This morning as I was waking up I laid there waiting to feel the tight stretching and pain all around my neck, shoulders, arms back and down to my legs. I waited for the itching to start up where I then would lay there and try not to itch until I couldn’t take it anymore. Mostly lay there as long as possible because that first move in the morning is always the most painful. Opening my eyes always called for quiet cursing as I would try to release my eyelids from the caked on dried fluid that would leak out throughout the night. This morning there was none of that so I laid there in dead skin matter on the top of the sheets, relieved.
After a month of a chronic flare up, I finally went last night to get it taken care of by a doctor and steroid cream and pills. In the past, I have waited months and months before I would go to the doctors. Not having insurance was a major factor in this and not wanting to put steroids into my system was another one. This time I decided I really couldn’t and didn’t want to wait any longer. The pain, the damage to my skin, face, energy and all-around health was suffering. I am also trying to apply for jobs and it just makes the process longer.
(picture above- This was right after the first flare and inflammation had started receding)
Back in October, it started with a mild case of eczema along my chest, I was managing with over the counter creams. By November, I had a full-on attack on my body with inflammation on my arms, neck, and face. My skin secreted clear liquid not just along my arms but also chest, shoulders, ear, and eyes. Throughout the day and night, my skin flaked off dead skin and dried liquid. My ear was so inflamed I could barely touch it or lay on it at night. Drainage from my eyes made it hard for me to focus my sight throughout the day and in the morning made it even difficult and painful for me to open them. The cure for this was using a wet cloth to wipe my eyes, face, and ear.
(picture above- just a few days before Thanksgiving)
For the first flare-up, I used homemade remedies: detox teas and creams and over the counter creams. It finally managed itself after the second week. Inflammation went down and major areas started to decrease. Over Thanksgiving weekend I had another big flare-up. All of the same that happened the first time. I thought I was in the clear and had decided to have pizza two nights in a row and Thanksgiving dinner had a lot of starch and gluten as well. Friday after Thanksgiving we drove to Rite-Aid were I got Benadryl and over the counter creams.
Let’s just say it felt a little like Hitch all day minus trying to flirt with anyone.
(Saturday Thanksgiving Weekend- After a full day and night of taking Benadryl)
By Sunday the inflammation on my face had gone down 80%. So yesterday night I decided to go to the Free-Clinic in Hendersonville. If there is one thing I am certainly grateful for this season is that there are clinics around like the one in Hendersonville. I was able to get the care without judgment of not being able to pay and more about making sure that I get better and where I can go in the area for a regular physician to be able to make sure that I am able to manage and take care of eczema and flare-ups.
Today, I finally have had the energy to be involved more in my life and the household. Having two very active nieces makes it difficult when you are drained, achy and not feeling your best. We were able to start the day with yoga, go to the park, clean the house, bake gluten-free cookies and I am able to sit here now to write this without having the need for a nap or hide away. I was also able to go throughout the majority of the day without itching. I was able to play with the girls without the worry of them touching my skin and the extra pain that would cause from their little fingers and arms.
(Picture Today- November 29th)
It feels great to be back with the living.
For the last year I have been doing really well with not eating a whole of things with Gluten and I have stayed with a vegetarian diet for about 7 years now and at times more vegan diet.
This last month I realize the flare-ups are due to an over-indulgence of foods and drinks with gluten in them. Before where I would have one beer a week I ended up consuming about one a day then adding in baked bread and sweets. At times it can feel hard to maintain a healthy diet especially when you are not on your own schedule or element. Yet the best thing for me is to take care of myself and my health. I am also grateful for friends who have been helping me during this time as well and making sure that I am getting what I need to do that.
P.S. If there are any of you out there dealing with extreme eczema how do you deal?