September 24, 2014

Topical Steroid Withdrawal | Sixth Month Update

(image: Pinterest)

What a relief to be able to say that August was a great month! Everything (or almost) seemed to have improved - if not healed!

Let's start with the worst - my lips! They started oozing and cracking badly in July, especially in the corners, but also on the lips themselves, which was absolutely disgusting - sometimes they would hurt so much I had trouble eating solid food! They slowly got better in the middle of August - the oozing slowly subsided, leaving my lips cracked and very dry and flaky, which I would take over the ooze any day though! I was still scared to use lipbalm, so I let them do their own thing, and big flakes of skin would form, which I was not able to resist not picking at, only to reveal bright red and fresh healing skin underneath. This went on until the end of the month, when they finally started to look almost normal, just very dry.

The big wet wounds on my fingers are now completely gone! I stick with the moist wound healing method (which involve applying a generous layer of vaseline and then applying a bandaid or dressing pad secured with microporous tape over the wounded area) from the end of July until the last week of August, when all of my fingers were completely healed. I could not believe it! Finally, I could shower and wash my hair without gloves, and I could use soap to properly wash my hands!

On August 9, I got impatient with my face again (it appeared to be always dry) so I decided to use pure argan oil on it - after a few days, I noticed this didn't help at all - in fact, my face flared badly until the last week of August. When will I learn that I need to let my body do its own thing? 

The only problem are on my body currently are my nipples - since June, both of them have been raw, irritated, itchy and constantly oozing. I would always put toilet paper or even panty liners inside my bra cups to prevent them from rubbing on my bra and sticking to it - ouch! - but they would never heal. I started using the moist wound healing method on them in July too, but it didn't seem to make a difference. Near the end of August, I started applying zinc paste instead of vaseline (still covering them with a dressing pad), since it absorbs the ooze better. The problem is that they do seem healed after a few days covered in dressing pads, but if I remove them for a day or night, they end up raw and oozy again. It's a constant cycle!

Even my energy got slightly better during August - I even started planning a roadtrip in Gaspesie (I wrote this post in a McDonald's in Chandler!) Now I am not sure if my lack of energy of the past months (where I have been feeling better) was due to not working and not getting out of the house much, or if my adrenal gland was really affected by the steroids. I left for my trip on August 31 so I won't talk about it too much in this post, but I have not lacked energy to drive and explore cities as much as I thought.

Summary of my condition during the sixth month:

  • sleep schedule is slowy getting back to normal: I go to sleep at around 12:00, I wake up less often during the night, and get up around 10:00
  • my energy is slowly getting better: I noticed I am more enthusiastic about things, I got back to blogging often, I feel great enough to meet friends, etc.
  • my face flared once, when I applied argan oil for a few days (dry, red, irritated and itchy spots on forehead, cheeks and around mouth), and each flares lasts about a week
  • my hands are healed! Yes, the wet wounds are finally gone! I can now wash my hair without gloves
  • my whole body looks 100% normal - you would not notice anything if you didn't know I'm going through TSW - and even the areas that don't "breath" as much as others (waist area, behind knees, under boobs) are getting better. My face is a bit dry but nothing like the past months - it's slowly getting better
  • I feel like I can shower or bath everyday, but I try not to - I'm still scared to irritate my skin. I still wash with water only (I think I will stick to this for the rest of my life!)

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you had a rough go. My lips crack and split all the time, I'm use to it even though it hurts. I just started to wear lip gloss again with out the grossness of lip product falling into the crack. Glad you are starting to feel better