month 30

17 sept 2013

skin seems to be doing well.
certain areas on my neck itches a little bit in the morning for like 1 minute and that’s it.
hives are less common now!!!
skin isn’t as dry too.
i can assure myself that the cycle has ended.
one less cycle towards complete healing!

========================

26 sept 2013

3 days ago my skin started turning drier again.
i attribute that to PMS.
you know what, i’m just gonna blame everything on PMS. hahaha!
anyway my skin is soft, moisturized and smooth today again.
there were hives on my legs though, as usual.

the back of my thigh is rough.
i remember i used to have rashes there, i figured this is just the skin healing.
i tried to exfoliate the skin there during my shower by scrubbing gentle with a towel.
i’ll see if that helps it move on faster.

other than that.. my neck still itches once in a while these days.
no biggie. doesn’t seem too obvious to the naked eye, so it’s fine.

i don’t know if it’s just me,
i get water retention so much more easily these days (after TSW).
is it because my body has aged -> lower metabolic rate,
or did the steroids raise my metabolic rate last time??

===================
3 oct 2013

itchy thigh is itchy.
just the thigh though. skin is rough.
looks like my original eczema actually!
I get hives easily on my thighs if I irritate my skin by scratching it.
fair enough!! I’m not wearing shorts anyway, it can take its own sweet time to heal up.

===================
5 oct 2013

just want to report that everything is calm and looks pretty much constant to me.
current rough spots includes
1. neck
2. back of shoulder
3. elbow
4. back of thigh
5. above my knees
6. back of my feet

rough meaning they are a little darker and drier than other parts of the skin. something is going on, clearly.

=====================

6 october 2013

took some photos today.๐Ÿ™‚
photos of my skin in the 30th month.


left inner elbow. it seems to be back to how it used to be 3 months ago, the smoothest it has ever been in the past month. no signs of red or itchy skin for now! the lines aren’t as deep set as it used to be, but it’s still far from the normal skin folds i see on normal people’s arms.


right elbow. some shiny skin.


my neck was a little red today because i have been in the kitchen all morning and have perspired a great deal. skin is soft though, thanks to the moisture from the sweat.๐Ÿ˜‰ not itchy.


my left thigh. hahaha i know it can look like my elbow if i didn’t mention it’s my leg. the little patch of scaly skin is finally smoothing out after so long. compared to 3 months ago.. (see below)


thigh at month 27.

i also took some other photos a few days ago, just to show you the little pigmentation spots i’ve been getting. they look like freckles now..


left elbow.


right elbow


left wrist.
these have faded a great deal as compared to when i first got them.
i can’t find any photos of my hand when i first got these spots, they used to be really small and black.
over time they grow i little in size and lighten.


i still can’t pin point why i have all these spots, even on areas that wasn’t in touch with steroids.
i don’t remember applying steroids here.
neither did i scratch this part of my shoulder that much when my skin was bad.
they just look like cute little freckles now.
looking back (before TSW), i don’t usually wear sleeveless tops so it’s unlikely that it’s caused by excessive UV exposure.

hahaha in case you’re wondering, i took the photos myself.
no idea how my hand contorted to get that shot.


i have them on my left shoulder too!

do i have them on my face?
yes. thankfully they’re much smaller in comparison.
makes me the best candidate to test out my whitening products. hahaha!

anyway, i’ve been off TCM for a little more than a month by now.
ceteris paribus, i don’t think it has much of an impact on my skin.
my skin didn’t get worse or better.

as far as pigmentation goes, i know they do go away over time.

========================

10 oct 2013

itchy thigh is no longer as itchy.
not as rough too, in fact it’s been pretty damn smooth!
*molests myself*

my skin feels and looks good.
is it because of my hormones?
we’ll see.

this entry is so photo filled. you wouldn’t mind me adding just one more photo right?

i seldom take close up shots because my camera isn’t thaaaaaaat HD.
took this with the iphone and it’s good enough!
some of you asked me if i have visible pores on my face after my skin healed.
yes i do, but unless you’re scrutinizing my face at point-blank distance (btw my reflex would have shoved your face away if you were that near), you can hardly notice them.
at first i was paranoid because i never noticed any pores on my skin before i started TSW, maybe because my skin was so dried up back then they were unnoticeable (dry skin tends to be matte -> matte surfaces do not reflect light as efficiently -> blurs pores in the process. this is what some high-tech make up does, redirect the way light reflects off your skin to blur your insecurities.).
my face is so glowing right now, it reflects light in all directions and made the pores more visible than before.

if you think you have huge pores, pleassssseeee give yourself a break.
chances are people will only see you from a distance, hence they’ll only see the image on the left.
only we see the image on the right when we’re facing the magic mirror.
hahahahah i’m going to give you the response my mother gave me when i told her i have dark spots on my face.

“does your mirror come with magnifying function?”.
she’s too adorable.๐Ÿ™‚

aside from all the documentation,
i’m going to talk a little bit about my journey thus far.
it’s been 30 months, and each month has been increasingly easy and fast for me.
holy crap it’s already october!?
october last year was horrible, i was desperate to recover in time for school but things don’t look rosy.
school started in january and.. time just flew by at the speed of light since then.

my take away message for this month is this:
once the worst is over, everything just speeds up and you hardly notice time anymore.
it may be a good or bad thing, depending on how you see it.
the good being you’re no longer suffering, because i realize that we only feel time when we’re suffering or in pain.
the bad being.. time slips through my hands so easily these days.

if you’re still in the “incredibly gentle downward slope” stage, keep walking.
if you’re in the “just as incredibly gentle upward slope” stage, also keep walking.
hahahahhahaha I’M NOT ADVERTISING FOR JOHNNIE WALKER.
i just want to remind you all that things do move along, it’s just a matter of time.

god bless and stay strong skin warriors,
we’re stronger than what we think we are.๐Ÿ˜‰

6 thoughts on “month 30

  1. My recovery took less time overall, but currently most of my skin is only a bit less far along than where you are right now. I’m starting to notice those pigmentation spots too. Also, my face during my worst matched yours more than anyone else’s. Thanks for keeping up your blog so thoroughly, it’s really helped me to see someone whose skin pics matched mine almost exactly (Prob due to ethnicity) and to read about such well observed detail. Thinking of your recovery is one of my major sources of encouragement when I’m feeling fed up!

    I read in someone else’s blog (prob Kitty Fantastico) that she had a hard time with water retention on steroids too, mentioned this to a doctor, and they were like “no surprise considering how much steroids you’re taking.” I think she also said something about being able to down glass after glass of water and not feel quenched. I’ve been the same way for years. Hope you find this interesting.

    • hey andrea! man, you’re so lucky. i wish my recovery time was shorter.๐Ÿ˜› OH WELL!

      you’re most welcome, i’m glad you find my blog useful, really. otherwise all my efforts would have gone down the drain~ thanks for the appreciation!

      when i was on steroids, i didn’t have water retention (well, i don’t even feel thirsty most of the time. i can survive on just 2-3 cups of water a day). the water retention only hit me after i stopped steroids. not that i feel thirsty these days but i try to make myself drink at least 1.8L of water for health reasons.

  2. Hi Juliana,

    I love your blog. It’s the best and most well-documented tsw blog I have read. It’s very positive and gives me hope that over time my skin will improve and one day become perfectly problematic-free. I’m into my second month of topical steroid withdrawal now and am becoming very impatient though since it’s almost summer here in Sydney and will be boiling hot and I can’t help but feel my doctor is somewhat accountable for damaging my skin, since he has constantly told me to continue using steroids. Do you feel the same way? I also just want to know how you’ve dealt with scarring from this because I’m sure that I will have plenty. Have you used anything to try and get rid of them or do you let the skin do it itself? I also have to say that the strength you’ve had to get through the worst of your topical steroid withdrawal and the long time period for your skin to heal without getting back on steroids is just absolutely unbelievable. It gives me every hope that I should stop and never ever use it again.

    • hey there charles! congratulations on entering your 2nd month of TSW! hahaha ok i know it’s nothing to be happy about because TSW sucks no matter what, but.. you’re 1 month closer to healing. let’s focus on the greener pastures shall we?๐Ÿ™‚

      thanks for LOVING my blog, i’m happy to know that my blog has garnered such attention from you๐Ÿ™‚ i have to admit that my blog wasn’t the most positive blog when i was still in the midst of TSW.

      “do you feel the same way?” – of course i did! i hated the derms, i want to kill them and torture them by slathering and soaking them in tubs of steroid creams for years and then let them withdraw from it. i couldn’t stop blaming them because i think i don’t deserve to go through this, it’s not my fault for slathering on the steroids blablablablabla. it goes on. it’s normal to feel this way. heard of the 5 stages of grief? this is the anger stage. it’ll pass.๐Ÿ˜‰

      “how you’ve dealt with scarring” – surprisingly, i do not have scars (other than the chicken pock marks that i have). the open wounds that were blossoming during TSW didn’t leave any scars behind. i guess you can say i just let time and the skin heal on its on.

      last but not least, thank you once again for letting me know that i’m able to give you so much hope and reason to NOT go back to steroids.๐Ÿ™‚

      stay strong and good luck!

  3. Juliana,

    Found your blog today from the ITSAN.org forums. It’s a fantastic documentation of the TSW withdrawal process! Must be that fantastic scientific training that you have undertaken.

    I’m currently on day 96 of TSW and think I’m starting a flare again. But reading a blog like yours, and seeing the progress you have achieved is very inspiring and most importantly give me hope. I

    I can almost related to all your symptoms you have suffered. And I love how you talk about day to day life issues like how you dealt with work and school. These are questions I always feel like discussing with fellow TSW sufferers.

    Looks like you are pretty much at the end now and I am very happy for you. I do hope you keep blogging for some time about the more joyful aspects of life post TSW.

    Stay strong and solider on!

    • hi reed! thanks for the heads up!

      i’m glad to be of help in some way or another๐Ÿ˜€ it sort of motivates me to keep writing because it’s so rewarding to know that people are benefiting off the sharing of my experience.

      i tried writing a little about my post TSW life but i try to keep this blog as relevant to skin stuff as possible. but since you suggested, i’ll give that a try!

      good luck and stay strong!

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