time for an update.
i realize the best way to take note of my daily happening is to write everything down on a calendar. HAHAHA i’m reusing last year’s calendar because i didn’t use it until the second half of the year =_= turns out it’s a really good way to document my progress. perhaps you’ll like to try this method too!
i typically note down my sleeping time, my symptoms that day, and also noting down my bowel movement if possible (it matters.).
this entry is photo heavy. expand to read and see. 18 March 2015
my face is swollen like an pan man currently. I wonder if this is what a skin lift feels like, this extreme tightness, my face plump and “hydrated”.
I’ve never experienced a swelling so bad before. I’m disfigured. but that’s not what’s worrying me the most. I am supposed to fly in two weeks time and.. wtf!? my skin was healing well and in a moment of excitement I’ve booked tickets because I foresee myself doing even better by the end of the month.
this qualifies as a fml moment right now. but! a lot of things can change in 2 weeks. so I’ll keep my fingers crossed. the full body hives and itch has calmed down. what’s left is the same old rashes, raised skin, blah. the new thing is my big round moon face.
nope, it’s not because I secretly tried oral steroids. it’s not a food allergy I believe because it took a few days to expand to its current size. I still do not know the actual cause. neither do the chinese medicine practitioners.
11 april 2015
1 month later, my facial swelling has gone away. what’s left is another phase of redness/dryness/shedding/scaling, all that jazz you know? let me recall what happened in the past month.
2nd week of march – skin started turning blotchy, a little bit itchy, and my fingers are oozing again.
that pink cheek, in a bad way because it itches. sleep is running on the insufficient side, sleeping around 1-2am, and waking around 7-9am.
3rd week of march – started getting hives when i scratch my skin. suddenly, every part of my body feels good if i scratch it (i didn’t scratch because it itched, but it felt good when i scratch, and it grew into an itch and scratch fest). continued to get blotchy. first day after TCM, i started feeling a little oozy on my face.
hives on arm.
hives on leg.
sleeps around 12-1, and wakes around 8-10.
4th week of march – what the m*****f****** facial swelling is this? my itch is getting worse, face getting increasingly swollen day by day, and threatens to ooze at night. even my ear canals is oozing that clear yellow fluid WTH? my entire face’s skin harden, even my nose hahaha! i get to peel them off in a few days time, gotta say it’s pretty enjoyable (even though it hurts a little). my arms are oozing from the raised spotty rash. the back of my leg folds are also moist and sticky if i bend my knees. i couldn’t pee much despite drinking so much water. after 1 week of TCM (getting rid of heat and wetness) i declare my skin has been the worst it’s ever been in the past 6 months. hives are improving, but still present. hair fall is at its maximum again. fml. and some of my skin is falling off me in thick pieces 0_0
mom says she can’t recognise me. neither can i. wtf is this!? freaking an pan man!
see the resemblance?
the spots are turning red, and scratching them makes them ooze 😦
back of knee is seeping ooze. it only ooze when the skin is in contact with each other, or with other objects, like my pants.
red rashy parts on my arm is growing.
extremely bad sleep, SO MISERABLE (sleeps around 3-5am, wakes around 10-11am). wakes a thousand times =_= is this even called sleep?
5th week of march – a week of shedding. all those oozy parts are now drying out and turning into scabs. changed the TCM medication to a digestion medication because i believe it’s the root of my problem. never been more glad to be able to pee after the previous week of weirdness. even though it may not alleviate the redness and dryness that quickly. miraculously or not, the back of my knee stopped oozing and the skin is much better there. my ears also stopped oozing and went back to normal. but the rest of my face and body is still seemingly red. previously scabby abdomen and thigh is now smoother, albeit the skin is noticeably thinner. no more hives even if i scratch my skin!
having an “i made this!” moment.
those red spots are turning into scabs. feels extremely yucky to touch. i couldn’t wait too long before scratching them all off. skin was smoother after that 😛 but hella red. you can also see how dry my neck area was. it doesn’t look like that anymore though.
these skin fell off (i peeled them off when they were ready to go) from behind my knees. they were so dark initially, and slowly become a lighter shade of brown.
i’m surprised how quickly the back of my knee got back to semi normal in a matter of a week. no oozing is good news! skin is still fragile, but as long as it doesn’t ooze, i’m happy.
sleep is probably the worse this week – only falls asleep after 5am, and wakes around 11am. if i’m exhausted i get to fall asleep around 1 or 2am, only to wake up 2 hours later until it’s 6am before i doze off again. waking up almost after every sleep cycle.
1st week of april – this week i try another dose of “heat reducing” TCM drugs, just 4 days. i can feel my face starting to swell and wanna ooze again, but it’s not as bad as a few weeks ago. ears are oozing again. i don’t think it’s just a coincidence. i believe shouldn’t be taking any more heat reducing herbs. my skin was glowing in red (very noticeable on my arms and face). my face is a mess after showering because those skin seem to come right off prematurely while in the shower. i notice my eye and upper cheek area seems to be taking it the worse. my lip area isn’t red and oozing the same way, despite it flaking and shedding daily too, but the skin is just different. not rashy. my legs were red last week, but seems to look slightly more muted and darker this week.
mysterious shedding on my thigh (and legs, but not shown in photo), probably from where the hives grew previously. felt like the skin that comes off after getting burnt by the sun.
extra red eye and upper cheeks after i rubbed them in the shower. sorry if this scared you. i thought i looked like someone from a horror movie.
sleep is shifting again. in the first part of the week i’m sleeping around 5am, in the second half of the week, sleep came earlier, mostly around 2-3am. wakes several time throughout the night, mostly because i feel warm and i’m losing moisture through my back, making my mattress feel very moist.
2nd week of april – ooze is clearing up after i finished those “heat reducing” herbs. back on digestive herbs, and two others that increases the yin (i don’t know how to translate TCM terms and perspectives into scientific terms yet.). the facial swelling is going away again. my entire arm is red, looks a lot like when i was going through TSW last time, but it’s not raised or overly elephanty. looks like a bad sunburn. skin is fragile and thin looking especially after exfoliating. if i scratch my arms it’ll seep some ooze, and proceed on to forming dry skin flakes over the next few days.
the familiar red/pink sleeve? but without all those flaking and swelling?
my arm looks pretty normal after those scabs came off. they were smooth until i decided to scratch them a few days ago, so now it’s forming dry skin again.
this morning 😀 looking a lot better than weeks ago. no more facial swelling. oozing is going down. lots of shedding. eyebrow is threatening to fall off.
sleep has successfully shifted again. sleeping around 2-3am, and waking around 9-10am. still waking at least once each night.
my body heat is obviously affected again, i was freezing in room temperature (probably 25-28 degrees C) while feeling heat leave my body during the 3rd and 4th week of march. i’m much more comfortable in room temperature right now.
i’ve grown a liking for warm water. i’ve been meditating daily for the past month 🙂 the breathing and guidance helps me stay on the beneficial side of my perspectives. i’ve also been reading a lot on TCM’s perspective on skin issues and overall health. i never knew the lack of lunula on my fingers is a sign of deviation from good health. i’ve definitely learnt a lot from this second flare. i have a feeling it’ll be my last.
what is science? science makes observations of reality, and then try to explain it with hypothesis and relationships. TCM’s explanation of every health problem sounds so ridiculous (especially if i were to translate into english), but those observations of correlations are real. and i really love how the ancient chinese used nature as an analogy to try to explain what’s going on in our body. this is really in line with what i think – we’re all part of nature, and we work in similar ways.
anyway, lots of experiments on my side. can’t wait to share my findings with you all once i get some results 🙂 my diet is changing again, i’m cutting down on meat and eating more rice now. i also hate more than just a few bites of cake today =_= it won’t be often though.
it’s so crazy to observe how quickly things change within the course of one month. while some of you may be thinking i have a lot of TSW symptoms, which i also noticed, i still see a slight difference as compared to my experience 4 years ago.
it’s the first time i ever experienced such hives. the flurry of mosquito-bite-like bumps and the subsequent scab formation and shedding is also a first. the lip area isn’t very involved in this time’s flare, instead it’s my eye and upper cheek area. this horrendous swelling of my face is also different from all the swellings i’ve experienced in the past.
this entire thing is just so weird. but i still think it’s due to my underlying eczema, and not TSW. my skin has healed previously after a course of TCM, that probably dealt with my underlying eczema which explains a year of pretty good skin. but er.. as i didn’t know too much about my own body type, i didn’t know how to take good care of my body (as in, i must have ate something that wasn’t too suitable for my body over a long period of time).
so my current advice for those of you who have been at least 2 years into TSW and your skin hasn’t cleared yet, it could be more than just TSW. deal with your underlying eczema if you can with alternative methods, you may experience a positive result. otherwise, keep trying until you experience a positive change. severe eczema and TSW look very similar, i can’t really tell them apart, hence i’m doing all these experiments to see if i’m correct (that what i’m going through is my eczema flare).
the other day my friend voiced her concern over my aggressive trial and errors on myself. she made me think twice about what i’m doing – am i risking my health and safety? it’s good to have someone to remind me to evaluate everything that i’ve done thus far. it’s not about wanting to heal my skin in the fastest possible way, instead it’s about learning and trying as much as i can so that i can offer you all the possible options to try in order to help your own skin.
i mean, i just want to remind everyone that there is always hope. if one method doesn’t work, it just mean we’re not addressing the root of the problem. that’s how i see it.
i’ve felt absolutely helpless in the past during the start of my TSW because i know very well that i MUST go through the withdrawals in order for my skin to heal. there’s no escaping. no short cuts. it was so saddening to know there is NOTHING i can do to help myself. helplessness is really one of the suckiest feeling on earth. but right now, as i feel that it’s eczema, it suddenly opens up a slew of options for myself. and each one of those options looks a lot like hope.
hope is what’s keeping me positive despite the flares i’ve experienced.
being told “eczema is incurable” felt like a death sentence. but i’m telling you right here right now, if you are willing to make certain changes in your lifestyle to suit your body type, eczema will be gone.
maybe it’s just me. but i just can’t sit around doing nothing, expecting things to change right now. 4 years ago, it worked because TSW has to happen irregardless of whether i try to help my skin or not.
but it’s different now.
stay hopeful, my fellow skin friends 🙂