i’ve already explained how this flare in a previous post isn’t really the typical TSW since there are no ways for me to experience another withdrawal 3.5 years after i quit steroids. i highly suspect it’s a case of environmental stimulus coupled with steroid damaged skin, making it more susceptible for me to get more than just the normal eczema rashes. and a month ago, i received some dire news that really stressed the shit out of me. so if you ask if this is TSW? i’d say it’s flare but NOT BECAUSE I WITHDREW FROM STEROIDS, but because of steroid damaged skin and a lot of bad habits that slowly built up and snowballed.
i’ve already stopped eating my beloved bread and chocolates since my skin got bad. all kind of wheat products as well. my diet is mostly fruits, vegetables and some meat these days.
A LOT OF PHOTOS for this entry, so i’ll add in a break right here. click if you wanna see my 2 week’s worth of photo update.
29 oct 2014
skin is slowly progressing. even though it looks worse than it did a few weeks ago, i gotta say progression is better than stagnation. general redness, dry skin, deeper damage around my lips as the skin flakes are much thicker. my nose is spared again. HEHE!
30 oct 2014
yesterday i shed quite a lot of skin. it’s nothing new right? i feel so happy when my eyes can finally open normally again! but by this morning, my face is tight again. is this what a face lift feels like? this tightness? my scalp is already doing much better, the skin flakes are decreasing in thickness, not oozing as much as before. soon i can sleep normally again!
31 oct 2014
i couldn’t sleep until 2am last night. not sure if it’s the afternoon nap i had yesterday?
my skin was busy flaking off today, sadly the skin beneath is still inflamed. but i did notice some encouraging things like.. my scalp doesn’t ooze like a bitch anymore even though it still flakes. well, i had to assist it by combing it through my hair though. my finger cuticle seems to be calming down – the skin no longer shed daily, and the “new skin” underneath isn’t as fragile.
but my face, it looks kinda horrid in photo. this was after i showered, i rubbed a lot of dried skin off.. what’s left is.. red skin. good lord. but at least my eyes are totally not swollen anymore! if they can’t fold up, it’s due to the layer of thick and dry skin.
the previously raised part are also calming down, flattening itself. no more itch fest as far as I observed.
1 nov 2014
today felt like a better day. despite the bad sleep, which led to a lethargic feeling after, i’m feeling pretty good!
there were plenty of skin flakes on my face today, those on my cheeks look whitish and thin, it’s a good sign that i observed. it means that it’s less inflamed already.
another encouraging thing i noticed: the previously raised patches are calming down, flattening out, and drying out.
my chin area is easing itself slowly, the skin there isn’t as thick as it was a few days ago. i no longer feel like i’m wearing a mask. while my skin still crack upon stretching, it’s only the top most layer that cracks, no longer does it go deeper and hurt like a bitch.
it still hurts a little bit when i apply my medicated vinegar. i can tell the vast difference in pain level, which means there isn’t as much superficial wounds as there were before.
after i showered and rubbed off all those skin flakes, my skin NEVER felt so good before in the past 3 weeks. my new skin was smooth and was able to hold on to some moisture. it’s a good sign 🙂 but areas around my lips and on my neck still have a long way to go. they were significantly redder than the rest of my face, and skin flakes there are slightly thicker too.
2 nov 2014
i woke up this morning and was lethargic because i couldn’t sleep well. i managed to fall asleep around 3am.
face isn’t as red as before. the fair skin took a yellowish tone, so overall, my skin tone looks more even now. as usual, lip area and neck are still slightly problematic, but i can see and feel the difference.
the rest of the other rashes around my body are in the shedding phase. dry shedding, with no significant inflammation involved. meaning, they’re not itchy, not raised, not attempting to ooze.
haven’t been feeling itchy this few days.
3 nov 2014
didn’t sleep well again. there’s just no way for me to fall asleep. i only managed to around 3am. that doesn’t make me happy.
skin feels irritated today, probably due to the bad sleep. probably just part of the cycle you know? previously flattened rashes are raised slightly.
why am i not surprised that the lip area is the one that’s more deeply wounded?
the redness on my upper chest is slowly clearing up.
4 nov 2014
it’s another night of bad sleep for me. 2 in a row is pushing it. my skin was itching a little at night. especially my face and scalp. the rest of my body felt ok.
woke to a drier face again, not as plastic as before, but it’s not as comfortable as it was a few days ago. lots of dry skin, redness, rashes are still raised. however, it’s only that case on my face and neck. my entire body’s rashes seem to be calming down and dissolving.
a few weeks ago my arm was scratched so much that it started shedding thicker skin, it was rough and disgusting. but by now it’s back to being soft and smooth again.
the rashy area on my abdomen has smoothened out, albeit the slight pigmentation. but hey, it’s progress. 🙂
5 nov 2014
face is still in the second cycle. fuckkkk. couldn’t sleep well, waking up every few hours as usual.
6 nov 2014
last night was horrid. slept earlier at 9+pm, but I kept waking up. I was scratching quite a lot too. my scalp is oozing a little again so.. it’s back to difficult sleeping position again.
i caught myself feeling itchy at 12am last night, 8 hours after my last meal. is there a patterm? or just coincidence?
face is super plastic today. great.
7 nov 2014
lip area is so much more fragile than the other places. the skin on my eyes are scaly and thick too, the redness is coming back and previously flattened skin around my body seems to be rising a little today. the scalp was oozing a bit yesterday. 😦
it’s all part of the cycle.
i managed to fall asleep around 2+am. woke up at 5.30am, scratching. so i went to make myself breakfast, took a shower, read.. and fell asleep at 9am, until 1pm.
i had my last meal at 3pm today, trying to test if i’ll itch 8 hours later. at 11pm, there is none. i thought i can deal with the itch when i’m awake before i fall asleep. looks like they just like to attack me at my weakest moment (when i’m asleep).
i slept so well during my morning nap. i miss sleeping without itching. all that discomfort.. but i’m thankful to be able to get 4 hours of good sleep.
is it surprising to note that my menses is gonna arrive soon? part of the redness could be explained by that. my skin doesn’t feel particularly warm though.
8 nov 2014
sleep is just not going well for me. i “sleep” during the night waking up constantly every few hours.
skin was kinda angry when i woke up, but it got better towards the end of the day.
by night time, the redness dissipated quite a lot.
mom made steamed fish and it was so good.
i applied some face cream in the afternoon as i had to leave house for a bit. just a little to disguise the dry skin.
9 nov 2014
last night i noticed there were some slight oozing on my face while sleeping. i thought it’d be gone when i wake, but i was wrong. my entire face was so angry, oozing the familiar clear yellow liquid.
can’t describe the feelings i had this morning. it’s a mixture of “fuck this shit” and “yes my skin is reacting to the changes!”. on one hand i’m excited to finally see how my skin will react when i ate something i’m not supposed to right now (i high suspect my digestion isn’t able to handle animal proteins at the moment), on the other hand.. this constant feeling on my face sucks balls so much.
my eyes are swollen again. URGH.
is it the indigestion i experienced, or the cream that led to the oozing!?
I also noticed that scratched parts of my skin are turning darker. rashy patches on my hands are active, not itchy though. just dry and raised.
10 NOV 2014
after yesterday morning’s oozing scare.. i managed to sleep for 4 hours last night. woke up relatively ok, not too tired. didn’t take a nap today, that’s a stark different as compared to the previous few days.
face wasn’t oozing this morning. a new layer of dry skin has formed which sort of “protected” my skin from oozing. sigh. today is shedding day. i did tried to scratch my face a little, the skin falls right off but the new skin is NOT ready – it’s damp and feels wet if i touch it. but it’ll dry up later.
in general, skin is still bad, but it’s a little better than yesterday.
I noticed all the other rashy area on my body is more angry. raised, dark, and dry. some of the looks like blackened skin. wtf?
eyes aren’t as swollen as they were yesterday! yay! skin is still red, dry, and whatever crap it is.
11 NOV 2014
it felt like forever, but today i finally had more sleep. i think i fell asleep around 1am last night. i was really exhausted after the lack of sleep from the past few days. i did wake up a throughout the night, but it wasn’t as bad as before. i finally woke up around 9am. my face was so dry from the long sleep. but no oozing, just plenty of thick and dry skin. particularly drier around my lips, but my cheeks are also red and dry as well.
the rashy part on my body feels increasingly irritated. seem to be spreading.
my neck ache seem to have been gone, for now. not sure if it’s because i haven’t been sitting in front of the laptop for as long as i used to..? or is it due to my change in diet? hair loss has also decreased a little, it’s just an estimation. i used to wake up to see LOTS of hair on my bed. these days there are less, but it could be because i already combed them and removed any dead hair throughout the day. i keep telling myself “it’s okay, hair will grow back. skin will grow back. everything will grow back.”
12 November 2014
slept pretty well last night. didn’t wake up every 3 hours at the very least, but it’s not the sound sleep I used to have.
face isn’t oozing anymore, the dry skin is still shedding. at least I can try to open my eyes this 2 days.
the rashes on my body is obviously not improving. not only do they take a darker skin tone, they’re also irritated. especially on the back of my knees 😦 skin is thick and raised. hurts when I shower.
neck pain has improved a lot, but my runny nose is still runny. it actually bled a little just now.
13 november 2014
shedding day. woke up at 9am after sleeping around 12am? i was sleepy by 11pm when i got into bed.. so then i just.. fell asleep! WOOHOO! i did wake up a bit throughout the night but i fell back asleep really quickly. that’s good news for me.
my face has been calming down ever since that oozing a few days ago. is it just part of the cycle? i’ll have to keep an eye on it.
lip area is most fragile, it actually hurts if i press it a little.
the rashy area on my body seem to be calming down a little more today too. the last time i experienced a calming episode was about 10 days ago.
today, i ate the usual..
scramble eggs, tomato, lettuce, water melon, grapes, apple, orange, cabbage, celery, carrots, some pork, and some pig skin. mom made soup that’s good for my tummy 🙂
BM was ok today! didn’t feel the urge to, but when i exerted some force it was born pretty effortlessly, MUCH better than a few days ago.
cheeks are flaking thinner flakes as opposed to eyelid and lip area. neck’s doing better too, only a certain spot is particularly raw, the rest are getting better IMO.
my joint areas are dry, but not itchy this two days. 😀
scalp isn’t oozing, but still flaking. there’re also some dandruff now 😦 i haven’t used a shampoo for a month+ because i have no more sebum.
so that’s all for the photo updates for this month. i’ll try to keep up with it, one photo a day if i can.. it takes effort, but seeing is believing.
i’m gonna try somethings out with regards to my diet. i know i’ve said this before – i don’t think diet plays a very important role during TSW, as in, right after you stopped steroids, your diet change may make very little difference to the entire withdrawal because your skin is inflamed not because of the food intolerances. you’ll flare even if you didn’t eat a thing. perhaps somewhere down the road you’ll notice certain food makes you itch more than usual, then just do yourself a favour and pause it for the moment.
as for now, i don’t think my skin flared because of steroid rebound, of course there may be many possible explanations, but the one that’s floating my boat right now tells me my steroid damaged skin require some extra tender loving care from me – i need to be in control of my overall health and can no longer get away with eating every damn food in this world, but that’s ok, because at the end of the day, what i’m quitting right now are not good food anyway. i believe there is a chronic inflammation going on in my body for the past few months that i have neglected, and now it’s over the edge and exploding on my skin to wake me up.
i just have to work hard to get my good skin back.
i’ve read so many books lately, they all point fingers at gluten and processed foods. even if gluten isn’t my problem, it will cause a problem in the long run if i don’t. i don’t want to rot my brain, i don’t want to clog my arteries, neither do i want ants drinking my urine because it’s sweet like nectar. i also do not want any chronic inflammation running wild in my body.
having said this much, you may be interested in my current diet. i eliminated gluten. it’s essentially a low carb diet, but very specific to gluten. it’s gonna take a while to see the effects, so.. i’ll keep updating 😀