if you don’t already know, i’m currently in my flare #3.
perhaps my definition of a flare is different from everyone elses’, so please allow me to state clearly what i mean by that.
i only consider a flare to be a flare when a significant area of my skin turns from normal to red and dry. if i’m already in a flare and there are little ups and downs as denoted by the oozing and healing of certain small areas, those are considered “cycles” to me.
i’ve flipped through my photo album to put this entry together.
photolog of my face:
5 october 2014
it started out as a tiny little dry spot on my left cheek, it appears slightly pinkish in the photo above. i didn’t give it much thought as small spots like this do appear every now and then, and they usually subside over the next few days. what bothered me more was actually my lip area since it’s obviously irritated and red. it hurts when i perspire. it is pretty obvious in real life as it contrasts against my light skin.
this time it took a different turn.
11 october 2014
6 days later, i woke up with dry and rough PATCH on my cheek, and a bonus of swollen eyes. this is not a good sign.
swelling of face tells me i’m retaining too much fluids. ok, maybe this is due to the PMS, since girls usually have a bad case of fluid retention prior to the arrival of the period. still trying to calm my nerves with calming thoughts.
lip area is increasingly dry, flaking and shedding multiple times isn’t uncommon.
14 october 2014
3 days after the previous photo, i see some white area peeking through the red patch. skin is not oozing, but i feel like it’s on the verge of oozing. went to see TCM that day. i decided to see the TCM because i realize this is not subsiding as it usually does, i also notice a few other rashy area across my body and it worries me. my eyes are still swollen in the morning, the eyelids are slightly rashy. but my forehead is spared at the moment.
the previous night i finally washed my hair after several days of not washing. it sounds gross, but a part of my scalp was oozing as i broke the skin scratching it about a week ago 😦 it grew into a ginormous patch of oozing mess and i didn’t want to risk wetting the dried up patch and get it to ooze all over again. i constantly checked the colour of the ooze – clear yellow tells me it’s not infected. the ooze finally dried after a few days and a layer of skin has grown over the previous raw skin, so i took the plunge and washed it with water, hoping to remove any remnant ooze to prevent an infection.
and then.. i had the best time of the day removing the piece of built up skin. it soaked in water and shrunk upon drying, making it loosen up and ready to fall off. and HOLY COW, please tell me i’m not the only one who derives some pleasure in peeling off a HUGE piece of skin. i’ll leave that to your imagination, as gross and disgusting as it may sound, it’s satisfying at the same time combing out a HUGE piece of skin – MY SKIN! so magnificent. i thought i could reconstruct the world map with the pieces of skin. HAHAHAHAHA I’M MAD. SORRY GUYS. you didn’t hear this from me.
15 october 2014
still slightly swollen, dry skin doesn’t appear too obviously in the photo as my face was feeling plasticky tight again. it’s a different story once i started eating and talking. holy cow. my lip area is tight as hell. well, i must admit this isn’t the worst i’ve went through, so i’m still cool with it. 😉
the skin flakes are now thicker than usual, i know this means i just went a little deeper into that down slope.
shedding a lot once again. lots of dead skin in my room, LET IT SNOW~ LET IT SNOW~~~ i don’t know how to continue the “let it go” song after this.
16 october 2014
woke up feeling like a barbie – plastic face. hahah i still got my jokes on. red patch is slightly raised and dry. not oozing there at the moment, thank god.
my right cheek seems to be catching up on the progress, a few spots coalescing to form a bigger nation.
wake up feeling like barbie again. what’s new? neck was itchy so i kinda scratched it, which explains why it appeared redder. quite a lot of dry skin came off. wow.
eyes more swollen than ever. i’m back to my single eyelid days.
the good news is, previously raised patches on my upper chest have calmed down and flattened out. hoping the same happens to the rest of my skin soon.
i also just had a itch fest, it felt like an hour but it could be shorter. it’s my bad, because i read this news about head lice being combed off a kid’s head. WTF JULIANA ARE YOU READING SOMETHING LIKE THAT!? i swear, reading something about bugs during my flares ALWAYS sets off an itch fest.
energy level seems better today as i didn’t need to take a noon nap.
18 october 2014
so it’s only Saturday, day 4 on TCM. what? only day 4? I swear, time feels like it slowed by a thousand times when I can feel my skin every fucking moment.
waking up to tight and taut skin.. hahaha I know I’ll regret saying this when I’m 60, when my skin is all saggy and whatnots.. but geez! this tightness is too much to take!!!
and my eyes just get so swollen after a night’s sleep. for the record, last night was the best night I’ve slept over the past week.. because I finally rolled my pillow into a cylinder so that my oozing scalp can be kept airy and not in contact with my pillow.
thanks a lot, steroids. you wanna ruin me again? I won’t let you.
there are no itching fest today, thank god. the weather is a lot nicer this week too, lots of rain. oh boy do I love the weather!!!
hormones may be normalizing now since the period is officially over. fingers crossed. may my skin’s cortisol producer/receptor start working again soon.
other than that, I’m actually very thankful that I’m laying in bed right now, with cooling weather, and not feeling too much of my skin.
every little blessings count.
on a side note, rashes on my hands are somewhat spreading. flattening and spreading. dry, scaly, and red too.
elomet. I can’t help but blame you.
19 october 2014
the thing about taking daily photos like this is.. they all look so similar because you can hardly tell a different between just one day. thankfully iphone’s photo album is able to categorize the photos according to dates 😛
this sort of confirmed my suspicion.
20 october 2014
the redness seems to be more even now – uniformly discoloured. well, uniformity is good, i think. as least it’s not a pain to my eyes as much. the lip area is particular fragile. i’m really surprised that it’s not oozing this time round, but shedding layers and layers of skin.
yes it hurts like a little bitch sometimes. my eyes doesn’t feel as swollen anymore, but i can hardly keep them open as the skin on my lids are dry as well.. asian problems – my eyelid crease no longer act as a crease. hahahaha!
my neck takes a few days to form one shedding cycle. when it sheds, the skin are thick like scales, but thankfully there are no sign of oozing. the second skin is shiny and smooth for a day.. and then it repeats.
however, there is a side effect that i quite like – all that swelling made my lips feel plumper and less lined. not that i’m a fan of angelina jolie’s lips.. but.. i’m trying my best to find good things about this flare. and surprise! they used to shed skin every day, but not anymore!? this is weird. i don’t know why exactly.. but i’m not complaining.
notice the darker colour in my skin? that’s a good sign i think. from red, it turns dark.. and eventually HEALS!
21 October 2014
I realize things aren’t captured that well in photos. over the past 2 weeks, my forehead is starting to get dry and scaly too. skin flakes are thicker, new skin below is well.. red and shiny for a day before forming another layer of dead skin. my eyelids are also red, dry and thick.
red rashy area on my upper chest has spreaded a little to my abdomen.
I’m not excited at all. I am upset but for some reason I’m not as upset as I was 2 years ago.
22 october 2014
23 october 2014
i managed to leave house although i’d prefer not to. but i had no choice that day.. so… i went out. this reminds me so much of the beginning days of my TSW journey – red face and all.. there were lots of skin flakes that can’t be captured on the camera 😛 and i’m thankful my eyebrows didn’t fall off too much this time. my eyelashes did though. and a lot of my hair too.
vanity is in my blood 😛
25 october 2014
BUT, there seem to be LOTS of secretion from my eye. abnormal amount of gunk, i think they’re like dead proteins or cells, whatever. and my tears are slightly thicker than usual too. good lord. i feel like my blood stream is the ganges river right now…… so full of crap that they’re being secreted into my tears.
for the past few days i’ve been showering after my breakfast to make myself feel better. there’s just no point in sulking and not doing a thing to help myself.
anyway, i’m going to post this post prematurely because some may be interested in what my flare looks like. also, this entry is getting long thanks to the addition of photos and is becoming a bitch to edit day after day, through the endless scrolling.
i’ve been reading lots of books lately.. 😉 that’s a change from 2 years ago! i always lament on the positive effects of TSW – how it has given me perspective and strengthened me for good, and it’s totally working its charm this time round. while a flare sucks, but it’s never as bad as the worst i’ve ever seen. that has given me some room to breathe. well, if it decides to turn for the worst, so be it. i’m strong enough to get through it again if i need to.
sleep has been ok. sometimes i itch, but i feel that it’s more psychological than physical. i’m not in an itch fest, but i felt like i needed to scratch. =_=
as i’ve mentioned in my previous post, i highly suspect my flare is fed by my bad diet for the past few months. as such, i’ve made plans to clean my diet out and i fully intend on making this a part of my life style. i’ll write more about this in the future.
keeping my spirits high and positive have been very helpful during this flare. while i did sink in a little for the first few days, but once i come to terms with my skin and accepted the reality, things have been going good for me – i’m still eating, laughing, doing things, taking a break.. i feel like this is life telling me to just give myself a god damn break after working my ass off the previous year.
plus, i realize it’s during these “break time” that i actually do more for the community, as i’m usually busy-ing for myself and family. all in all, my mood is doing fine and i feel fine.
i’m just gonna ride this flare out as though i’m taking a stroll on the back of a horse. 😉 through a refreshing garden that is.