Monday, July 21, 2014

Month 11 - Addicted to acupuncture??

So I think I remember saying that I was doing pretty well a few months ago. Well I feel like I'm hitting a downturn and having a flare at the moment, so it's a bit depressing. To be specific, I was seeing this Chinese doctor who did acupuncture on me which was really effective, like literally that morning after he did it, my flares would go down that evening, and I would sleep like a baby. He also gave me Chinese medicine, and it sort of had the effect of prolonging the effects of the acupuncture. But then after like 6 months, he said his treatment is only temporary and couldn't really cure me, so he referred me to another doctor. On his first referral, after seeing another doctor for a few weeks, I went back to the original doc because I could feel my skin deteriorating after stopping the acupuncture treatment, but after a few more weeks of going back to him he sort of asked me to leave because he thinks I'm addicted to the acupuncture (what kind of doctor asks a suffering patient to leave!?).

So now here I am, my skin worsening after a few months of almost clear skin from the effect of acupuncture, having seen a few other Chinese docs but not any of them could compare with effects of the original one. And then I start to ponder on the thought of what the doc said about addiction to acupuncture - could that even be possible? That acupuncture gives instant healing effect, but in the long run would cause reliance on it?? Gosh it's sounding like the side effects of steroids, which is just crazy and scary. But it can't be, I mean it's not even drugs - it's just a needle in a place in my body - how is that even scientifically possible to cause addiction? But I'm truly starting to wonder if this acupuncture treatment has slowed down my healing process, or could it just be the notorious one-year flare? I wonder how everyone else's experience on acupuncture is like?

Anyway, the good news is that I'm not entirely back to square one. My skin now is slightly red, with average amount of shedding, and less able to regulate body temperature (when I was better back then I was so resilient to coldness and would easily sweat). Comparing to the initial month of heavy ozzing on legs, super red on entire body, and my shivering all the time, this is still progress. Although the most depressing part is that there's an oozing patch on my face that won't go away. It's so hard to manage, especially because I need to go to work and need myself to look somewhat presentable. But still I learn to be grateful for every bit of progress I make during this awful healing process.

Hope every TSW out there is getting through this journey day by day... Happy healing everyone!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Month 8

This has really been a while... It's been three months since I last had an update on my status...

I feel like my skin in general has been improving quite a lot, although it's still in a pretty unstable state. Overall, the skin has reached another level, not that it doesn't itch anymore, it does, and sometimes it still gets so bad that I need to use my comb to "chain-saw" on myself to ease the itch, but I could feel that the dryness and tightness is gone now. At least it's not itching every single moment of the day. At this point, the itch I get is really nothing compared to what I've been through in my early stage of TSW, and I don't need moisturize as much as I did before. I never did moisturizer withdrawal as it's too painful for me, given that I need to go to work and everything, so I just moisturized whenever I felt like it. Now I just moisturize twice a day: once in the morning and once after shower at night.

The elephant skin on my knees and elbows have subsided a lot as well, although there are still very visible wrinkles on all my joints. I hope they go away in time... Skin also looks dark and redder than a normal person should look, I wonder if this will ever go away....

Sadly, my worst part of the skin would be my face. There's a very rebellious spot on my face that just wouldn't go away. Just a few days ago it was still like an open wound being a bit crusty and oozy which was so friggin frustrating cuz it's been there for like weeks... but it slowly got better after I went for acupuncture a few times. It actually got really itchy two days ago for some idea why. My face has seen better days, now I'm struggling to get back to that state...

Body weight
Around 3 months ago back in December, I suddenly got comments from almost everyone around me saying that I gained weight. I also noticed that my face grew some baby fat, I wasn't quite sure whether it was from water bloat or really gaining weight. Then just now I was going through some of the pictures I took at the start of TSW and compared them with the pictures I took in December, and I think I truly have gained weight. At the start of TSW, I looked unhealthily skinny, and together with the thinned hair I almost looked like a chronically sick person. But now that I've grown back more hair and got a little chubbier, I looked much more healthier (or should I say normal).

Body temperature regulation
I'm glad to say that I haven't been shivering these days anymore. Back in the days I would be shivering real bad in air-conditioned places, now I would be wearing short-sleeves when some of my other colleagues needs to wear a cardigan in air-conditioned places! How surprised I felt! Sometimes I feel like I sweat really easily, especially when I'm a bit nervous like talking to a senior at work.

Hair loss
I feel like I've lost a lot less hair compared to the start of TSW. In the past I used to find at least a few strands of hair on my pillow when I wake up, now I sometimes don't see any at all! And I feel like my hair seems to looks thicker than before...

Overall, I'd say I have improved quite a lot. Even my parents think so. But I'm still far from healed, sometimes it could get pretty unstable too, suddenly having an oozing wound on my face or having itch attacks. But I feel like it's getting there... It was hard to believe how it could get better when I was still in the start of TSW, but now that I'm seeing progress, I've come to realise how true TSW is... To all those who are going through the same, stay strong and believe that you will definitely get better!!