Tuesday, December 30, 2014

1 whole year!!!

I can't believe I've been going through this for an entire year. Well, a year and week now because I'm a bad blogger. As soon as I get a little better, I try to forget about my skin altogether and therefore dont update the blog as often. Anyway, I flared big time over Christmas. Christmas Eve was my 1 year anniversary and I started flaring a couple days leading up to it. I was actually flaring on/off since my last post but it got pretty bad during Christmas. It could have been a number of things that caused me to flare. 1, there's the infamous "1 year anniversary flare" that everyone talks about but I'm not sure I believe in that. How could everyone flare exactly 365 days into withdrawal? Realistically, it just doesn't make sense to me. With that said, it's still a possibility. 2, stress!! This one I know contributed. Having 5 people stay at my house AND hosting Christmas took a bit of a toll on me. I haven't moved around that much since before this thing began. I was tuckered out for days after Christmas. 3, food flares...in the beginning of TSW, I wasn't sure if my diet affected my skin but I would say that FOR ME, diet definitely plays a part in how my skin looks and feels. For the past couple months, I have been really good with my diet - eating pretty strict paleo style (though I prefer to just think of it as "real food" rather than some fad diet). That means everything organic, no grains, very little sugar, lots of veggies, etc. I also stay away from nightshades. Well on Christmas, I threw all that to the wind. I ate mashed potatoes (nightshade), gluten free stuffing (grains), and lots of dessert (sugar). And let me tell you...I have not been that itchy in MONTHS. That bone deep itch which I had so gratefully forgotten about returned with a vengeance. It reminded me of how far I have come and why I need to fully commit to a healthy lifestyle. Alot of people think that diet has no part in healing but I believe that if you make your body a healthy place, that would obviously be conducive to faster healing. Or at least not stall healing. But since cutting those things out of my diet again, the deep itch has gone away. 4, pure chance. I mean, TSW is essentially just a roller coaster of flares that should eventually die off. I'm hoping, PRAYING, that the worst is behind me. I've said it before but seriously, it couldn't possibly get any worse than it's already been. Even with this past flare, I didn't ooze. So thank God for that!!! Now what I'm left dealing with is the weaning off of medications which is difficult in itself. Some days I feel fine and then sometimes I'm hit with a wave of such deep hopelessness, its shocking. Luckily, I'm able to rationalize during this time and know that it will pass (usually within hours). But those few hours are pretty dark. All of a sudden, I'll feel SO sad for NO reason. It really fuels my disdain for drugs and conventional/western medicine. I can't wait to be rid of all medications and their side effects. As for the medication weaning, I'm on about 2.5mg of vicodin a day (down from a peak of about 11mg) and 300mg of gabapentin (down from 1200mg). I should be done withdrawing from these within the next month at which point I will start weaning off the valium and ambien. The past couple of nights have been plagued by terrible sleep so that worries me a bit but I'll deal with that as it comes. Trying not to stress about every little thing!

I haven't been taking as many pictures so here are just a few.

My hands from about 2 weeks ago. They're pretty much in the same state. Can't really use them for much because the open skin makes any contact painful. Bearable though.

Back of my knees (mainly the left one) are a constant source of pain and itchiness. At least the wounds are not that deep anymore.

Lastly, my face and neck. Neck is actually pretty sore though you can't see much. My skin is dry and cracked around mouth and nose but much better than prior months. My forehead looks like I have acne but I don't care. When I was flaring, it was very red, blotchy and hot. Now my temperature is back to normal. 

So there ya have it! One year down and I'm guessing one more to go. But I'm finally functional!! So all in all, life is pretty good right now. Wishing everyone a HEALTHY, happy, and healing 2015!! 

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