Monday, July 30, 2012

Day 80 (Week 11): Ugh Vaseline Sucks & Sparkler Pain

Last week, I had a couple days that were better. I gave up on no mosturizers, natural mosturizers and Eucerin. Yesterday I used Eucerin because I happened to have it in my purse while I was at BF's house. Today, exactly 24 hours later my arms started getting redder and then hives broke out and now I'm just an itchy mess. It may not have anything to do with the Eucerin (probably it doesn't), but I'm going to avoid it from now on.

I'm using Vaseline now which I don't really like but my skin apparently tolerates it the best. I don't want to use it. It's goopy and gross. Before TSW, I actively avoided stuff made with mineral oil and well, that's the only ingredient in Vaseline. I don't like it, but everything else stings or burns or makes me itchy or redder. I have to use something - otherwise my skin is so tight I can barely move or open my mouth.

So here we are: Vaseline.

I can't wait until this is over so I can never ever ever use it again! It's so nasty. I hate it.

Today I also got the "sparklers" or nettles. My hands and arms were stinging so badly, it was like I was being poked by a bunch of tiny needles over and over. I was driving home from my friend's house and I just wanted to die. It hurt so bad.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Day 73 (Week 10): Still?

I am very sad because my face is so flaky, my hands look like dragons, and I have itchy itchy patches all over me. Nothing is getting better, even though I know eventually someday it will. I have to go to a relative's baby shower next week and I do not want to, because I'm sure everyone will want to know why it looks like I rubbed my face with sandpaper. Maybe I'll post a little note on Facebook. "If you see me and I'm ugly, it's not my fault!"

Boyfriend has been extremely good to me through this and acts like he doesn't notice at all. Which is kind and I appreciate it. And he also hasn't gotten upset when I don't want to do things because I'm too itchy/tired/ugly.

I'm going to the gym tomorrow for a workout class. I don't want to but at least if I'm doing something, I'll feel like I'm doing something to make this go faster even though I don't think it has anything to do with it.

I can't believe it's been only two and a half months. It feels like foreverrrrrrrrrr.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Day 64: Letter to the Epidermis

Dear Skin:

Thanks for looking better today. I mean, yes, I still have scary cracked red hands but you are better than you were yesterday and a hundred times better than you were on Monday. My face is almost normal colored and the rash on my neck has faded. My arms are still rashy but the red is more of a pink now, which I can deal with right now. Yeah, my legs have just joined the rash wagon, but hey, I can wear jeans.

I'm very happy that you look a little better! So let's keep it up, okay? You can get better or you can stay the same, but please don't get worse. Okay? I just started using palm oil on you. It's a little scary to use new things because I don't want to make you angry, but I think you like the palm oil better than Eucerin. I hope I'm right and I hope it helps you.

Thanks in advance for your cooperation!


P.S. I just want to be pretty again, okay?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Day 60: This Sucks!

I'm officially 2 months in.

I'm scared that I don't actually have RSS - what if I really do have incurable lifelong eczema and I'm just making everything worse by doing this? 

My hands hurt so bad I can't even explain it. It's like... You know how you crash a bike and skid across the pavement, skinning your hands and legs? Or how you sit in an awkward position for too long and your leg falls asleep? Have you ever fallen into a pine tree and got stabbed by all its needles? And you know that throbbing after you run your shin into a table leg? And of course, burning like a sunburn. It's like all of those at once every single time I move my hands. It hurts and it's hard to even think straight sometimes.

It's an ugly ugly sight.

My hands used to have a clear demarcation line, stopping right at the wrist, but now the borders are moving, red scaly skin climbing up my arms to meet the red scaly patches that were already on my forearm. My eyes were so swollen today and it hurts to blink because my eyelids are so tight and dry. It's all over the back of my legs, shoulders, back, ears, everywhere!

I am a mess.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Day 57: Vacation, All I Ever Wanted!

Here's what's been happening:

June 15-23: I went to the beach. I was nervous about it with my skin, but it was pretty great and just what I needed. The morning of the drive down, I woke up with elephant hands - swollen rolls of skin on my hands. It was strange.

The ocean water felt awesome on my skin. I was worried so I just put a hand in first to see what would happen. Nothing happened!

After a couple days, the flaring died down a LOT. I was less itchy, less dry and barely red at all. Well, barely red to me -- people who weren't me still thought it was really red. I got asked if I had a sunburn a bunch of times. Nope! It's just my skin.

On the drive home from the beach, I got progressively redder. The norther I got, the redder I became. 

After a couple days home, I was right back to where to I started. I wondered if maybe being in the ocean and the humidity had helped. So I've been taking epsom salt baths and using a humidifier in my bedroom. It probably doesn't help. A couple days ago (day 52), I woke up with elephant hands again. Then for one day, my skin was a little better. Then I was back to "the new normal" aka red itchy scaly dragon. 

I accidentally scratched my face and neck really badly so I'm trying to be very careful. I read on another blog that moisturizing too much can be a bad thing so I've decided to cut down on that and see what happens. Today is my second day and my hands are so tight that I can't flex them. I keep feeling a stabby tingle on my arms. It feels like falling into a pine tree and getting poked by all the needles.

I have had some trouble sleeping and even when I get enough sleep, I've been exhausted.

Next week, I'm going to my boyfriend's parents' house for the first time. I hope I stop being such a dragon by then!