original image from WWW. remixed by yours truly.
to roid’ or not to roid’, that’s the question.
first thing first, i know nothing about hamlet, so i’m not making any conscious reference to the story. i merely hear the quote “to be, or not to be” so many times it got stuck in my mind.
last week i was chatting with my skin friend, B.
you may recall seeing her presence as she inspired a post earlier on.
she told me she saw a lady talking about my latest flare on the facebook page.
that piqued my interest, what exactly did that lady say?
paraphrasing what B told me, the lady is discouraged seeing how i flared up at month 43, so much so that she wants to give up after having no break for 9 months.
i suppose this lady reads my blog, so this entry is for you darling.
there are some of you who followed my blog from the beginning of your TSW journey, but there were very few who actually followed MY journey from the very beginning. my blog gained momentum after my skin has gotten back to 95% normalcy, and what most of you saw is mostly me after i came out of the tunnel. if you had time, you may have read my month by month recount of the situation back then.. but i’ll assume most of you don’t.
many of you may not know that my second flare which started around month 6 (it built up its intensity really slowly and fully blossomed by month 8) lasted all the way till month 20. in fact, even after month 20, my skin was still hyper sensitive, but for the next 4 months it slowly calmed down. in that sense, i had NO break for a good 14+ months.
have i ever thought about going back on steroids during those 14 months?
NO. not once. perhaps it’s because i had so much faith in dr rap and dr fukaya.. perhaps it’s because i know that steroids is just out of the question for life because that is what caused all this drama in the first place.
will i ever apply topical steroids on myself again? to answer that question, i’ll ask myself: do i want to forgo the hundreds of days which i’ve suffered in exchange for another short-term relief, only to have to go through this shit another time?
it’s kind of like the hulk trying to count the number of days he managed to NOT turn into the hulk.
will i want to see myself documenting from month 0 again?
HELL NO. i’ve come this far, you’ve come this far, we’ve all come this far. surely, there are difficult moments. coupled with the lack of break that really wear one’s motivation paper-thin.. it’s a tough choice to make for some.
BUT NOT ME.
after reading dozens of scientific journals, having learnt the damaging effects of steroids, and knowing how the skin takes a really long time to heal, i don’t think it’s worth it to live on borrowed time for this case. it’s not like i’m 90 years old and only have 3 more months to live because i’m going to die from sort of cancer (due to years of using topical steroids which somehow led to cancer. hey, everything is possible!). there’s just no way for me to go back to topical steroids ever.
i won’t lie, i’m kind of bummed out when my skin got bad this time round (especially during the first week or so), but i soon realize it’s so strikingly different from the TSW intensity i saw 2 years ago. plus, this flare didn’t happen out of no where.
last month, my brother got into a freak accident (he’s fine now, but I’M NOT) and it really shook me inside. going through a stressful period like this has taken a toll on my health and skin and this is what this flare is about. there is a cause and effect. it could have been prevented if my body and skin was more resilient and healthy to undertake the stressful event.
i hope that by putting this information out, it can soothe your nerve about having flares at month 43, and to have more faith in healing from TSW. in my eyes, this flare is preventable. in a parallel universe, my brother wouldn’t have called me that day crying for help, my heart wouldn’t break from hearing his terrified and helpless voice, i wouldn’t have to spend that day shuttling between hospitals in ambulances.. that little small rash on my cheek would have subsided in 2 week’s time, because that’s the normal course of event for the past 1.5 years.
i know it’s easier for me to say stuff like this because i’m blessed to be taken care of by my mom. if i have to take care of kids while nursing my TSW body, it’d be much harder – beyond my imagination kind of hard. i can only try to empathize with that lady.
but please, stay strong. you have to, if you don’t want to experience this shit all over again when you realize steroids are no longer working for you, again.
is there light at the end of the tunnel? there is, if you keep believing.
that’s all i can do for those of you who are demotivated by my recent flare. i just want to tell you guys i’m sorry for allowing this to happen to myself. if i had been more diligent in listening to my body, it may have handled this traumatic event better than it did this time round. i kind of feel like i have a responsibility to uphold right here as a TSW survivor.
ON A POSITIVE NOTE, this means that i’m on a quest to being healthier, and you can be sure to read about my adventures on that soon enough.. when the time is right.
take care and stay strong everybody!
may you be blessed with the strength and faith to keep treading on.