Saturday, August 31, 2013

Day 14

[Change of Blog title]

So I've changed my blog title to "Dreaming of an itch free life" instead of "Defeating the red scratchy monster", just so people wouldn't get confused with the book "Taming the Scratchy Monster".  Let me just say how much I long for my dream to come true...

Today's condition:

Face - slightly better with the wounds, less weepy, though when I sometimes uncontrollably scratched my face it wept for a while but luckily dried up not too long later. Still red like an angry lobster, and super flaky, eyes still swollen.

Limbs - still the same, red and flaky, I think my arms got more itchy today. I realized that my legs are constantly a little weepy, though it's pretty minor, it feels more like sweat. Luckily it doesn't really bring too much discomfort, but I just feel like it's giving me a weird smell. My boyfriend has always told me I have a "Celine smell".... it feels so embarrassing but he says it's ok... I really really hope it goes away as I get slowly healed...

Body temperature regulation - this has been one of my biggest problems, especially today. I'm feeling pretty hot today, like I'm sweating a bit, but when I turn on the fan blowing right at me I feel a bit chilly, so now I'm having the fan blow halfway at me and myself left sweating a little. Sometimes I wonder if it's actually weeping rather than sweating, but then I kinda feel hot....

One thing I've noticed last night - I woke in the middle of the night feeling hot and itchy, so I had a mini scratch fest and I noticed that the itch was spreading - first it was my upper thigh, then slowly down to the knees, then the back of my knees, etc, and the same happened to my arms. I don't know if it's only myself since I would distract my intense itches by starting a new scratch somewhere else, and it sometimes works. After some time my body cooled down, (and it's obvious since I started feeling shivery and needed to pull my blanket tight around my body so that my body was in no contact with the "outer air"), the itch stopped and I fell back to sleep.  This morning when I woke up, I felt hot and what happened last night happened all over again.  So I'm guessing the itch that I have now is somewhat related to my body regulator being dysfunctional, and it's no longer eczema that's causing the itch now.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Day 13

Nononono it's happening again...

When my first flare started on day 5 it got really bad on my face, I had blisters and cuts and it kept weeping a little bit... it slowly healed the next few days, despite slowly and painfully, it started to heal.  Up until last night, my face got really itchy, and even though I can usually refrain from scratching my face at all costs, I still wasn't able to resist a few times, and it was weeping afterwards.  And today, I feel like it's gone back to my day 5 flare condition - crusty, occasionally weeping, with very dry flakes. I am only thankful that it's a tiny bit better than last time as it doesn't have as many cuts and blisters, but still... I couldn't go to work at all, and I feel like crap.

As for my body, it's pretty itchy all over, mainly on my limbs. It's a little weepy right above my ankle for both feet, but luckily it's just a little. My skin is now in a pretty weird condition - it's very dry, but not so dry that I couldn't move as I've experienced before, it's red and flaky, but it doesn't have wounds as easily as I expect. In the past usually when I scratch real hard (and that's most of the time), it gets cut, but not it seems less likely.

My eyes are still swollen, and lots of secretions as well, and it's also a bit blurry since last week. My body is quite bad at regulating my body temperature, as I'm even feeling slightly shivering when the fan is blowing right at me, which is totally not common given that I live in Hong Kong and it's summer now so it's like at least 28 Celsius degrees.

Overall my skin is super red... when will all this go away.. please...

Monday, August 26, 2013

Day 9

I've been having my first flare since my withdrawal  4 days ago, with my arms and legs having progressive itching, and the most severe was my face - it started to have cuts and blisters across my forehead and cheeks, and it was oozing constantly. Luckily it didn't ooze crazily so that I could still at the very least go to work and be "productive", but I could constantly smell it and it was just so unbearable. Honestly speaking, I don't know if I could continue going to work since starting the withdrawal.  Every night I think tomorrow I might not be able to go to work - I just pray to God and ask that if He wants me to go to work, I'll go, if not, I'll just take it easy and take leave. I feel like I have no control over life at all, but God does.

These days my self esteem and confidence is dropping low - my face is constantly red like it's really sunburnt, and I'm just so worried how my colleagues would think. I'm so worried that they'll think I don't look "professional" enough and fire me, after all it is somewhat client facing where I work, but then it would probably be a relief if they did, since going to work every day is so hard for me - just waking up, and looking myself in the mirror is a great challenge itself, let alone managing my skin and getting ready to leave home. I ask God each day to give me strength to carry on and that people will accept me for who I am.

The only good news is that the cuts and blisters on my forehead and cheeks did start to heal - it hurt by the touch when it first started flaring up, but now it's just flaky and really red, so at least it doesn't feel as bad. My arms itched quite a lot last night, but luckily my scratching last night didn't leave too many deep wounds, just some cuts on the surface so they don't feel extremely bad. The lower part of my right above my ankle was oozing last night, but again luckily it wasn't oozing crazily so I just slapped on a few rounds of baby powder to soak it up and I was able to sleep. Same goes to my chin, which was oozing a bit and I just used a few rounds of baby powder before I was able to fall asleep. My sleep wasn't that good though, as I woke up in the middle of the night feeling pretty itchy, and it took me a while before I was able to fall asleep again.

I'm really struggling right now, if my condition gets any worse, I won't be able to go to work.  Really, should I talk to my managers about taking a month of sick leave?

Day 8

So finally, one week down. God it felt like forever. Looking at all other red skin warriors' blogs, seeing them going through three digit days or even years of withdrawal, makes me feel like I could never get there. But then seeing all those stories of being completely healed gives me so much hope of getting past this nightmare that has haunted me since I was born.

A little background of me - I've had eczema since I was born.  Needless to say, doctors prescribed me with steroids once they diagnosed eczema, so god knows how many years I've been on it. The good news out of the bad news is that I've always known that steroid doesn't do us good, so I've always tried to use as few of it as possible. But things got worse and I've changed doctors, and the one that I've seen a couple of years ago started giving me oral steroids. I would have to pay him a visit every few weeks, and he would always tell me, "you know your eczema is incurable right?" Thanks doc, what a relief. And this situation went on until last week when I was feeling a bit desperate and looked for blogs for people who suffered the same as I do, I found out about Topical Steroid Addiction. To my surprise, I matched ALL of the symptoms. Without even much thought, I decided to WITHDRAW.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Day 6

7 days ago I was still ignorant of the Red Skin Syndrome.  I had a flare up and used oral and topical steroids. It was not until 6 days ago I stumbled upon a Red Skin Fighter's blog that I realize that my symptoms all match that of Red Skin Syndrome.

Today marks the 6th day of my start of this long battle of Topical Steroid Withdrawal. I hope to use this blog to record my progress.

Wish me luck!