Here I am, 9 months after impregnating myself with topical steroid withdrawal. My belly is now distended (because all my weight has returned) and I am pleading with the almighty to get this out of me! I will never know what it feels like to carry a baby inside of me, but I will always remember what it felt like to step out the flames into a re-birthing of myself. How beautiful to have held this transformation in my own hands and watch it shift and grow, now slowly giving way to this new person who is as she should have always been.
'Adversity introduces one to oneself' – Paraphrasing Einstein here, but this quote rings so very true. When people undermine your trials by doubting your circumstances and trivialising your pain, when doctors tell you that this is in your head and all you need are steroids, and when people around you treat you with disgust and recoil, understand they cannot help reacting this way. Their ignorance is something to have empathy for, as hard as that can be during these moments. This is the time to show your true character and use each emotional set-back as fuel to push on. This is your body and the only person who is going to take care of it is you. No one else is going to care for your sick and broken body so why let someone else's words (they're just words!!) dictate that future for you? This isn't their body... This is YOUR body! And the time needs to come when you take responsibility for it. Maturing emotionally and spiritually isn't going to happen by following the status quo, this happens by stepping out of the herd and becoming real. Becoming you. The first step is the hardest, and that first step is to love and trust yourself.
When you look in the mirror in the mornings, rather than giving yourself your usual affirmations of 'God I look like death! I hate this body and wish I had someone else's. I cant go on like this!' (yup, they were mine), change that into 'I am still so beautiful. Look at how this body is healing me and I don't even have to do anything. It's dong it all on its own! I deserve health and this amazing organism is working so hard to achieve that. I love myself and today I will let whatever happens, happen, because any suffering today is a gift of health and no achievement comes easy. Thank you body for healing me today. I am so grateful!'. If you can just change your words into ones of gratitude, then your mind and spirit will soon follow. The bottom line is that you do deserve health. Everyone does. So forgive the already healthy nay-sayers because soon you will have a profound appreciation and love for life that they can never have. And that is a true gift.
This is so far the cleanest month I have had. I am learning how to order-out now and ask for the foods that I need. I can even go to a takeaway Chinese restaurant and get something healthy. There is pretty much no restaurant that cant do steamed or stir-fried veges with some herbs, salt and the occasional touch of tofu. The only issue is adapting to being 'that person' who takes the most time to order and requires a few trips to the chef and back by the poor waiter to find out if they can cater to me. They always can. But that is seriously of little consequence when you consider the alternative.
Just when I thought my time in the kitchen couldn't get any worse, I went and introduced more smoothies to my day! I now have a smoothie with my lunch and a vege smoothie at dinner time which I will replace with my vege juices. That brings my smoothie tally at up 3 each day. Add that to the massive salad I have for lunch, the baked sweet potato, the usual nut snackings and the occasional mega stir-fry and you have a person who is constantly either making food, or eating it. And I am not complaining (:-D
With my supplements, I have added hore hound tablets and Rehmannia Complex. These are apparently good for skin and asthma. However since starting at a high dose, my skin reacted with a constant mild flare, so have stepped it back which has settled my skin to its usual daily rot.
I am almost definitely detoxed from the addiction to sweets. I don't crave the usual carob and nut butter stuffed dates, or the Holy Sh*t Chocolate Mousse. In fact I don't really crave much any more! Guess the body is adequately catered for these days. I occasionally try a paleo bar, which is essentially just dates and nuts, and this is even too much sweetness for me. Heck, the sweetness from grapes is sometimes too much to bear! In all, yet another achievement on my belt - take that topical steroid withdrawal!
What is there to say. I use them to write and type with. They help me prepare my food and make my bed. I can pat my dog with them and hold my boyfriends hand. I can wash them sometimes without too much pain. Oh, and they're pretty much perfect!! If we're using topical steroid withdrawal as a benchmark, then I'm happier than a pig in 'you know what'. Sure, the wrist to the thumb of each each hand still has lots of patches of pink eczema looking stuff and my phalanges are still wrinkled and dry, but I can use them again and that is worth celebrating.
As far as their personalities go, they haven't changed since last month. They are still a little erratic, but what do you expect from such tender and supple skin on the inside of ones arms? They're just too tender for this world! But at least the good days give me enough confidence to wear a tee-shirt out in public again. Oh wait, its winter :(
Sorry, no photos this month!
Legs and feet
Are you familiar with the term 'winning'? Because my lower half is! My legs and feet are still improving slightly, month by month, and if it weren't for the fact that I still scratch and pick at them for no good reason, they'd be much happier I'm sure. Even with my onslaught, they are doing very well and on their way to being near perfect in the near future :)
It's very hard to tell sometimes whether there is improvement or not. I looked at some photos from April, only 2 months ago, and I can say with certainty that a lot of times I can see positive change. Other photos it appears there has been no shift at all. I guess we just continue to watch-this-face ;-P
During the mild flaring I had from adding the new supplements to my diet, I had to bust out the bentonite clay again. After I dusted that bad boy off, I slapped some on my best and neck, let it dry, then only lightly rubbed off the dried excess. This left parts of the clay stuck to the most weepy and flared spots on my chest which worked wonders for the itching and oozing. After a few days it all fell off leaving much more relaxed, yet still red and raised, skin. Makes me remember that when I get that feeling, I need bentonite healing. Oh baby!
Have I mentioned that I only wash my hair once every 1-2 weeks? Do you balee dat!? I was the person who had to shampoo every day because by the end of that day, my hair was so oily that it looked like I had stepped out of the shower 10 minutes ago. Now since adopting the 'no poo' method (not shampooing for a very long time), my scalps oils have regulated and I no longer need to wash as often. To be honest, I could probably stretch it out way longer if it wasn't for the fact that my scalp is still shedding heaps and when it accumulates it becomes hella itchy. Hence the occasional wash. But when that settles you can believe me when I say that my hair is going to be the healthiest, cleanest unwashed hair in the southern hemisphere. And you can quote me! *spits on ground*
From forehead to breakfast, my hair is growing back. I cant say that it hasn't been nice to straighten my hair in under 5 minutes, but the alternative is so very welcome. At the moment it all sticks out from amongst the long hairs like children peering out from behind their parents legs. Its cute in a way. Most of all, its a relief and just in time for winter!
Sorry, again no photos!
N/A bitches! This will be my last entry on this topic.. unless it comes back, obviously.
Yep. The face and scalp are still being annihilated. Every day, twice a day I shed a new layer and its currently still the most time consuming activity I have to tend to (sans food). I have been assured that once this is over I should have a shiny new face, but I hold my reservations. Oddly enough, my chest barely sheds even though it is the most reactive area. Perhaps my chest has still not come to that point of healing yet. Dang it.
As much as I love winter, it's now continuously punching my lungs with its icy cold fists and knuckle duster. Weaning myself off this final frontier of steroids will be difficult, no doubt. But in saying that, I have gone from 2-3 ventolins per day down to just 1 and that is only at nights when I absolutely, positively need it. During the days I am still struggling with extremely tight airways and I watch myself working so hard just to breathe I am almost sweating from the effort it takes.
My naturopath gave me a very good exercise to help increase the capacity of my lungs which I believe is what has helped bring down the number of ventolins I now need. It involves holding in as much air as I can and pushing it down into my diaphragm. There I hold it for as long as I can which is surprisingly not long at all! Normally I can hold my breath for minutes, but doing this exercise sometimes I feel as though I will pass out after just 5 seconds. This is actually good and is what creates that extra oxygen and blood flow to the bottom of my lungs, to then create a larger capacity.
Suffering through this is necessary. If I don't, I won't be able to properly rid my body of topical steroid addiction and therefore, will never entirely heal.
All that twitching I complain about, those hellish spasms that wake me up at nights and prevent me from being able to give my full attention to people speaking to me, the aggravating pulses that the doctors said I just had to live with because they have no idea what causes them and it is of little importance, the muscle trembles that have plagued me since childhood - I can unequivocally say they are caused by steroids! I know this, how? I know this because there are no such things as coincidences and when I dropped down my ventolin use from 3 per day to 1 per day, the twitching almost vanished (by comparison). Incredible! This has never happened before. Then during this once-per-day period, I used the ventolin 5 times in one day and wouldn't you know it, the twitching ramped up to its usual 100+ sessions per day. Then back down to 1 ventolin per day, twitching almost vanishes. Back up too 3 in one day, it floods back. Down to once a day and.. you get the picture. Even something as seemingly mild as ventolin is still infiltrating the nervous system and it doesn't take a medical degree to know this is not a good thing! I am elated to have made this discovery. It is liberating and gives me even more steam to kick the ventolin forever.
Energy levels are fluctuating. Some days huge, other days I may as well be asleep.
Positivity is ebbing back into my life in a new and more intense way. I am being drawn back to my passion of philosophical topics, growth of mind and spirit and also to reconnect with friends. What has been so nice is when I catch up with people, everyone now seems so much more understanding about my diet and are mostly pretty happy to let me pick a restaurant or will otherwise give me the heads up so I can peruse the menu in advance.
It feels like I have spent a micro lifetime away from this world and now I am returning, it seems as though it waited for me. Everything is where I left it and that is kinda nice.
I'm still far from being healthy. I certainly don't look normal just yet but my mind is quite the opposite and it craves connection and stimulation again. Even if I am looking like a train wreck, I doubt my mind will let that get in the way at the moment. I'm just hoping my skin follows suit soon so I can return to all my usual physical activities because the days are beautiful lately and mama wants to hike!!
- Addition of 2 supplements
- No insomnia
- Hair growth returning all over
- Face and neck still shedding
- Chest still bad
- Arms unchanged
- Hands still improving
- Legs and feet still improving
- Asthma slightly improved
- Twitching linked to steroids – improving