My symptoms this past month: itch has picked back up lately, face has been redder and oozing a lot more, my feet and knees are crazy itchy and painful, fingers have been splitting a lot so I go through about 20 band aids a day to keep them covered, and of course dry wrinkly skin. I have been wearing my clothes inside out because the seams bother me. Places like my wrist/forearm, where I tend to rip off a lot of skin when I scratch, I've been wrapping tightly with cotton cloth. I've found that compression helps the itch for me. Sleep is okay, still waking up once a night but haven't been able to fall asleep until around 3am every night and that's with all my sleep medications. I tend to get tired for a nap around 4pm but sometimes try not to nap at all in an attempt to go to sleep earlier. Doesn't work. I've also been really cranky and irritable lately. Like all the time. I think I'm just getting weary of dealing with this every day.
On the flip side, I've come across a lot of other people that have it way worse than me. I hate to say that I find this comforting. Misery love company and all. But it makes me grateful that I don't have it as bad. I was reading about a BABY who almost died from renal failure bc of all the damage the topical steroids had done. That baby has since healed!! Isn't that amazing?! From being in and out of hospitals for infection after infection and being labelled failure to thrive to becoming completely healthy with clear skin. All by just stopping use of topical steroids. Which reminds me, I'd like to share why I decided to do this. I'm sure I've written this before but I want to reiterate it more as a reminder to myself. Within the past 5 years, I noticed the steroids stopped working. I tried everything but my skin just kept getting worse. I was always really tired. Every once in a while I'd wake up with swollen eyes, which I now recognize as a sign of TSA (topical steroid addiction). When that happened, I probably hadn't used TS for a day and my body started going into withdrawal. I now am able to look back and see the signs. There were a lot of them, I just didn't know what they meant. Another one is the burning itch. That would happen every so often but again, I had no idea that it was anything other than eczema. Finally, when I started tsw by accident, I saw how the rebound affected my body and became angry. I was like "F these steroids!!" Because if that's what happens when I stopped using them, there was no way I was going to continue to subject myself to their poison. If I had continued using them, I'd still be dealing with my worsening eczema with no end in sight. I'd never be able to bathe my children, never be able to go outside and play ball bc the sweat makes me break out, never feel comfortable in my own skin. I'd live a life of constant fatigue and adrenal suppression all the while subjecting myself to other illnesses because of my lower immunity. I'd always be sick! So... I look forward to a life WITH energy, skin that plays no role in my decision to do things, and being able to live a normal life.
Lately, I've been going back and forth between wanting to advocate and raise awareness about TSA/RSS (Red Skin Syndrome) to not wanting to even think about it. Those within our little community knows that the NEA (National Eczema Assoc.) has created a task force to "research and review" this disease. Unfortunately, there is no way it will come out in our favor. They have big corporate sponsors who produce guess what?? That's right, topical steroids. They've already stuck information about it under the "myths" section. Assholes. Because if the medical community doesn't accept this disease is real, then it will only continue to grow and get worse. I don't think it's a coincidence that adult eczema only became prevalent after the introduction of topical steroids in the 1950's. Remember when eczema was considered a childhood disease?
Anyway, I hope next month I will have some improvement to share. If not, I know that eventually I will. This WILL end. Oh! That reminds me. Dr. Rapaport cleared me for some sunshine! He said that the abrasion around my mouth seems to be superficial. So maybe I really will have some improvements to share next time! :) Pics below of the last few weeks.