I remember thinking towards the end of November that the worst of it was probably over and I'll be chillin by the pool with mojitos come Christmas time. Actually , all of my symptoms have increased in severity. So no, Melissa. You cant 'chill'. You can suffer incredibly from anxiety, insomnia and skin that feels like you are getting eaten alive. Hows that sound? .. Peachy. Thanks, me.
The only symptom that diminished were the pimples on my body and the lumps under the skin. They eased off around half way through December which was about the time I had my first lull. Maybe they just decided to migrate to my eyes! For most of this month I had continuous styes which were unsightly and favored both eyes.
The eczema began improvement on my arms dramatically mid way through December. It went through its process of spreading over most of the skin, bright red and intensely itchy, then raising up maybe 2mm before drying up then flaking off. This cycle repeated a few times before it eased off to leave me with improved eczema. Having said that, it's still wide spread on my arms only it lacks the size, redness and itch that it previously had. When I have flare ups it will still get very red and itchy, but it will subside very fast. I call that a small win.
My hands are changing. The skin is thickening and becoming very crusty and wrinkly on top, I feel like I am getting a sneak preview of what they will look like in my 90's! The eczema moved from the tops of my hands towards the tops of my fingers and onto my palms. The tops of my hands were more dry crusty eczema but the large areas on my palms go through phases ranging from cracked, weeping and painful, to dry and flaky. The eczema on my hands seems to move location and change fairly quickly. It is definitely on the war path to cover every bit of good skin I have.
The eczema on my legs has certainly moved down towards my feet, as was predicted by my amazing naturopath. It is not quite as severe on the thighs anymore as it seems to migrate south. It looks like I am wearing pink tights, which end at the ankles. Looks totally weird.
Just a bit more on the flaking. I am constantly losing dead skin, day and night, that it' becoming an epidemic in our house. I not only have to wash or vacuum my bedding every day, but I have to vacuum the floor around my bed every morning, I have to vacuum the whole house at some point every day and I am still shaking the thick cakes of white skin from my clothes multiple times during the day. Sometimes when I scratch I can see plumes of skin coming off me, occasionally causing an allergic reaction making my nose run. My skins cellular renewal is in overdrive and I wouldn't be surprised if I have shed my own weight in skin!
Lymph nodes in my neck and around my crotch have become very swollen. They came up not long after I started drinking noni juice and is apparently one of their possible side effects as it aids in the detoxing process. I can feel them even down my leg and some under my arm pit. They are really large and visible on my neck. It's a bit disconcerting but I'm told is nothing to be alarmed about.
In other gross news, I have noticed my body is ah, it smells! I woke up one morning wondering where it was coming from, then with a dramatically slow lift of the arm, I had my answer. One recognises ones own scent and this is most definitely not mine! I don't know what stinky demon has possessed my body but I am looking forward to its exorcism.
One thing I forgot to mention in my last blog was my diet change and the food cravings. Oh my, the food cravings! When I began my TSW I knew I had to give my body the best chance at recovery and the best support possible with nutrition, so decided to make some big changes. I ditched the alcohol, caffeine, sugar, gluten, dairy (all the things I already knew didn't agree with me) and anything processed - with a few minor exceptions. This was when I began getting into cooking a lot because with limited options, one needs to take matters into ones own hands and become creative! And wouldn't you know it, I realised how much I really love cooking and creating my own food! There is something liberating about having more of a relationship with your delicious, healthy food.
I made a lot of stir fry's with sauces (this was my minor exception), salads, smoothies, juices and even enjoyed finding some amazing raw and vegan recipes which are incredible to say the least. I made a substitute for everything I craved (except coffee!) which ranged from vegan cheese to sweet chocolate fudge slice to creamy soups. I was covered. Except the coffee which I miss like crazy! And it is at this very moment I have decided to make a page on this website dedicated to food (:-D Because I feel your choice in food is so important during this process and my diet is so crazy tasty that I'm always excited about my meals, so I need to share it with you! One thing I know about changing your diet so significantly is that you will feel like you are missing out. But I can assure you that you need not fret, because your food will be so jam packed with flavor and the nutrition you body actually needs, that you will be as satisfied and happy as a pig in s***!
Needless to say, during the holiday my skin became progressively worse and when we arrived home, I was a wreck. The eczema flared up horribly and I spent 4 whole days completely sleepless. After that amount of time without sleep I became delirious and almost manic, feeling like I was in a terrible dream. My naturopath happened to call me on the 4th day (bless her cotton socks!) and gave me some important guidance on what my body required of me nutritionally to get me back on track.This entailed a few solid weeks of fruit and vegetables only. No meat, nuts, grains or any of the other bad stuff I was starting to eat again. This diet change happened the exact same day I discovered green clay which in combination with my clean new diet, brought me back on track and back to my normal, albeit broken, sleeps. It was still some sweet sweet relief.
The toughest times for me are in the mornings. This is when I feel the most disgusting with my bed full of sand (my skin), my body is covered with the most amount of dead skin build up, any weeping skin from the night is either still wet and weepy or has dried to a thick crust and I am at my most lethargic from a bad nights sleep. I then begin my mornings processes which take hours including my morning shower that stings like crazy. So where I was once a lively morning person, now am reduced to a sad, sore shell of my former self. I can't even talk to my boyfriend until at least half an hour after I have finished my routine. This is when I am most prone to breaking down in tears which so far has only happened a couple of times. I think I am doing well.
When I'm out in public and I catch someone glimpse at my skin, or when I see people out and about with their perfect, healthy bodies and skin, that gets me down. It hurts so much knowing I have been given this ordeal! As long as I have been alive, I have always been the sick kid, the sick woman. Missing out on fun events constantly because I am sick. Being so restricted with the activities I can do. Being the different one in the group or the one who always has to 'make things difficult' with my requirements. I hate being this person! And if I'm feeling at such ill ease as this person, then surely this is not the state my body should be in, right? That my body somehow knows this is the state of dis-ease whereby it has a point of reference; health. This logic I try to keep in mind when I'm feeling down, this keeps my spirits up. Or at least, it keeps my spirits head above water while it treads like crazy.
I am embarrassed about my skin. It's embarrassing! I mean, I am getting around town wearing my hair up, my nice dress and my lumpy, red, bloody skin from top to toe. I understand that it's a natural reaction for people to have an aversion to diseased flesh, I am the same! But man, when you are the one wearing it, it really blows. I am extremely self conscious about my skin so I cover up as much as possible, but you can't cover your chest, neck, hands and face and so have developed paranoia. I usually don't make much eye contact so as to not invite any more gazes than is necessary.
Another thing that is embarrassing that I just can't help is the scratching. I know I do it all the time and most of the time I'm not even aware I'm doing it. But when someone points it out to me I become embarrassed and even feel ashamed of myself. I feel like I must look like a flea bitten mutt with uncontrollable mange. It's not nice to have it pointed out because it makes it seem like I have a choice. Sometimes it's the only thing relieving or keeping the itch at bay so obviously I get a bit upset when this happens.
One of the main things I have to be mindful of is that I need to be kind to myself and love myself. As obvious or ambiguous as this sounds, it's important for me to maintain my sense of compassion towards my mind and body. I remind myself that I am doing really well, that this is just temporary and that I am a beautiful person, worthy of good health. When I skip too long on the good vibes I notice the negativity start wondering in, so it's a good exercise to give myself constant love and kudos!
I want to mention here that I am lucky enough to have the support of the best naturopath on the planet, and she is only 10 minutes drive from my house! She has been an absolute pillar of guidance and support for me and I am so unbelievably grateful to have her. She has educated me so much and replenishes my usually constantly fading strength every time I have contact with her. I really do recommend one of her to anyone going through this :) As I am unsure at this point whether she would be ok for me to plug her services I won't mention her name. However if she says yes to it, I will pop her details on this website.
Sun, sun glorious sun! I have always considered myself a brooding 'winter person' and just didn't understand people who craved being outdoors in the sunshine with all that heat, and sun, n stuff. Now with my new found (or broken) temperature gauge, I have an aversion to anything that isn't sun light on my bare naked skin. Get it on me. Please. Don't get me wrong, I still hate the sweating and humidity that mostly comes with it. But I just cant get enough sun! When I told my naturopath about it (I'm really starting to feel rude not addressing her by name) she told me about the necessity of sunlight for the human body and how vitamin D deficiency is linked to so many major illnesses. So being summer and all you would think I could be sunning myself at any given moment, right? Well not this summer! I feel the weather has a personal vendetta against me because this is possibly the wettest summer in the whole of history. Anyway, I have since researched the importance of sunlight and have included this on my website. Wrap yourself up in its love!! And a message to the rain, stop being a dick, rain.
Insects anyone? Anyone? Insects? Why are these flies all up in my grill!? They literally single me out from across a crowded room and relentlessly dive bomb me until I leave or until they can land on my skin. No amount of swatting or hilarious flailing of arms seems to get them off my case. When I mentioned this to my naturopath her explanation was obvious; my skin is a putrid, open wound and so attracts insects in the same way they are attracted to rotting flesh. So I'm a big dead cow then. Cool.
On another occasion, I was sunning myself and happened to be scratching my usual cloud of flakes off my person. Then I noticed there were some ants lingering around my white skin halo and over the next 10 minutes more and more ants came to the party, taking with them the more choice selections of skin until there was hardly any remaining. I couldn't believe it, they are eating me! It was a bit creepy, I mean, what if they get the taste for me and take me in the middle of the night!? Oh well, for the minute they are natures perfect little waste disposals and I'm happy to see my skin going to a good home :)
Ok so now that I live on the Gold Coast, I will be looking for work in the new year which is exciting but also scary. I have no idea how my skin will look when it's time to start interviewing so here's hoping its not a monstrosity!
- Eye styes going away
- Lymph node sizes increasing
- Arms showing small signs of improvement
- Body temperature regulation change becoming severe
- Hands becoming worse, especially on under side
- Blind pimples/large blind lumps going away
- Insomnia becoming worse
- Legs worsening, particularly towards the bottom
- Scalp worsening
- Skin shedding increasing
- Skin weeping increasing
- Body odor becoming foul
- Anxiety and emotions worsening
- Strong food cravings
- Drawn to the sun