12 weeks in… some changes and new developments

Today I am exactly 12 weeks into my steroid withdrawal, and am quickly approaching the 3 month mark! I have to say, I think the second month is one of the worst for a lot of people it seems, myself included. Many of the issues I have been dealing with are still present, some have subsided, and some are brand new. And I wanted to talk about those a little today.
The past week was an overall improvement for my face. I think I have finally come out of what was a terrible flare. So here’s a look at the past week (it’s crazy the difference in iPhone vs PhotoBooth photos… iPhone shows more redness and are the vertical photos, PhotoBooth ones look clearer and are horizontal):

Monday (7/28):
Photo on 2014-07-28 at 19.11 #2 Photo on 2014-07-28 at 19.11 #4

photo 3photo 5

Tuesday (7/29):
photo 1 photo 2 photo 3 photo 4

Wednesday (7/30):
photo 5 photo 1 photo 2Photo on 2014-07-30 at 17.23 #2Photo on 2014-07-30 at 17.23 #4Photo on 2014-07-30 at 17.23 #3

Thursday (7/31):
Photo on 2014-07-31 at 19.36 Photo on 2014-07-31 at 19.37 Photo on 2014-07-31 at 19.37 #3 Photo on 2014-07-31 at 19.37 #5

Friday (8/1):
After waking:
Photo on 2014-08-01 at 12.54  Photo on 2014-08-01 at 12.54 #2 Photo on 2014-08-01 at 12.54 #4 Photo on 2014-08-01 at 12.54 #5 Photo on 2014-08-01 at 12.55 #2Photo on 2014-08-01 at 12.55 #5 Photo on 2014-08-01 at 12.55 #3 Photo on 2014-08-01 at 12.55 #4

After showering (always when I am the most red and irritated/itchy):

photo 3 photo 2photo 1
Around 5PM, when my skin calms down a bit:
Photo on 2014-08-01 at 17.06 Photo on 2014-08-01 at 17.06 #2

Saturday (8/2):
Photo on 2014-08-02 at 19.02 Photo on 2014-08-02 at 19.03
Photo on 2014-08-02 at 19.02 #4 Photo on 2014-08-02 at 19.02 #5
Saturday I actually felt good enough to go out for a walk and run some errands.  Thank god for scarves to cover up my weird crusty neck. My face was clear, for the most part, just a good amount of redness.  I normally do not use any moisturizer on my face, but hey, it was Saturday and I was sick of the flakes, so I chose to put on a light layer of pure shea butter on my eyelids and around my eyes and mouth.  I had no issues with it and I don’t think it made my face any itchier than it normally is, and I liked how my face looked and felt smooth for once. The issue I am having now is with my lobster hands 😦
photo 5 photo 5_2

Sunday (8/3) – today:
photo 1 photo 2 Photo on 2014-08-03 at 15.32 Photo on 2014-08-03 at 15.33 #3 Photo on 2014-08-03 at 15.33 #4 Photo on 2014-08-03 at 15.33 #5
Hands:
Photo on 2014-08-03 at 15.34 #2 Photo on 2014-08-03 at 15.34 #5 Photo on 2014-08-03 at 15.34 #3

 

Recent changes in the last 1-2 weeks:

  • It seems that this past week my hands have overall been worse but my face has drastically improved. My face has been less swollen, less red, less oozy this week, but seems like there is more flaking. My hands, on the other hand (no pun intended.. haha), are kind of a mess. I was wearing cotton gloves almost every single day for the last 2 weeks, and it was getting kind of annoying because they didn’t stop me from itching and I would just ooze through them and then adhere to them anyway. Ouch. So I’ve tried to go this week without any gloves… it’s just painful sometimes because the skin is so raw!
  • Neck and face are overall less itchy.  I still wake up 3-4 times a night every 2-3 hours and find myself scratching at my neck or jawline, but it’s not that bone-deep life-take-over itch where I was ripping at my skin a couple weeks ago. Definitely no where near as bad! A week and a half ago I would sleep for an hour or so and then wake up ridiculously itchy and this would keep me up until 4, 5, 6, 7 AM… this has reduced but not gone away completely.
  • Mid-July I was noticing my hair seemed very dull, dry, and sparse… very brittle.  I did not notice any extra or “clumps” falling out while showering, which many TSW’ers complain of, but it just felt kind of dead.  This has been less so this past week and my hair seems somewhat closer to its normal self.  I began taking 2000mg fish oil daily 2 weeks ago; wonder if this may have had an impact?
  • Since the beginning of my withdrawal I was experiencing dry, peeling lips.  I literally could peel of inches of dead skin around my lips by the end of the day everyday.  I would open my mouth to eat something and the skin would just crack and split open, and I could just peel it off from there… so gross.  This greatly reduced this week… in fact I don’t recall it happening at all!
  • The rash covering my back and left side has spread like crazy.  This is an area I used both clobetasol and desoximetasone on several times from August 2013 – May 2014, but definitely no more than 10 occasions total. I had a rash that would continue to return on my back by my bra line, into my left armpit, down my left side, and across my lower back and even some spots on my bum, backs of knees, and legs.  They didn’t flare for the first month of TSW but they are in full force now! The areas are itchy particularly after a shower, but it is no where near as intense as the itch I experience on my hands and neck.
  • The rash/redness overall continues to spread. In the areas I’ve mentioned above, but also my hands- my wrists and in between fingers have spread, and now pretty much every finger is affected (it used to only be 4!) The neck rash has spread from ear to ear width-wise and moving down toward my chest, ending at my collarbones.  Both elbow creases are also fully flaring (steroids occasionally used here, but only once in a while)  They are like elephant skin and can be super itchy at times, and then of course ooze + crust up.
  • Left armpit area is almost completely covered and very red and occasionally oozes.  It also emits this strange smell throughout the day (and no, I don’t mean BO!) I’m not sure if it is ooze or what, but ONLY this one armpit smells this way! It is very weird and difficult to describe.  It’s also extremely sensitive after I itch it too hard and stings when water touches it 😦
  • Backs of my earlobes crust and ooze throughout the day. Odd.
  • It appears I am in the process of developing a “red sleeve” (a tell-tale sign of TSW) on my left arm. I have about 10 cm/4 inches of clear space between my elbow crease rash and wrist rash. It was difficult to get a photo of it because the pictures never do justice to how RED things actually are.
  • Appetite is slowly returning… somehow I had no issue polishing off my leftover birthday cake this week 😉
  • Overall, I am much less itchy throughout the day.  Don’t get me wrong, I still have crazy itch fests (particularly at night/early AM) but a few weeks ago I needed several ice baths a day to submerge my hands into for relief, and this week I’ve needed 0-2 per day! That’s totally an upgrade for me, and when it comes to TSW and any small upgrade… I’ll take it!
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2.5 Months / 11 Weeks / 77 Days…. but who’s counting?

Wellp, it’s officially been a total of 77 days since stopping steroids…. not that I’m counting (of course I am!) I seem to have maybe, possibly turned a small corner with the progress of the skin on my face, or maybe I am just learning to better manage it.  Either way, the past 4 days have been decent.  Not quite good enough to walk around without huge sunglasses covering me up, but good enough to spend some time at the beach last Saturday which was my birthday.  It wasn’t a full out fun-in-the-sun beach day (no way am I ready for that!) but it was my birthday after all and my favorite place in the world is the beach. I go to the same beach every year on my birthday and I just love it no matter who joins me.  I have had some ups and downs in terms of my mood and feeling down this past week, and the thought of spending my birthday as just another day sitting at home itching was getting me pretty depressed.  I decided not to let it get the best of me, and planned on going out regardless.  I brought an umbrella to be mostly in the shade, a large sunhat and huge sunglasses to keep my anonymity, and plenty of ice and paper towels incase I need to stop an itch or some ooze in its tracks.  Maybe it was the pressure of being in public, or maybe I am really improving, but I was honestly perfectly fine.  I wasn’t itchy or uncomfortable at all.  I loved it! Following that was a delicious family dinner of baked shrimp, tons of veggies, and roasted potatoes, and a yellow coconut cake to boot – my favorite! It was so wonderful to spend the day with family and close friends and it turned out to be a fantastic day – I even got a great night’s sleep! Here is more on the last week in review (technically week 10):

Pictures from 7/20 (Sun):
Photo on 2014-07-20 at 23.08 Photo on 2014-07-20 at 23.08 #2 Photo on 2014-07-20 at 23.08 #4

Mostly just a lot of flakes/dried ooze.  Sleeping was still very difficult for me.

Pictures from 7/21 (M):
Photo on 2014-07-21 at 14.14 photo 2 (9) photo 4 (6) photo 3 (7) photo (10) photo 3 photo 4 photo 1

I looked absolutely horrible this day.  I can’t even recall why.  The strange thing was that I didn’t FEEL this awful.  I didn’t even think I LOOKED this awful until I started taking pictures.  These pictures were all within the same hour, just in different rooms with different lighting.  I don’t know if certain lighting made things look worse than they really were, but regardless, this is what I looked like.  A corpse.  It made me really sad that I looked like this at all, but looking back I am thankful I took so many pictures because nothing makes me feel BETTER than seeing progress later on!

Pictures from 7/22 (T):

Photo on 2014-07-22 at 02.28 Photo on 2014-07-22 at 02.30

This was an absolutely sleepless night (pics above from 2 AM) because I could NOT stop ripping at my neck. It wakes me up out of a dead sleep sometimes because it is so outrageously itchy.  Sometimes I am half asleep and I’m not even aware I am doing it.  Other times I am well aware but can do absolutely nothing to stop myself… my hands just have at it.  I try icing it but it just stings and doesn’t do much anyway.  It really hurts to look back at some of these pictures knowing I stayed up all night in pain, oozing away with two different towels slapped on my neck from the damage I caused.
The following pictures are from the same day, the only difference is they were taken after the above photos during hours where normal people are awake:
photo 5 photo 1 photo 2 photo 3

I find that laying out in the sun for as long as possible (and obviously avoiding burning) helps dry up the ooze immensely.  I’m not saying it’s completely dry in 5 minutes (gosh no- it literally can take all day!) but it certainly seems to dry faster than if I were indoors.  I keep a towel near by to mop up excess ooze that I can feel.  So gross.  I hated myself this day because even though my neck was already SO RAW from all the scratching the night before, I STILL managed to claw it up in an itching fit later that afternoon.  The last two photos are around 10 pm; I was raw, oozing, in pain, and absolutely miserable.  I struggle with self-loathing sometimes (which is something that is really new to me) because I feel like this is all my fault.  Scratching until I ooze and bleed and am in pain is MY fault.  Using steroids in the first place was MY fault.  Not paying attention to the risks of steroid use and becoming addicted was MY fault.  But when I calm down and think things over, I know I can’t blame myself 100%.  I am not stupid for trusting a doctor.  I can’t help the insane itching.  I can’t help these things, and I just need to accept the now and take things day by day and be grateful that I am someone who can heal and move on from this.

Pictures from 7/25 (F):
photo 4 photo 5

I’m not sure why there is a big jump from Tuesday-Friday and wish I had documented those days.  Regardless, I experienced tremendous healing compared with the previous pics. Thursday I looked and felt well enough to have a close friend visit, and I barely itched during the day! Maybe it was subconscious pressure not to itch because I had someone talking to me, or maybe I was just distracted since we talked for hours, or maybe I am slowly coming out of a flare 🙂

Pictures from 7/26 (Sat) – my birthday!:

photo 1 photo 3

Looking good if I do say so myself 🙂 My sister helped me with a teeny bit of makeup (light concealer for under-eye redness, filled in my MIA eyebrows, and a light coat of mascara!) It was the first time I put anything on my face in weeks, and it felt really great to look and feel like myself again 🙂 Today was a good skin day.  Very little itching again as well!

Pictures from 7/27 (Sun):
photo 4

Mostly just red all day and a tiny bit swollen with dry and flaky skin.  Luckily, no adverse reactions to the makeup from the night prior. I would say that my skin looked “worse” than the previous few days, but still an overall improvement compared with recent days past.  At this point, I had been given a prescription for Atarax.  It seemed to help me quite a bit with itching and improved my sleep as well.  I didn’t get a perfect solid night’s sleep, probably woke up 2-4 times, but the itching was so much less and I was able to fall right back asleep after! That is huge for me. The drawback is however the next day I am completely out of it.  I think I took it too late at night and maybe I just need to take it earlier so the effects don’t wear into the next day.  I fell asleep 3 different times the following day and just couldn’t shake off that foggy kind of feeling. I don’t plan on taking it every night, maybe every 2 or 3 nights or something, or saving it for when I think I might really need it, but it was certainly helpful the first time I used it.

I am curious to see what this week brings and if I continue to come out of this horrid flare or if I simply had a few days of clear-er skin only to revert back to where I was a week ago.  who knows.  I will say that overall in the last 4-5 days I have been less itchy, have had decreased oozing, and am overall less red.  Same goes for my hands.  My back and sides are still red and occasionally itchy, but they are more difficult to document and have more or less stayed the same since the beginning of TSW.  We shall see! Thanks for reading 🙂

Week 9

Hi everybody, not too much new here.   This week seems to be a repetition of last week.  Sunday (7/13) night I was looking somewhat decent, most of the crust had fallen off and I was mostly just red with minor (compared to usual) swelling.  I looked in the mirror and recognized myself for the first time in a long time, just imagining that I had a really bad sunburn. See for yourself-

photo 1 (4) photo 2 (3) photo 4 (3)

Come Monday, I woke up looking like a red blimp, but by the end of the day much of the swelling had gone down and I honestly thought I was looking like me again.  Just a crusty, flaky type of me.

photo 5 (1) Photo on 2014-07-14 at 12.00 Photo on 2014-07-14 at 12.00 #2 Photo on 2014-07-14 at 12.00 #3 Photo on 2014-07-14 at 17.34 Photo on 2014-07-14 at 17.34 #2 Photo on 2014-07-14 at 17.35 Photo on 2014-07-14 at 17.35 #2

I should have known it was too good to last, because come Tuesday, I oozed ALL DAY LONG! I don’t understand how someone can just ooze all over their face for hours on end! Why doesn’t it dry?! No matter what I put on it or how I mop it up, it’s wet again minutes later.  Fortunately, my sister came to visit me and treated me to lunch, which was really awesome to have some company- oozing or not.
Wednesday I finally dried up, and my face was just very red, crusty, and tight with a good amount of yellow dried ooze.  Most of this rinses off in the shower, however, so typically that is the very first thing I do after waking.

photo 1 (6) photo 2 (5) photo 3 (4) photo 4 (4) photo 5 (2) Photo on 2014-07-16 at 13.10 Photo on 2014-07-16 at 13.10 #2 Photo on 2014-07-16 at 13.10 #3 photo 2 (6) photo 3 (5) photo 1 (8)

By this time, I decided to come and stay with my parents for a while. It was getting pretty difficult to do several tasks at home like cooking, dishes, etc. It has been an amazing help to be with my family and have so much support around.  Even if my skin hasn’t improved one bit, it has done wonders for me mentally and my mood- it has been a lot easier to stay positive having help and care around from those who love you.
Pictures from 7/17:
photo 4 (5) photo 5 (3) photo 2 (7) photo 1 (9) Photo on 2014-07-17 at 18.51 Photo on 2014-07-17 at 18.51 #2 Photo on 2014-07-17 at 18.52 #2 Photo on 2014-07-17 at 18.52 #3

Pictures from 7/18:

photo 3 (6) photo 1 (10) photo 2 (8)

I’m still very red after a shower.  Does anyone else find this to happen as well??  I am still having a lot of trouble sleeping at night.  It seems that every few hours on the dot I wake up, sometimes itchy sometimes not.  Sometimes it’s horrible and I need to ice myself up and down.  Other times I still wake up but am able to make myself comfortable again and go back to sleep.  I have had some really terrible nights though where the itch will just NOT go away- particularly my left armpit and my neck- so terrible that I am on the floor crying and pleading for it to stop.  Benedryl sometimes helps and sometimes doesn’t.  I have had great night’s sleeps with and without it, so I’m not sure what it really depends on, I just try to take it sparingly so I don’t develop an immunity to it.  I read something recently on the ITSAN forum that has stuck with me to get through the sleeping issue.  It was something along the lines of: I sleep when I can and I stay awake when I can.  I don’t pay attention to the clock or force a schedule to that of the real world… because with TSW, we don’t live in the real world! We live in a body of horrific and healing skin, just trying to find some form of comfort every passing minute.  So don’t let sleep stress you out.  Keep in mind that, even if you can not fall asleep but can simply lay there and relax (i.e. not itch or stress), that you are still doing your body good and allowing it to heal just by laying quietly and relaxing. I hope that helps for those reading who have this issue 🙂

 

 

A review of TSW symptoms, courtesy of ITSAN

Greetings friends,

I’ve seen posts like this on other TSW blogs, and thought it would be helpful for myself to do one as well.  Below are the most common symptoms of steroid withdrawal, courtesy of the oh-so-helpful ITSAN website at http://www.itsan.org/resources/q-and-a/.  My personal comments to each one are in bold.  Here we go:

Q: What are the most common symptoms of Topical Steroid Withdrawal?

These symptoms occur after you stop using topical steroids. You may not experience all of these symptoms, although some people do. You may start experiencing some of these symptoms within days of stopping topical steroids; other symptoms may take longer to occur, or may not occur at all. You may experience some of these symptoms throughout the entire time or you may only experience them during flares.

  • Red, burning skin: This typically appears within a week after stopping topical steroids. It may cover a large area from the start or it may start as a small area, eventually spreading. One classic sign is red skin that stops at the wrist. This leaves the palm unaffected but arms and tops of hands red. It may take weeks for the red arm/white palm to appear as the redness spreads. I definitely have red skin.  I wouldn’t say it “burns” but it does appear similar to a sunburn.  It does “burn” after I have a terrible itching fit, then it burns because of the pain I’ve caused itching too hard. I had redness exactly 1 week after stopping steroids, and it has continued to spread. While I don’t have the typical “red sleeve”, I have fingers that are totally red like mini red sleeves, and my entire right wrist is red as well. 
  • Unbelievable, extremely intense itching: Most experience the itch throughout the entire process, not just during flares. The itch feels like it originates under the skin and is difficult to sooth. YES! Terrible itching! Itching that feels like it is coming from your BONES and you just can’t itch deep enough to relieve it! Itching that can undo a weeks’ worth of healing in minutes by scratching.
  • Shedding or flaking skin: Many people find that they shed a lot of skin. You may need to change bed linens and vacuum daily to keep up with the amount of skin flaking off. Yep.  All day flake fest over here.  I could knit sweaters with the flakes that fall off my face.  Good idea for a Christmas gift? Yes no maybe?
  • Edema: Swollen skin or swollen body parts containing fluid. Hands often swell during TSW. I haven’t really noticed my hands swelling (yet), which is surprising because they’ve received the most steroid treatment out of errybody. However, most mornings I wake up with a squashed swollen lion face.  Sometimes I can barely see out of my eyes they’re so swollen.  It’s a sight to behold.
  • Oozing skin: Ooze may seep out of skin or form in small blisters (vesiculation). You may find a hard crust over your skin – this is ooze that has dried. Yes yes yes.  Ooze seeps out if I itch or irritate my skin too much, or if big flakes fall off that weren’t really ready to.  My neck, temple, and hands love to ooze.  I do have a few small blister-looking things on my hands that I assume are filled with fluid.  I often have hard crusties on my face…yay!
  • Itchy skin: The itch is unbelievably intense and feels like it originates under the skin. We’ve discussed this.  See above.
  • Raw, painful skin: It may feel like a bad sunburn and may be sensitive to even the lightest touch. Totally after an itchy fit.  The skin is raw and man it hurts… I don’t mean to, I just can’t stop the itch and I go too far and expose skin that was not quite ready to be out and about.
  • Eczema-like rashes spread from area of skin that was originally affected by eczema: You may experience hives, very dry skin, itchy skin, deep cracks, or tiny cuts in the skin, even in areas where topical steroids were never used. The skin is one organ, so when one area is medicated, it can affect all of your skin. Yessir to all the above.  From my armpit to my hip, particularly my left side, is covered in an eczema-like rash. I have some hives on arms and wrists.  Several parts of my body seem very dry, like my neck and back. I have tiny cuts it areas that I’ve scratched too deep.  And I do have areas that have reacted that I did not ever use steroids on. 
  • Difficulty regulating body temperature: You may experience freezing hands, feet, or body and often get the chills; or you may feel very hot. I get this from time to time, but its nothing major.  I was out for walk recently and it was 80+ degrees outside and I kept shivering… it was pretty strange.  I’ve also been drinking hot tea like its nobody’s business even though its the middle of summer.
  • Exhaustion.  Fortunately no, not really.
  • Insomnia or difficulty maintaining a normal sleep schedule. For sure.  I wake up every 2 hours, on the DOT.  I wake up and itch like crazy.  Benedryl doesn’t even seem to help.  I get up, ice myself, try to relax, and eventually fall back asleep, only to wake up a few hours later.  I hate it.
  • Loss of appetite. Definitely.  My appetite sucks.  I’m sure part of it is being home from work now, so I’m not running around all day and am doing just the opposite, so I’m not burning as much energy.  But I don’t feel hungry for several hours after waking and normally I eat breakfast immediately after I wake up.  That’s out the window.  I also never eat lunch anymore and am lucky if I have a snack in between “breakfast” and dinner. I’ve got to work on this because I know my healing will certainly slow down if I don’t have the proper nutrition.  
  • Very, very dry skin that has the look and feel of plastic. This is hard to describe.  I want to say yes, I feel like my neck is like that, because I can barely move it from side to side and feels like I’m in a neck brace sometimes.  Its just full of dried crusty ooze and I’m so nervous to crack it because it will just ooze again.  Woof!

 And just incase you wanted to proof of crustiness, here are some pretty pictures from 7/10 and 7/11:

Photo on 2014-07-10 at 13.32 #3 Photo on 2014-07-10 at 13.33 Photo on 2014-07-10 at 13.33 #2 Photo on 2014-07-10 at 13.33 #3 Photo on 2014-07-10 at 13.34 Photo on 2014-07-10 at 13.35 #2Photo on 2014-07-11 at 10.10 Photo on 2014-07-11 at 10.11 Photo on 2014-07-11 at 10.11 #2

Flaky city!

A turn for the worse…

The second I hit my 8 week mark, it seemed I took a turn for the worse.  A few weeks ago, my face had a few strange raised red areas, sort of rashy looking, slashed across my cheeks.  It was different than just the typical red skin, which would be smooth after a shower and eventually flake during the day.  These raised areas were more difficult to describe.  They were raised, bumpy, red, definitely flaky/crusty, and very itchy.  One morning, after a shower, they were so itchy that I could not control myself and literally took the towel and just went to town itching them with it.  It was awful, so self-destructive, but felt sooo good. It was the dumbest thing to do because I sheared them open, causing them to spill out ooze that would just not stop, and eventually turned into a lovely golden crust…. disgusting. This was about a week ago, and the downhill slope has not stopped since.  Here’s what my past week looked like:

7/1 (T) – noticed my eyebrows and eyelashes were becoming sparse, particularly on the left side, which haf had more steroids on it

7/2 ( W ) – extremely itchy in the morning, but face was noticeably better throughout the day, some flaking, and I was able to not rush home to wash my face after work but instead sprayed some of the chamomile toner on it to refresh

7/3 (R) – used towel after a shower to itch my face to shreds (as mentioned above), regretted it for hours on end. Both cheeks opened up and oozed. Used the 7 cream and it burned badly, still itched some, so then used chamomile toner to calm things down.  I was feeling really low this day, and mad at myself for losing control and ruining my face so badly.  I feel like I am always undoing the healing my body is trying to do.

7/4 (F) – face was a red mess in the morning, extremely itchy again after showering, but i behaved, and by nighttime it looked a little bit better and clearer. i used some coconut oil on the open oozy/eventually crusty parts.

7/5 (Sa) – my face was worse in the morning, some swelling that eventually went down, but I was just so red that no makeup would help… it was pretty irritating

7/6 (Su) – bad, bad face. i woke up so swollen and tight, i could barely open my eyes or mouth to eat.  just as bad as the swelling from day 1! i didn’t even bother with lotions, creams, makeup… i just completely left it alone and prayed that it would go down in order for me to go to work the next day.  i was really beside myself.

7/7 (M) – I woke up with worse swelling, that i didn’t even think was possible.  It took hours and hours for the swelling to go down to be able to see properly and eat something.  I had to call out from work, it wasn’t even an option.  I was up for hours icing my face and trying so hard to look and feel human, but it was impossible.  It wasn’t just about how I looked, but I was in pain and couldn’t even function. Pictures from 7/7:

IMG_2116 IMG_2117

7/8 (T) – This day was even worse, if that was at all possible.  I was even MORE swollen after waking (?!), and was oozing. all. day. long. This was because I was determined to go to work, so despite the intense edema going on in my face, I took a warm wet washcloth and GENTLY tried to wipe away the flakes and crust and crap… no matter how gentle I was, it didn’t matter, it opened everything back up again to leak right on out.  I don’t even think I put anything on it. I kept a fan next to me all throughout the day to try and dry the ooze, but all I could feel was that my face was wet with leaking plasma.  YUCK! Literally all day my facial skin just felt thin, had all these tiny red spots from where the ooze was leaking out, and was so sensitive to touch. It finally dried around 5 o’clock that night, but it was a very difficult day to get through and after having to stay home from work again, I made the decision to discuss a medical leave of absence with my work.  I wasn’t getting any better any time soon. Pictures from 7/8 (from after a shower, when things had calmed down a bit):

 Photo on 2014-07-08 at 10.11 #3 Photo on 2014-07-08 at 10.11 #2 Photo on 2014-07-08 at 10.11 Photo on 2014-07-08 at 10.10 #2 Photo on 2014-07-08 at 10.10

7/9 ( W ) – I woke up again pretty swollen, maybe slightly less so, and dry from the ooze.  I mean like it looked like I dipped my face into a bowl of corn flakes or rice crispies kind of dry.  Not the typical dry flakes, but a face full of dry hardened crusted ooze! UGH! At least it wasn’t wet, but it was so terrible looking I just gave up putting anything on it at all. I also woke up to an itch attack on my hands after removing my gloves and bandages.  That bone-deep, insane itching where you are on your knees begging for it to stop, whilst scratching your hands to shreds on whatever they touch- in this instance, the carpet.  I ripped and itched them to pieces and again, felt sorry and angry at myself for tearing them apart.  I couldn’t use my hands all day and had never seen skin so raw before.  I kept a thin layer of coconut oil and cotton gloves on them all day.  Having them open to air was just too painful.  Only a few pictures for the day, since I could barely use my hands:

Photo on 2014-07-09 at 11.33photo 2 (2)photo 4 (2)

I am hopeful that taking this leave from work can only help.  I physically am not able to work and am barely functioning as a human being as it is.  Yes, the pictures are of my face, but my hands and body are also greatly effected.  I know I can’t speed up the healing process, but not working and being able to relax and take care of my skin at home can only be a good thing!