the natural healing journey is full of surprises. just when i think i couldn’t make it for my best friend’s wedding, inflammation says it’s ready to take a day off to let me enjoy myself on her special day. couldn’t be more thankful for that, and this shall be the highlight of the month for me.
click to see photos below, beneath my mountain of words.
26 june 2015
skin’s going through the usual up and downs. my face is showing the most obvious signs of healing as it’s more calm than my body. on my fingers, i also notice a gradual improvement. previously oozing cuticle area aren’t oozing anymore, and the skin there is more resilient too.
if i can label the state of shedding, i’d say my body is going through a surface shed (as compared to a deep shedding which will involve oozing wounds). the skin underneath is still abnormal though – shiny and red, but not oozing. the skin that falls off parts of my body is thick and scaly.
my face isn’t red or pink anymore, except for a few spots of pink spots. it still dries and shed once every few days, but the skin are thin skin flakes that seems much more normal in comparison. the area above my lips still cycles in and out of a pink rash. my neck changes skin every few days, and it appears to be more red than my face.
scalp is still dry. been having problem sleeping this past weeks, i think it’s related to my hormones.
previously oozing wound on my palm and sole is showing signs of improvements. some days it’ll still itch and is raised, but most of the time it’s flattened. the skin that used to shed from those spots aren’t as thick anymore. while i still observe some vesicles underneath my skin, their size has shrunk greatly.
currently my biggest concern are my hands and body. from experience, they took a much longer time as compared to my face to recover for some reasons unknown to me.
all in all, i feel quite good about my progress and is hopeful 🙂 in retrospect, i realize how much emotional fluctuations i experienced last month. i guess it must have been related to the flare last month! after all, everything is inter connected in our body.
currently, my body is rough, scaly, the way it usually is during the shedding process. i can’t wait for the shedding to be done so i can have smoother skin again. for some reason, i know i should avoid wheat products but.. when hunger strikes in the morning, i just let myself go.
sometimes i think, since my skin is already bad, it doesn’t matter if it gets worse. =_= it’s about time i remind myself how i usually feel more discomfort hours after i eat cake.
7 july 2015
after a relatively better week, my skin is getting more irritated again. i notice my sleep usually gets disrupted when my skin looked better. perhaps, when it looks better on the outside, it doesn’t necessarily means my insides are better.
whatever it is, it’s much better than it was 3 months ago. while my skin is much calmer, it’s definitely not normal yet. my body is still blotchy at pink. no wonder it itches where ever i scratch!
my sleep has been interrupted these days, waking at least once throughout the night. usually it’s 4am, or 6am. while i’m thankful i don’t feel lethargic throughout my day, i notice bouts of mood swings occurring on a regular basis. it’s that sudden feeling of doom that stemmed from no where. it’s odd because i was feeling completely at ease for weeks and suddenly i notice a little anxiety.
perhaps it’s the lows after the highs. just part of the healing cycle!
11 july 2015
another month down, but it’s a promising month because the good days are lengthening while the down time shortens.
i feel like i’m back in month 21, the condition of my skin is very similar to my healing back then.
my face is the most calm, the skin feels thin but smooth, it’s actually fair in colour.
neck down it’s obviously still having its own cycles, cycling between pink skin and dry skin.
my arms are a little blotchy, it’s no longer the red sleeve! my elbow fold is particularly rough.
my legs have improved a lot in the past month. they were red, dry and really irritated all over, but by now it’s no longer red and that swollen. it still feel kind of tight at times, but it’s not really edema.
skin is generally dry, but not super dry dry. it’s more obvious if i’m in an air conditioned environment. my scalp is still dry after 4 months. lots of dead skin that refuse to fall off my scalp. not sure if i should call them dandruff.
i’m healing and still healing. i think i’ll be able to travel in 2 months or so!
my sleep is much better, but i still wake up in the middle of the night.
sometimes i stay awake for an hour or 2. if i’m lucky, i fall back asleep to continue my dream.
i’m low on energy though. if i do strain myself by going out the entire day,
i’ll probably need to rest at home for the next 2-3 days to recover my energy.
the lethargic feeling is so foreign, i hope it doesn’t stay.
as far as weird body ache goes,
i’m dealing with lower back pain this time.
i remember i had a case of self diagnosed sciatica years ago when i was actually going through TSW.
i guess this will go away in time to come, but i’ll practice some yoga stretches in the mean time.
i’m actually going to try acupuncture for my back some time soon.
all these while it’s been for my skin, so i’m quite excited to try something new.
the other day when i was doing my weekly acupuncture treatment,
a lady saw the needles on my leg and asked if i’m getting poked to treat numbness in my leg.
i bet you all are just as confused as she is, thinking “what has the skin got to do with the leg?”.
this is why i love TCM. it never fails to surprise people 😛
the doctor focused on my legs because certain acupuncture points that helps nourish the blood (which will in turn nourish the skin, since blood is the courier in our body) are found along the meridians located on our legs.
i enjoy every session because i’m always learning from my doctor.
he tends to my emotional well being (by being assuring and understanding) as well as my physical well being, and that’s what a true doctor should be doing.
one of the reasons why i didn’t go back to my previous TCM doctor was because he was unwilling to share knowledge with me.
i get the feeling that he’s trying to profit off his “proprietary medication” instead of truly wanting to help people in need.
i understand that everyone needs to make a living, and it’s not that i’m unwilling to pay for my health.
it’s just his attitude that didn’t vibe with me.
but my current doctor really makes me feel like he has the patient’s well being at heart.
it’s so rare these days.
i have more than a thousand photos to sort through,
i need to choose which to show you guys because showing all is not an option.
also, the daily changes are hardly noticeable through photo.
the thought of sorting those photos is quite daunting.
but i’ll get them done soon, so you guys can see the progress of my recovery over the past few months.
one last thing before i go,
i know some of you are still thinking that what i had is a TSW flare.
to be honest, my thoughts of what i’m having constantly changes.
but after so long, i have come to accept this explanation that i thought up: it’s an eczematic flare that looked way more serious than normal eczema because my skin was steroid damaged (and probably has a memory!?).
i still do not classify it as TSW because i do not believe it’s possible for a body to withdraw from a drug i stopped using 4 years ago.
of course i may be wrong. i’m just sharing my current hypothesis.
there are a thousand and one explanation for every event, but only one is right and you will never know if yours is actually correct or not.
hence the word “hypothesis”.
looking forward to the healing i’ll see in time to come.
stay mighty strong all my fellow skin friends 🙂 throwing in a comparison photo to cheer you all on.
granted, i had some makeup on in the photo on the right to even out my skin tone as it was still a little blotchy on my face, especially after i shower in the morning. but symbolically, this is where i will look like for good in time to come.