this entry off with a photo of me in central. i think it was hollywood road.
i’m not confident in showing my skin yet, so i’m rocking the “covered up” look.

next up will be the 26 months report..!

45 thoughts on “[special post] what have i been up to?

  1. Juliana, I am in tears reading this. Am so happy for you. Yours was the first blog I ever read and the one that inspired me to write one of my own. Nobody deserves this more than you.

    You look great and I agree, it’s nice to see you without the rectangle!

    Go enjoy your life!


    • hello louise! haha are you louise UK? hope you’re doing well!!! sending you some of my good energy! hehe..

      i’ll be enjoying my life, gotta make up for lost times!


  2. Absolutely fabulous for sure Juliana…a long time coming but proof that the agonising wait was well worth it. Thanks for the inspiration and keep posting photos of your stunning skin now!

    • thanks sweetheart! definitely worth the long wait. breaking away from steroids was the best decision ever! god bless and hope you get well soon too! try to stay positive~ hehe i’m kind of worried i’ll turn this place into a really narcissistic shrine.. i’ll share my own photos with a light hand. ;D

  3. Hi Juliana,

    What a fantastic post! It’s so great to see you out and about and loving life. You have certainly earnt it!

    I have been going through TSW since Jan 2011, and have followed your blog from the start. You have been so brave and strong through this horrific process, and kept a great attitude despite the pain. I love seeing people’s true personalities shine through once they are feeling better – and this post certainly shows that.

    I’ve also just recently started seeing big improvements, and can’t believe how smooth and supple and unpink my skin is getting! AND I’m also able to have the odd beer without lapsing into an itchy mess. Great, isn’t it!

    I’m SOOO glad you’ve finally got your life back. It’s like being released from a very itchy prison, isn’t it? Congratulations to you, and thank you so much for blogging your experiences!

    Nat xx

    PS – would move to hear about HK! My brother lives out there in the New Territories (I’m UK) and its one of my favourite places! Planning a visit soon.

    • dear nat, thanks for the lovely comment! ^^ and i’m really happy to hear that you’re making such big improvements! amazing, because you’re taking so much lesser time than i did to recover well! your skin is only going to get smoother. ;P can’t stop caressing my arms and thighs sometimes. my baby smooth skin~~~~~

      aikes, new territories, that’s pretty far from me. haha which part of new territories? yuen long, tuen mun, fan ling, tai po, sai kung…? haha i hope i didn’t miss any. please do visit hong kong, especially the new territories because i feel that it’s so vintage. down town hong kong is way too developed, gotta say i love being in air conditioned shopping malls in the hot weather, but it gets boring after a while. try to visit HK during winter! best time for you to run about without working up a nasty sweat.

      • Nearly 2.5 years – doesn’t feel quick ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I can’t stop stroking my skin either! Nor my bf – he keeps asking where I’ve stolen it from!

        My bro lives in Mai Po, just near Yeun Long – he manages the wildlife park there. But soon he’s moving to Ng Tung Chai, which is nearer to Tai Po. I love Sai Kung and the surrounding areas! Have you been? Great waterfront restaurants with fish straight off the boats. We buy fish off the boat, then get the restaurant to cook it up for us. Yummy! Great beaches nearby too!

        I love the HK wet markets – they’re fascinating. I spend hours pootling around looking at all the fish. Very different culture to the UK!

        I love the city too, and it’s so easy to get to from anywhere. Nothing beats sipping a beer on Kowloon waterfront and watching the lights come on over the harbour. I’ve always visited at end of November. Great weather – plus you get all the christmas lights!

      • you’re already in this for 2.5 years already? :O sorry, i thought you were only 1 year in and seeing such vast improvements! BUT, it’s all good now right? ๐Ÿ˜‰

        i had to google where Mai Po is, it’s so near shenzhen already! does your brother work in fields related to wildlife conservatory? just a question, are you and your brother asian? you seem to know hongkong pretty well!! even more well than i do! ๐Ÿ™‚ i remember visiting saikung as a kid, not so much after i grew up. it’s a nice spot to relax though! alot of rich people stays there.

        you surely know how to enjoy life ๐Ÿ™‚ would love to meet you if both of us happen to be in hk around the same time! i can’t wait to go back already~~~

  4. Thank you, Juliana. Your post today is most definitely inspirational. I’m in my fifteenth month and have been having a pretty rough time lately. Your post reminds me that it really will get better someday. You are absolutely beautiful!

    • hey katherine, thanks for your sweet words! keep reminding yourself that things will get so much better after feeling rough. at least you’re moving forward, right? stay positive as much as you can! stay strong too! xoxo

  5. You look amazing, Juliana!!! My parents are from HK, but I was born in Canada and I always look forward to going back to HK for the shopping! I would love to see a post from you on the things you can do there! Btw, how is your skin when you look closely? Do you have any visible pores?? Thank you so much for sharing your updates, you look so beautiful. ^o^

    • hi cindy! shopping in hk is getting increasing un-affordable these days.. clothes and shoes are mad expensive, but do watch out for sales because that is the only time when i feel that they are reasonably priced. the skincare and cosmetics are affordable though! ^^

      when i look closely at my face, yes, i do see pores, just a little bit? i also have a bit of redness on my cheeks but i can always pass it off as the “rosy cheeks”. hahaha trying not to be so harsh on myself. no one is gonna see those pores unless they are at point blank distance from me, so it’s fine!

      thanks for appreciating my update! and thanks for your compliment ^^ xoxo

  6. you look amazing! and you look like Tang Wei ๐Ÿ™‚ so glad that everything is over for you! I’m now about 3 months in. Hope I will heal too someday! I have a question though, do you have hyperpigmentation, Especially on the body?

    Keep posting photos and tips! They are truly inspiring and useful ๐Ÿ™‚
    Enjoy your life!


    • hi amanda! i’m truly flattered! tangwei is way too pretty!!! you will definitely heal one day, look at me! i did! ๐Ÿ™‚

      do i have hyperpigmentation, yes. my whole body changed color after it healed.. it’s somewhat dark now. but my calf has already turned back to its original color (MILKY WHITE!!!), i’m just waiting for the rest to be fair again!

      must~ be~ patient~!

      thanks for your suggestion on what to post, i will definitely do so! ^^
      thank you for reading my blog โค


  7. Pingback: Month 5 + Juliana’s Healed Story | laleizel

  8. Hi Juliana
    I’m so pleased to see how lovely you look. Some of those earlier pictures were terrible to see. I almost cried to see how sore and in pain you were. I think its amazing that you endured such torture for so long. But now look! You are an inspiration to so many people. Me included! Well done, and thanks so much for posting all through the journey. Its so useful to see what lies ahead – the bad … but then the good.
    Good luck with the rest of your life.
    Elaine (also UK) xx

    • dear elaine, thanks for your beautiful words ๐Ÿ™‚ looking back, it was indeed a very difficult time for me back then.. i’m sure it’s the same for everyone else who’s fighting this debilitating condition. i’m happy to be able to inspire you, so keep up the good spirits and stay strong! soon i’ll be hearing about your adventures and happy life again. ๐Ÿ˜€

      god bless and good luck to you too!

  9. Hey Juliana! This is such a lovely post and you are looking BEAUTIFUL! I think your blog is one of the most important ones for new TSW people to read, because the changes and the healing is just so dramatic. What an inspiration you are! I am so happy for you to be out and about enjoying life and not thinking about your skin! Which looks flawless by the way!

    • aww you so sweet! thanks!!! ๐Ÿ˜€ i’m happy that i finally healed enough to show people (with pictorial proof and evidence) that we can heal from TSW! it’s definitely a very blissful thing to be able to be normal once again. ๐Ÿ™‚

      good luck to you and god bless!

  10. U look awesome.
    I follow your reads since i first knew about tsw.
    The pictures too. The skin does amazing things.
    Did you ever do any special diets or use any antibiotics?

    • hi lisa, thanks for staying with my blog! ^^

      diets : i tried the candida diet for about 2 months during my first 2 months of TSW (back then i still don’t know it’s TSW.. i thought it’s a candida overgrowth in my intestinal tract). no idea if it did me any good in terms of skin wise because things were still worsening.

      antibiotics : took a short course of antibiotics right when i stopped using topical steroids. i started swelling up after 3 days, i thought i was allergic to the antibiotics, in retrospect i guess it’s the swelling from TSW.

      hope that answers your question!

      • Thanks juliana for the reply.
        You are so pretty and with all you went thru. Wow you amaze me seriously. So inspirtional. I look at your pictures and i cant imagine being the state of calm you had in your post.
        You give me hope. โค

      • hope i managed to give you some motivation and reason to stay on this difficult track to better health and skin! *hugs* it’ll be hard but it’ll be over eventually. ๐Ÿ™‚ i’m surprised you mentioned i had calm in my post, i was really depressed back then, i think it shows through my words. very little personal feelings being mentioned, and alot of factual description of what’s going on.

        will definitely share my skin care! haha hk post gonna come up first i hope..!

  11. Hi Juliana,
    I’m so happy for you. I’ve been following your progress for the past 20 months, and I remember how much you were suffering & depressed. You look so wonderful! I also remember the photos of how much your face was peeling. They were comforting to me when I started peeling because they proved that I really did have TSW, and I still think of you whenever I peel or flake.
    Your healing has given me lots of hope. Stay beautiful and I wish you healthy skin forever.
    Susan R

    • hello susan! great to hear from you! thanks for keeping me in your thoughts! ๐Ÿ™‚ are you feeling better already? had a vague memory seeing your photo in which you were already much better. i think the girls visited you too right? if i remember correctly that is.. ๐Ÿ™‚

      i wish you healthy skin forever too!!

  12. I totally remember reading your blog when you were at month 18 or so. Time flies huh? You look so beautiful and your pictures show!
    Btw, you’re from HK? Yahhhh!

  13. Hello,

    First of all I can’t believe I have only just discovered this blog. These past few 5/6 months have been some of the worst of my life due to the skin on my face becoming severely flaky, red and occasionally oozing and seeping with a yellow crust. Now I know the reason why!

    I am 21-years-old and have suffered with eczema all my life and have been using steroids for as long as I can remember. I am so angry and distraught that we are prescribed something that we believe will help us but can actually cause so much damage.

    I haven’t had the chance to read through your blog entirely but I am so inspired and happy for you that you have recovered from this horrendous reaction to steroids – I can only hope I can say the same for myself a few years down the line.

    Thank you for raising awareness and making me realise I’m not alone!


    • Gemma,
      Come to ITSAN.org and check out the forum. You will find lots of people going through steroid withdrawal and get lots of support while you go through this. It’s really helpful. I’m in my 20th month and the ITSAN forum has been invaluable for me (International Topical Steroid Awareness Network).
      Susan R

    • hi gemma!

      firstly, i’m glad that you’ve found this blog, secondly, i’m glad that you’re accepting this TSW idea so readily. thirdly, please visit the itsan page as well as the forum, google it!

      i felt exactly the same way as you when i found out how bad steroids are!

      please stay close to the blog, i hope to give you encouragement and hope to tide you through the difficult times.

  14. Thanks for your reply! I will definitely be looking through your blog for information and I’m considering starting up my own! Can I just ask if you think it’s better to stop using steroids cold turkey or whether to stop using them gradually over time? I haven’t used any steroids in two days and already my skin is unbearably itchy and sore :-(. Thanks! X

    • hello gemma~ dr rap advises cold turkey.. so that’s how i did it. i guess if you were to taper it down it might be less intense for you, but things will eventually get ugly anyway. might as well! just do as you wish ok? whichever makes you feel more comfortable. i stopped cold turkey because those steroids has no more effects on my skin. no matter how much i put they still worsen..

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