I am now in what I would consider Phase III of my journey. (Phase I was the first month of HORRIBLY HOT, red, and painful rash. Like a sunburn rubbed with fiberglass. Lots of night terrors and sweats with full body aches from the withdrawal. My skin was so hot it would radiate heat. Phase II was where my face fell the h*** off with DISTURBING, smelly ooze and throbbing open wounds. Lots of swelling in Phase II, lots of dryness with no mobility, lots of skin cracking and tearing, lots of sleepless nights, and lots of what I call steaming. I literally didn't even sweat, I just evaporated and it smelled like a rat cage... or raw meat.) Phase III is what I call "the roller coaster of rashy, itchy, stingy, burny, welty redness.
Phase III has brought upon what I call heat flares. If I am exposed to external heat or get my internal temp up from moving around, it will trigger a tidal wave of overwhelming itch. It comes on gradually and then BAM, I am so overcome by itching that I nearly convulse because I don't know what to scratch first and I typically just end up rocking back and forth because it's so overpowering. The itch is maddening and all consuming. It's like nothing I've ever experienced before. It is IMPOSSIBLE not to scratch. Or rub. Or SOMETHING. Impossible. It's like getting bitten by bugs all over your body... ALL over and alarms are surging up to your brain!? I would liken it to standing in an ant pile. You slowly start to feel a few stings and them suddenly you're overtaken by unbearable bites all over. Scratching doesn't help because it is so all consuming and urgent. Like stopping a waterfall with a shot glass. When the wave passes, I'm left exhausted. Like I just ran sprints. My body hurts and is sore and i just want to sleep. I'm also flakey and gross. It usually lasts about 30 minutes.
Because of these stupid scratchfests (or scratching in my sleep) I have little cuts all over. When I sweat, it STINGS. It stings like tiny paper cuts all over my body. It stings when I sweat and it stings when I get plain water in it. IT IS ANNOYING.
What only people with eczema or TSW can understand, is the burden that is bathing. For nearly as long as I can remember, showering has been a chore. All water effects me differently. Showers typically leave me dry and irritated and red. It's a hassle. But TSW has taken this train to the next stop. If water so much as TOUCHES any effected skin, it BURNS. I can get water on my arm...or my stomach... or my face... or my neck and within about 1 minute it burns like the top layer of my skin is off. What's strange about this, is that it also burns the same with vaseline. It feels as if the skin is SOOO beyond dry that it burns the skin with the moisture. I always feel better a while after the moisture, but the initial gets me crawling out of my own skin with pain. I walk around repeating a phrase over and over and over and over. I pick a word and just cling to it. Typically a derivative of a curse word (fudge..fudgey...shoot...crud) to take my mind off the intense burning. Sometimes the burning is so bad that it feels like acid being poured on my skin. This is no exaggeration. 15 minutes of icepack and it usually goes away.
I typically get welts if I eat something i'm allergic to. I drank stinkin' unfiltered water and got welts SO bad. Every day at 2 o'clock I got welts on my face and body until I cut out the protein shake I was drinking and voila, gone.
I mentioned before that I am having great progress, but it's hard to see that in the day to day. I will look in the mirror and think, ok, not horrible from a distance. Then i'll go and do stuff and catch glimpse in the mirror and it's awful. SO flakey and red. And of course uncomfortable (see above). With all this day in and day out with literally NO breaks of discomfort, it is SO taxing on your emotions. To feel like you're getting better and then to flare out of nowhere. The flares are so exhausting mentally and physically, that you lose sight of your progress. You become so wrapped up in the moment of pure chaos that you feel like you've lost so much ground. All of this after 124 days has become so tiring.
Anyway, that's what's new around here....
Here are pics.
Last few days of Month 4 and the start of Month 5.
|Something I ate made me SOOOOOO itchy.|
|Was pretty miserable.|
|I discovered it was a protein shake I was drinking... I didn't figure it out unitl the next days hives.|
|I got in the car and looked like this. Guh.|
|So sick of looking like this.|
|This was SO painful. I cried. Hub came home early.|
|Took some pics of my family today. SWEAT like mad and worked through the itch fest... then looked like this.|
|This lovely little number showed up... an oozy spot. Lovely.|