i’m posting this monthly update a little later than usual because i hope for my previous entry on my current health beliefs and habits to be read.

i finally have some photos to show you guys because after many days of pushing myself, i got my shit together to extract the thousands of photos from my phone and to sort them out. well, the first step is always the hardest. thinking about the sheer number of photos i have to dig through just put me off so much. but i did it guys! *give myself a pat on my shoulder*

only showing a few photos for this entry because i’m saving the rest for another entry. photos shown in this entry are mainly to show the ups and downs within one month.

probably the best state my face has been this month since the slight dip after first week of july. my face is faire and no visible signs of redness or rashes. lip area is also calm and not red. neck and upper chest look pink.

eye eczema
had a few rashes on my face, the one on my left eye being more prominent as it was red and slightly swollen. area above my lip is going up and down too.

neck is relatively redder when compared to my upper chest.

28 july 2015

things look progressively better week after week. i don’t experience the very obvious weekly worsening anymore. things come and go a lot faster than before.

sleep is totally weird this week, waking up every 2-3 hours. last week, i only woke once every night.

arm is feeling a lot smoother now, the dryness is almost totally gone. now it’s down to my legs that still need some time.

neck gets itchy and red easily, especially if it’s very hot.

mood is stable, i’m feeling more like myself now 🙂 that means lots of nonsense with my loved ones.

previously red and blotchy rashes are visibly less noticeable, area above lips and my left eye showing vast improvement.

neck is also visibly less red as compared to the previous neck photo. it just cycles between not ok and ok for the past month.

4 august 2015

another week passed. sleep has been improving and i’m consistently sleeping before 12am for the past 2 weeks. 🙂

general improvement in my skin condition: pink and dry parts are now less pink, but still dry. it’s just not shedding as much as previously. hands aren’t looking as elephanty.

face was red 3 weeks ago, which subsided after my period began. skin on my face is quite good, save for the little bumps on my cheeks and the obviously thin skin which will thicken in time to come.

neck isn’t as red, but it’s obviously dark and dry. previously red blotches are gone.

throat’s feeling dry since 2 weeks ago, but it comes and goes. i think i’m heaty because my eye feels dry too.

my right feet has improved but now it’s my left feet’s turn to start the oozing and shedding.

my face is sensitive again, my under eye area, although not obvious in photo, is actually rough and slightly swollen. face is blotchy and pink.

after my eye area turned dry and uncomfortable for 2 days, it started to shed. since it has shed on 11 august, that area is now more normal and not swollen anymore. visibly less red and patchy too.

15 august 2015

sleep has been weird the past 3 nights. i’ve been sleeping quite well for the past month, being able to fall asleep quickly even after waking up in the middle of the night, as of the past 3 nights, i find myself waking around 3am and staying quite conscious for an hour or so. i sleep early (10.30pm vs 11.30pm) yet wake later (8/9am vs 7am).

my throat has been feeling dry the past week irregardless of my thirst. skin has been gradually turning pink and blotchy. i notice 3 rashes on my face (cheek area). my left eye is still prone to turning red and dry.

fingers were healing pretty well but the past week they feel itchy at times. previously flatted skin were raised if irritated.

perspiration increased, i’m unsure if it’s related to the weather or if it’s just me. even when the weather was rainy and cool, i’d seep sweat out of my neck, abdomen, and thighs spontaneously.

my soles are still forming liquid filled vesicles, albeit to a lesser extent. new skin that’s revealed upon shedding some skin now looks more normal – it has the grooves and lines similar to the normal parts of my sole as opposed to just a spongy looking flesh.

itch has decreased a lot, but there was one day in the past week when i feel itchy most of the day. it’s also more obvious at night, especially after waking in the middle of the night. is there something linked to 3am? as far as i know that’s when the lung meridian is working.

something worth mentioning, most of my skin looks like chicken skin right now, with white dots all over. they take over the previously rashy spots on my body, and i wonder if this is what keratosis pilaris look and feel like. it’s just slightly bumpy. based on past experience, these do go away.

ending with a selfie from 8 august. i really look quite normal from this distance 😛 so if anyone try to get too close i’ll just shove them away.


12 thoughts on “MONTH 52

  1. Many thanks from my heart because of your improvement.
    My admiration of you is wordless, thinking of your brave struggle for your health and your will to share it with the rest of the world.
    Wish you some kind of official credit one day!
    Hugs from “Mum”

    • hahaha thank you my friend! i do not seek official credit because it means nothing to me. what matters to me the most is people feeling hopeful after reading about my experience. 😉

  2. I have followed you since the beginning of my withdrawal 19 months ago Juliana and you are an inspiration! Thank you for documenting everything so well too 🙂

  3. Hi Juliana. I am writing in again to thank you for your reply on my comment on your previous post. Things have gotten worse for me now that I’m nearing a month of steroid withdrawal but I’m overjoyed to see that you are well and enjoying life.

    I am waiting for my turn to come and meanwhile, will just try to keep myself alive as you advised me to in your previous reply.

    Best wishes,

    • hey Y!

      sorry to hear that things are getting worse for you, but on a good note, better now then never right? you really want your body to get rid of all that junk it stored within your body the past couple of years when we were suppressing them with steroids. let them alllll out and you’ll notice a marked improvement in your skin and healing later on.

      try your best to take things one day at a time! staying positive and happy helps our body recover faster, even though it’s easier said than done!

      good luck!

    • hey sophie! not sure where i mentioned i denied phototherapy? i just never thought of trying it because it’s inconvenient for me. i hope it works for you though!!! good luck!

  4. I’m currently 7 weeks off steroid, for the first time since 4 years ago when my eczema suddenly flared up again (it went away for a good 5 years during puberty), and I really want to thank you for documenting your whole experience. It’s comforting in a way to know that I am not alone in.

    The past few weeks have been pretty hellish with many ups and downs. I really admire your courage and strength, because for the most part I’ve been feeling pretty down, especially having to deal with my skin together with my first year in uni. Social life has been so inactive as well, because well, I feel too insecure, and it’s pretty inconvenient.

    I’ve been looking through your photos and realised that I have a very similar type of face and neck eczema as you (random red, raised, flaky patches and it turns shiny if I scratched the top layer off). So much that you’ve shared that sounds too familiar and I really want to thank you again for being so open and helpful about it.

    I’ve been visiting a TCM for about 5 weeks now and she prescribes me sort of a herb powders/granules which I’d mix with water and drink (I’m not going for acupuncture currently). Overall, I wouldn’t say my skin has improved but (I believe its TSW) it definitely has changed in appearance — very, very flaky, which after reading your blog, I really hope it is a good sign. Usually, how many cycles do you go through before it gets better? I turned to TCM because I really didn’t want to use steroids anymore, but I keep having doubts plus its pretty costly. I’m eating as cleanly as I possibly can and I’ll be trying to sleep earlier (even though it is so difficult and I wake up at 2am-3am always anyway), do you think that TCM really helped you?

    I’m at a stage where I’m so confused at my body changes (can it overcome itself?) and so disheartened at the lack of improvements/chronic redness and flakiness. Your blog has definitely helped me see things a little clearer and hopefully I can find just half of the positive vibes as you have.

    • hello j,

      do take note that your body has to recover from years of steroid damage, and it will happen regardless of the herbs you take. TSW is a process that nothing can stop unless you never used steroids in the first place.
      i do think that TCM has helped me, especially from my month 24 onwards, my skin has never been better. but i stopped the treatment and my original eczema surfaced again.

      i can’t tell you how many cycles it took for my skin to get better, i shed on a daily basis last time!

      i know TCM is costly, but it really helps to get your body to function in a manner that it should (in my honest opinion), if you can afford it, keep it going. you’ll probably get better a lot faster than i did (i took 2 years without any medication to get to like 70%).

      your body can probably overcome TSW on its own, if you provide your body with the necessary nutrients and energy for it to recover. be patient, TSW is a long process and it takes time to notice significant differences. we’ve all been too spoiled by the efficacy of steroids – better skin is days? too good to be true!

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