1. Ice packs - I'll have a 2 hour flight to Atlanta and then a 3 hour drive into the mountains of North Carolina. Plus wait times in between. I usually don't go an hour without an ice pack. So I ordered 1) one of those old school refillable ice bags and 2) those hospital insta-cold packs. They only provide about 15 minutes of cold but if I'm having an itch attack, that should do the job.
2. Bathing - Per Dr. Rapaport's orders, I've been bathing every day and so far it has been beneficial. I would NEVER imagine taking a bath in a hotel but showers don't seem to moisturize my skin enough. I'm packing my own soap to clean the tub so I can in fact bathe at the hotel. Our flight is super early in the morning so I won't have time for a bath beforehand and my skin looks the worst when it's all dried out and scabbed. I'm hoping I don't run into anyone at the hotel until I've had a bath!
3. My hair - I have really curly hair and ever since doing moisturizer withdrawal, have not been able to wash & style my own hair because my hands have so many open wounds. I resolved this a long time ago by finding a hairstylist to come to my house once a week to wash and blow out my hair. Before this, my hair was basically getting dreaded in between washes making the showering process even longer and more painful.
4. Childcare - When we first booked the hotel for this wedding, we were planning on making a vacation out of it and bringing the boy. Travelling with a wild toddler is hard enough but with TSW, I would've flared just at the thought of it. So we're leaving him at home with my mom.
5. Clothing - I had to start ordering dresses 2+ months in advance in order to try them on since I have not been leaving the house for anything except doctor appts and some playdates with close friends. The mall was out of the question. Obviously, the dress could not be black bc flakes would show up. I also had to find a wedding appropriate sweater to cover up my eczema ridden arms. No easy task in the middle of the summer. But I found everything I needed, woohoo for online shopping! All other outfits will probably consist of my usual TSW uniform - leggings and a soft shirt. I may even get a chance to catch some rays because it'll be cooler in NC than it is here in S. Florida. We'll see.
6. Anxiety - Valium. Lol. That is all. I will be anxious about everything. I haven't left the effin house in months and now I have to be in all sorts of public situations.
7. Food - How does a gluten free, dairy free person travel? They find a health food store and stock up! Luckily there happens to be a great health food store not far from the hotel that I'll get my milk for coffee, snacks, and they even make green juices! Yay! And then we have a list of restaurants with gluten free options in the Atlanta area for when we land.
I think that covers everything that worried me. Anything else is out of my control! Now, update on my skin since consulting with Dr. Rapaport. As you all know, I did moisturizer withdrawal for about 4 months. Even though I had a really hard time with it, I would still recommend it to others. It toughened up my skin, stopped the oozing, and decreased my itching and redness. I would bathe every 2-3 days but pick nonstop at all the build up of scabs. Now I'm bathing every day so the scabs don't really have a chance to get to the point where I find it super disgusting and have to remove it immediately. Because of this, I have noticed some healing above my mouth which has been my biggest issue and the reason why I don't really leave the house. I have resumed moisturizing but ONLY right after a bath, which right now is 1x/day. (Dr. Rap told me to take 2/day which I have not yet been able to do.) I have definitely noticed that I itch more now that I moisturize. And immediately after applying moisturizer, I am super red. But it is nowhere near as bad as before I started moisturizer withdrawal. And by the end of the day, my skin is dry and pink again just like it was when I wasn't moisturizing. If I start oozing again, moisturizer will be the first thing to go. Oozing is the worst. But right now, my skin seems to be able to tolerate moisturizing and looks better doing it, which couldn't come at a better time. I'm coming to terms with the fact that this TSW journey cannot be accelerated. I will flare when I flare and heal when I heal. In the mean time, I will obviously TRY to speed up the process but accept the fact that I could be dealing with this for another year or so. Oh, I also want to mention that in the past week, I've been SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO tired. I have been sleeping like crazy, which I think has contributed to some of this healing. I will post pics after I return from my trip!