time seem to have slowed down for me again, because i’m not filling up my time with meaningful task.
guilty as charged.
i finally made it through another month, and it’s also my first month back on my old TCM medication.
i’m finally uploading some photos this month because..
i know for a fact things are gonna get better with time, i don’t have to worry about you guys feeling upset seeing my skin behaving badly again.

23 january 2016

skin went from super crazy to less crazy over the past 2 weeks.
the week prior to my period was the worse, then it took another week to ease into a calmer state.
my skin was super dry and flaked daily. holy cow.
skin is tight every morning ๐Ÿ˜ฆ even my arms and legs were flaking.

but now, it’s a lot smoother and doesn’t shed that crazily.
the skin is still thin,
visibly red/pink.

good news is i can sweat, and i intend to start some low level exercises that won’t burden my heart that much because my heart rate is 80 per minute at rest. that’s kind of high imo.

skin integrity is continuing to improve daily,
it’s less likely to be torn apart when i do scratch, so that’s another good news.

skin on my wrist and ankle are looking elephanty again,
but that’s also a good sign because it means it’s nearing the end of the cycle.

2 february 2016

i have moments of weakness too.
for some reason today, i’m feeling frustrated about the overall state of my skin is in.
deep within me, i’m still hoping to recover within a short period of time, which goes against reality, which is the reason why i’m feeling frustrated in the first place.
not because my body isn’t getting any better, but because i expect myself to get better by now, but reality says otherwise.

focusing on my skin on a daily basis isn’t doing me good at all.

isn’t it funny how i look back at my photos taken a few months prior,
and i wonder “wow my skin looked so much better then”, even though i remember very distinctly that i thought my skin wasn’t that great at the point in time.

i guess i’m just feeling pretty down right now even though my skin is not at its worst.
no idea how long this will stretch but i have to be more patient.
plus, this phase of lows will highlight the highs later on, right?

it just sucks to be in the midst of it.

12 february 2016

i’m really happy to have made it through the month.
after the bout of mood swing (could have been PMS too), i’m feeling a lot better.
my skin still cycles through calm and angry days, it’s about a week long of feeling like shit and then a few days of peace.

over the past month, the most drastic change is the decrease in dryness on my limbs.
my arms and calves aren’t rough and sandpaper like most of the days.
even when it do shed, the skin is thin flakes instead of the slightly thicker skin.

the redness have eased and is clearly diminishing,
hence the return of the blotchiness because what was previously an evenly red skin is now showing some of my original fair skin again ๐Ÿ™‚
while seeing the blotchy parts suck because of the contrast against my original skin colour,
it’s good to know that things are moving along and easing towards the right direction.

click to enlarge

the difference is pretty obvious on my face and upper chest. it’s just not glowing in red anymore.
the skin that sheds every morning have changed in consistency as well.
a month ago the shedded skin is noticeably thicker, and leaves my new skin pretty raw after i get rid of them in my shower.
my new skin would be pretty plasticky after it dried out too, YUCK.
by now, i shed thin skin flakes in the morning. while my new skin is still very fragile, it is not longer raw after shedding.
the area that shed the most is my forehead and chin area.

my neck has improved dramatically, the shedded skin also went from thick to thin over the month,
and the integrity of the new skin is improving.
it just look blotchy, which should resolve in another month or so.
the skin on my upper chest used to be dried out and shiny looking, it’s continuing to make progress.
let’s just say it’s very comforting to see what looks like my breast at the age of 60 returning to life (HAHAHAHHA the skin was so wrinkly last month… i clearly exaggerated but you get the idea)

click to enlarge

these spots on my right palm is starting to clear.
they were raised and shed skin daily before, but now, the skin stays on for a few days before drying out and flaking off.
still a few more cycles to go before it’s completely gone though.
i can still see some vesicles underneath my skin.
but yea, even though the photos might have a slightly different white balance setting,
the redness is reduced by quite a lot.

click to enlarge

as for my feet, not there yet, but getting there.
decreased redness, but skin is still pretty damn fucked up because i can’t stop scratching it.
fuck my life! i’m trying not to scratch!

my skin is still pretty dry and thin in general.
i noticed little itch fest that last anywhere from 10 minutes to hours.
if i can resist scratching, it’ll just feel like my nerves are super irritated because i need to constantly move my body to soothe the nerve.
if it hits me during sleep, then.. god bless my skin.

sleep has been odd again.
before my period, i can’t fall asleep till 4am!? and i can’t sleep long either!?
after my period, i knock out a lot earlier.
personal best timing is 10pm, but that wasn’t the norm. even though i hope it is.

i also went to visit my doctor today since i’ve finished last month’s medication.
it’s always reassuring when my doctor tells me that my health isn’t as bad as i thought it was.
he made sure to ask me about my menstrual cycle and if i had any cramps (which i never did, lucky me!),
to which he say it’s a good sign of health that i don’t have menstrual cramps.
in fact, it means i’m actually pretty healthy,
except for the fact that my body can’t “detox” that efficiently, that’s why it has to do it through my skin..
and because i have a predisposition for eczema, my skin becomes inflamed.

i discussed other possible solutions to nib the problem at its root,
so i asked what caused the toxins in my body in the first place, and his answer was what i had in mind – food.
chinese has a saying that diseases are introduced from the mouth.

which only urges me to start preparing for a leaky gut diet,
preferably with lesser or no meat.

one month down, i can’t wait to see how much my skin improve by the end of my 2nd month of medication.

reminder to self: my skin can look pretty good on a calm day.

stay strong everyone!

15 thoughts on “MONTH 58

  1. Hi Juliana
    I have been following your blog for the last few years and it is a great comfort to know I’m not the only one who can’t seem heal in 1 to 2 years like everyone else. I hit my 4 year anniversary in December 2015 and still have terrible skin. I still even have scabs on my knees and elbows. Anyway I just started the dead sea salt baths about 3 weeks ago and have found so much relief! If u can purchase them where you live it is totally worth the money. People I work with even asked if I “finally went to the doctor?” Haha yea right! To be fair I’m a nurse and my fellow nurses do not understand my steroid phobia because they think topical steroid ate ok to use as long as symptoms are present. Anyway sorry if this is a repeat suggestion. You are so beautiful and I cannot wait to see you healed. This being insecure because of our skin grows so tiresome!

    • hello! thanks for the recommendation! i have heard so much good things about dead sea salt.. i might just give that a try in the future (if things don’t let up). always good to have one more item in my arsenal, right? ๐Ÿ™‚ the weird thing about my skin was it was clear for about a year, then it came back bit by bit (after i stopped my chinese medicine). i guess it’s my underlying eczema that’s still unresolved.. so i’m seeking to try things to heal from within instead. thanks again though! i hope your skin continues to improve!!!!!

      • Hi–I have followed your blog since my daughter withdrew from steroids almost 2 1/2 years ago. I read an interesting article the other day that many TCM contain licorice root which imitates cortisone in the body. Dr. Rapaport had a patient who unknowingly induced a TSW flare after consuming a large amount of licorice root several years after being healed. I’m not sure what exactly you are taking, but it may be worth looking into. Thanks for the blog–it helped so much as we were going through my daughters withdrawal. She is not all the way healed, but we are mostly there. Take care.

      • hi diana, thanks for the heads up! i’ve taken this TCM herb before, and even after i stopped using it 2 years ago, i did not land myself in any flare that remotely look like TSW. in fact my skin was good for a year after i stopped the herbs.

  2. hello Juliana

    i’m thomas and italian, i undestand the risk of TS only in these months, i’m really really scared i cry also. At the moment i’m on 3 weeks and at the moment my only problems in on eye that are just a little bit dry. MY skin in dry after wake up, and i take natural oil on my face and for the moment it’s super.
    My story i take steroids ( flubason) for ten years i’m 24 years old, i’ve choose to stop it to save me old age. my problem for my life skins is dry skin on legs arm e sometime in my face i take steroids in this parts of body.

    after 3 weeks my skin has not problem i’m black not red skin ( but i never it also before the start this journey), at the moment the problem is on my brain i think every time that i lost years and years, i almost finish university and i shall start to working.

    I’m depressing about the future, i’m scared that things will be bad, i’m depressiing but determinated to leave of this nightmare.

    thanks for the answer i need to talk to anyone

    • hi thomas, i’m sorry to hear about what you’re going through. TSW will fuck up your mind, so let me warn you right now that you will be depressed. but the good news is, it won’t last. things will turn bad if it has to turn bad, it’s better to accept that as soon as possible so you don’t sabotage yourself any further.

      dry eyes are common during TSW, so don’t be too alarmed!

      as for your thoughts, think of it this way. you’ve battered your body for 10 years, you can’t recover over night for the damage you’ve done. and it won’t be years and years, because once you’ve recovered about 80%, you’ll most likely be able to function normally again. then, things will get easier then. it’s always the hardest in the beginning, but don’t lose hope and faith.

      stay strong!

  3. Hi Juliana, I just stumbled across your blog researching my own way through what I suspect is TSW and your pictures brought me to tears. Only someone who has also flared up that way can understand the pain and discomfort you went through. You’ve been so brave

    I also tear because I suspect I’ll have to spend the next 2 years recovering and I’m scared to death. I live alone in Singapore, no family or support system. I would like to know how it is possible to function from day to day (work etc) and also which doctor you consulted. I go to NSC and get pumped up with drugs each time – been on prednisone 4 times a year for 5 years. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    I’m considering quitting my job and staying bed ridden if finances allow because facing the outside world looking like this sends me into anxiety. Any words of advice? Thanks in advance โค

    • hi shaula, i’m so sorry to hear about your plight. it really sends my nerve cracking when my skin was at its absolute worse and having to go to school at the same time. things would be a lot easier if you have someone taking care of your daily needs. would it be possible for you to return home to recover?

      it is possible to function day to day, but at the minimum level because you’ll be dragging yourself through them.

      i used to visit NSC too, to get make sure i never run out of topical steroid creams. the best thing you can do right now is to stop wasting money there. i’m currently seeing a traditional chinese medicine practitioner and i’ve had good results with it in the past. if your finance allow, you might be able to heal faster with the help of his herbs. his clinic is called gingko tcm, google it yourself if you like ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. Juliana, good to hear you’re back on TCM. If applied correctly, TCM can fix a lot of issues, but not permanent ones (such as severe kidney damage). With that said, root causes of eczema will be fixed, but this takes time, patience, diligence, and the ability to put up with the growing pains. In my experience, when talking with other TCM patients, there is always something that holds people back from the fastest possible recovery – for me it is sleeping at the right times.

    In TCM, sometimes you will encounter sickness, as the sickness may be deep-rooted, or underneath several “layers” (gradually, you heal layer by layer, but suddenly you may get something). Try to not be discouraged or put off, and continue, if you know that your practitioner is getting you better, as a whole.

    How I’ve been able to tell for myself, despite deep-rooted issues coming back, is because what my practitioner has told me has come true, and many issues have been solved. The latest deep-rooted issue to come back was a severe recurrence of eczema on my neck (a common area for nearly half of my life). But instead of dismissing my practitioner, because we have healed so much of me, I’m continuing on. If things get worse and worse for say, several months with no explanation or reason, then I’ll re-look the situation, but I don’t think I will be.

    For eczema, another practitioner from Beijing has introduced to us a method of skin scraping, which is basically exfoliation with organic sesame oil with a herb infused into the oil, with the underside of a bark of a small bush. The purpose is to infuse mega doses of natural antibacterial agents into the skin, and I’ve found this product to be the best I’ve used. Comparatively, I’ve used products such as betamethasone, tacrolimus (this was terrible), Spectro Jel (very good), various Creme de la Mer products (very good, very very expensive), but this simple TCM scraping method works well. I am visiting my practitioner tomorrow and will have a formula made. I’ll find out the English name and the Chinese script and send it to you, and you and your practitioner can discuss. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • thank you so much for your useful information! i’m interested in the skin scraping method, but doesn’t that irritate or scrape away too much skin? or do you only do that when your skin is in a much better condition..?

      and you’re right, TCM has the ability to correct many issues. it’s true that it’ll get worse before it gets better, after all, we’ve been suppressing all those crap that should have been flushed out of our body for god knows how many years. i do know that i’ll get better again, just that this up and down is a serious mind fuck. and i’ve been through it too many times. i just need a moment to get my shit together at times.

      good luck and stay strong!!!

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