Thursday, July 24, 2014

Month 7 - Moisturizer Withdrawal Again!!!

The day I wrote my last post, I had been waiting for feedback from Dr. Rapaport. I had sent him my pictures and explained that I was reacting towards the moisturizing (didn't include the fact that I ate gluten since he doesn't believe diet plays a part in this). Some of the side effects I experienced were some that I hadn't seen since the beginning of this process; red sleeves, intense burning on my neck, oozing, increased redness all over, and severely increased itching. I heard back from him the following day saying to cease all moisturizing, that my skin is just too sensitive for ANYTHING at all to be put on it. Arrrrghhhh!!!! I wish he had not advised me to moisturize in the first place. I told him I wasn't using anything because it worsened my symptoms. With all that said, if I hadn't moisturized, there's no way I would have been able to go to my friends' wedding. So in the end it was worth it. I'm just paying for it now. The past 3-4 days have been so incredibly painful, I don't even know how I've endured it. Actually, I do. I slept through most of it. I saw a pain management doctor the other day and he is upping my gabapentin (nerve pain meds) hoping that will help with the burning pain. I was already taking it on an as needed basis but he informed me it's the type of drug that needs to build up in the system. Whoops. I also got a script for Vicodin but I took one last night and I still had pain! Wtf?! I guess it just eliminates the most excruciating pain. I was hoping it would eliminate ALL the pain. Since I'm going through moisturizer withdrawal again, I'm experiencing lots of pain. Luckily, it's not as bad as last time (see my post labeled - Moisturizer Withdrawal day 15 under popular posts) but still really hard. On the plus side, I've already notice my skin start to heal quicker and toughen up a bit (it's able to handle more itching before breaking) and redness has decreased. I've been taking 2 baths a day, as recommended by Dr. Rapaport, and this time around, I'm liking it. When I did moisturizer withdrawal last time, I wouldn't bathe every day and my neck would get so stiff, my whole upper body would be sore from not being able to turn my neck. But this time around, Ive been able to gain mobility by more bathing. Also during MW last time, I'd have crazy thick, disgusting scab build up which lead to a constant picking/oozing/re-scabbing cycle. This time, my skin doesn't have the opportunity to build up the thick scabs because I keep my skin moisturized with bathing alone. I actually look forward to baths now. After getting through the first 5 minutes of intense stinging/burning, it starts to feel quite soothing. It's the only time I feel NOTHING. Ahhhh it's so good. I've also been using Domeboro 1-2x/day. Domeboro is an astringent that helps control the oozing. I use it on my upper lip area and anywhere else that I scratched the shit out of.

Anyway, enough complaining. Here are things I am grateful for:
1. MY HUSBAND!!! He has been so amazing during this whole process. I love him so much. He works so hard yet never gets frustrated with all the slack he's picked up when I'm basically an invalid (which is pretty much all the time lately), and is always there to hug me and comfort me when I need it. Even during my darkest hours, he can make me laugh. I would say we have a really good laugh at least once a day. Those of you going through TSW know how depressing it can be and sometimes it's hard to even smile so being able to laugh feels so good. It reminds me that there are good times ahead.
2. My husband. Lol. Seriously, he is the reason I am able to get through this.
3. My health. This is a funny one because obviously I am sick. I look in the mirror and I see a sick person. But I am not dying, I don't have cancer, my son is healthy, my husband is healthy, what more could I ask for? One day I will be done with this and I will be stronger for it.
4. ITSAN. I don't participate too often in the forum but I know it's there for me if I need it. What better place to get information than from other people going through the same thing?

Picture update:

These first 2 pictures are from a couple days ago after an itch attack. See the oozey part at the bottom of my neck? That's the part that has been killing me lately. It's weird how the places that hurt the most are barely visible.

The next 3 pictures are from today. Although it doesn't look much better, it FEELS better. No oozing! And that's all I care about right now!

PS- Today marks my 7 month anniversary since quitting steroids!!!


  1. This just makes me cry... I'm sorry you are going through this too. Keep strong and hang in there. We've only really used moisturizer (Vaseline) on Josh when he's really needed it, for instance so he can open his mouth to eat. He doesn't like having anything on his skin really so it was only very occasionally just to relieve tightness. We've used vitamin D as well which was really good, and seemed to make a lot of difference. Congrats on reaching 7 months - keep going, you can do this! Take care, Louise (Josh's Mum) x

    1. Thanks for the support, Louise! Topical vitamin D was going to be my next experiment based on Josh's amazing results but Im doing MW instead. Hope he continues to heal nicely.

  2. congrats Karina! 7 months! ouch your skin looks very painful this sux big time! dw it will get better!! *big hugs* i'm so happy that you can have great gratitude towards the positive things in your life - that's the way to go!! hang in there warrior xxx ahfaye

    1. Thanks ahfaye!! Your blog gives me so much hope. Can't wait til I hit the 1 year mark too!

  3. You're a real piece of work Karina. I guess I was right about not moisturizing after all huh? And I didn't charge you a dime! I've always said people don't value things when they're free. You were/are a perfect example of that. I'm still pissed about all the time I wasted trying to help you do MW (after you asked for my help), suffer through your pain with you, listening to you bitch about how hard it was etc., only for you to turn around and donate $200 to Itsan! And how funny is this? Months later Dr. Rap tells you the same thing. Was that for free as well? I doubt it. You should be ashamed of yourself for being so ungrateful. BTW, witch hazel works 10 times better than Domboro does. But I already told you that too months ago. You deserve exactly what you got Karina.

  4. Dan D
    I use Thayers Lavender witch hazel. Does it make any difference which
    one I use?.

  5. The Homestead Company Witch Hazel Distillate 8 oz - Alcohol & Fragrance Free.