Almost 26 month update

HELLO!

It’s been so so long. I’m sorry. I am in Korea and have gotten lazy at updating my blog. I told myself that I wouldn’t, as continuously updated blog after “healing,etc,or break or whatever” is such a valuable asset to the community… but alas, I have fallen behind.

My skin stagnated for few month from 23 or 23.5 or so to 25. It was hot and humid in Korea, and my skin hates it. It was minor enough – I was still fully functional, but my arm crease and neck were visibly irritated.

Starting from couple weeks ago, my skin started to clear up rapidly, then I started another flare two? days ago or so. Thankfully, I seem to already be in the drying out phase. Unlike LA, Korea has very distinct seasons, and as the weather is transitioning to dry and cold, my skin seems to be in the adjusting period.

That is the quick update – I am still alive, skin is doing well, although it can still be better. Pictures will come soon, I promise!!

Hope your TSW journey is going well. <3

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Month 22.5 update!

I’m not sure what happened but this post got completely erased the first time around… so here we go again!

Since I am updating this on July 6th, I can talk about the plane ride as well.

Unfortunately, my skin underwent a minor flare for threeish weeks. or two. something like that. And since about two/three weeks ago, it’s been on recovering mode. The flare itself was pretty minor – I’ve been itchy, no oozing, sleep is fine, energy level were fine. Humidity, sweat and heat are enemies of my skin, and unfortunately, the weather is becoming increasingly humid and hot. For shame! But skin is continuing to recover. I’ve been attempting to be good about my diet again, since when I was at LA, I went a bit crazy with gluten and lactose consumption. To balance out, I’ve also drank lots of green juice. So far, skin seems to be doing ok.

The flight over was drying, but it was manageable. I lucked out and manage to have the entire row of seats to myself, so I slept for good 10 hours of the trip. That was wonderful. I am at a stage where I am beginning to think moisturizer will do more good than harm, when applied judiciously. I have a much better understanding of my skin, and a such, I can tell when my skin is dry, and need moisturizer, and when the skin is flaring.

Attached are few photos. Hope everybody is doing well!

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Month 19.5 to 20.5 update (pic heavy!)

Hello all!

Life has been awesome here at Korea, because my skin has been awesome. There is a sulfur spring about an hour away that I try to go whenever I feel a flare starting. I’ve been about three since I got to Korea. I’m just coming off from a small flare, which I attribute to binge eating dairy and gluten. I’ve noticed when I come off from a flare I poo a lot better too than during. I believe Ryan of Australia said something similar. I’ve been doing moisturizer withdrawal until today -May 8th 2015. Since my face is producing oils and I’ve only been washing it with water, I’ve been getting acne on my forehead (which you will see). While acne is million times better than TSW, I decided I will wash my face with a gentle cleanser now and moisturize afterwards . I will keep you updated on how that goes!

Every time my husband and I meet my skin goes dramatically downhill. Since he is coming soon, I am keeping my fingers crossed! It looks good so far! :D

Pic taken right after sulfur hot spring, no moisturizer. Apr 4th 2015

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Sulfur hot spring changes my silver ring! My wedding band is used to gauge the concentration of sulfur haha
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Right after sulfur hot spring no moisturizer may 4th 2015. Face looks worse than this the front camera quality is just worse so it smoothes everything out.
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Taken today(may 8th 2015), right after washing my face and applying moisturizer. No moisturizer anywhere else. Face so far feels good! Flared spots are drying out and peeling off, and it’s very reminiscent of eczema I used to have.
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I’m not itchy at all unless I’m flaring and even then it was very minor. Skin is an after thought. I sleep well and haven’t suffered from TSW related symptoms in a long while.

I hope you are doing well. I’m always here if you ever want to talk, etc. Stay strong!

Month 19 update

3/15

Just got out of a warm long shower and skin is feeling good! Moisturized and not itchy. Woot Woot!

3/22
Skin is doing great! Seoul is much more polluted than Melbourne and LA and the yellow dust sometimes makes my eyes water. More worrying is how it seems to affect my lung capacity…. But skin is doing well!
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3/25
Feeling good! Life is back to normal. I have school full time and 7-9hr days don’t bother me. I do watch my health very closely though and try to eat healthy. Get a lot of sleep and greens etc. Still not using any kind of moisturizer just letting the skin moisturize itself. It’s crazy the changes our body go through and just how adaptable it is.

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Month 18 and 18.5 update

Month 18 – Feb 23 2015:
Sigh. I wish I had good news so badly, but alas, my skin keeps getting worse. I am itchy and dry everywhere. During the day itch isn’t so bad but during nights it becomes really bad. In addition I can’t fall asleep at night and I am oozey. My semester starts in a week in a different country (thank God I at least speak the language). I am trying to stay positive, but on the sleepless nights I find myself overwhelmed and terrified.

I’ll be all alone at Korea – no parents or husband. I don’t even have a place to live yet… My skin hasn’t been this bad in over a year. Open wounds have returned. Imsomnia, chills, oozing, itch fits all have returned. At least I don’t have nerve pain.

I will still fight hard to stay positive. And I think I’ll succeed. But tonight I seem to be at a low point. I have 8 hr flight ahead of me- the last 5 hr dried out not only only the skin but the mucus membranes as well. I can’t even take lots of antihistamines because they make my teeth chip.

I will stay the course and stay off steroids… But I totally understand why some go back to it.

February 22/3 2015- after day in bali
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Shirt I wore in bali

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Shirt I wore in bali

Also early February, I was really concerned because I got blisters on my hands and feet. Throughout the whole the my feet and hands were spared of symptoms so it was alarming. Thankfully it went away and stayed away.

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Progress of worsening skin – look at my neck. Pic in order of older to newer
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I think my flare peaked a day or two after this picture then at Bali.
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It started to get a bit better after I came back from camping.

Month 18.5 – March 7th 2015

When I wrote the 18month update, I was in a hopeless place. I did enjoy Bali though, but that humid and heat was bad bad bad for my skin.

So as expected the flight was pretty bad. I was really red and irritated itchy and sleep was hard, etc.

However
As I stayed at very cold and dry Korea, my skin healed up pretty nicely. I sleep well at night, I’m not too itchy, and skin is dry but is starting to adjust to the dryness of Korea (still no moisturizer!).

The change was pretty fast- makes me think not everyone does well in the Sun/summer/sand/salt. I got worse and worse while I went camping by the sea and attempted to stay in cold salt water despite the pain. In the cold (around just below freezing) my skin got noticeably better everyday – so much so that within 2 days my friend said “oh your skin looks so much better now.”

I’m not too worried anymore about studying. I am still kind of flaky but much better than how I was. Still not 100% but I think I’ll get there in time. It’s just a pity that my skin flares seem to align with whenever I am with my husband. Our running joke is that I am allergic to him… Hopefully not!

Below pictures were taken March 7 2015
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I am enjoying Korea though despite the hectic schedule till now. Some pictures from Jeju island (March 27-29 2015, chronologically)

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So thankful skin improved! Happy healing everybody! Fight the good fight.

Month 17.5 – HUGE FLARE :(

Well, it was good as it lasted! What seems to be the break is over. It was insane how fast my skin got bad when it seemed like it took forever to heal. Within two days of posting the 17month update post, skin started to go down hill and hasn’t stopped. Yesterday I took a sulfur bath and right now I feel less inflamed and more dry. Perhaps it is helping. I don’t actually know.

I have a feeling I am allergic to cats and I was around one for about a week which did not help with my skin. I think. I don’t actually know. Its extremely frustrating why I flared again when I was doing so well, but all one can do is hope it will go away! It’s disappointing as I was excited to be with my husband when I was all healthy, but alas.

My skin is terrible. It is a full body flare, I am covered in hives all over my body. Arms, neck, scalp, and face are the worst but my torso, back, legs, and butt are bad as well. In addition, I have tiny blisters on my feet and hands which were never affected throughout the entire topical steroid withdrawal, so I am a bit worried. Skin that is not covered with hives are strong and moisturized, although unfortunately there aren’t too many of those. My neck, scalp, and behind my ears were oozing a bit, it seemed to have subsided now, but who knows. For now I will continue on with the sulfur baths and hope it helps.

Thankfully itch isn’t too bad. I definitely am a lot more itchier, but I can sleep through the night and itch is not all consuming. That is another confusing thing for me actually -I am not even itching that much but the skin seems to continue to get worse. Mind boggling this topical steroid withdrawal! 
Mentally I was pretty depressed for about a week and a half as I saw my skin go downhill. It was devastating to realize I had to suffer again and I was not, in fact, done with this shitty process. That said, I definitely have more energy now than I did during second and third flares… Which is weird because I think my skin is far far worse. Confusing. I am trying really hard to stay positive and happy. My husband is as supportive and loving and generally awesome as usual and for him I am trying really hard to remind myself of the blessings in my life and it is mostly working! It’s hard work to remain upbeat- don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Chronic illness is a bitch and if it affects how you look, it’s a double bitch! But we still have control over how we feel and I am choosing to feel blessed and happy.

Pictures will come at 18 month update next week. Hope everyone is having a better skin day than I am!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Last Christmas was a struggle town for me. This Christmas I feel awesome! I went to see Christmas lights and ran into friends from both Hugh school and college! Here are some pictures!

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It gets better! Meanwhile hopefully the pictures can provide you a little bit of joy this season. I love you all!!!

16 month update

Hello!!
Can’t believe that it’s already been 16 months! 2014 has been an incredible year filled with lots of ups and downs.
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I’m doing well. Skin has finally seem to be very resistant- meaning stress, lifestyle change, or food choices don’t seem to affect it’s health. I just had my finals week and as a result sleep and food wasn’t too good but my skin persevered.

Above picture is after a warm shower. I am still doing moisturizer withdrawal since my skin doesn’t seem to need it. I get itchy here and there but nothing too disconcerting. Skin is very strong and most of the time it’s not even in my radar.

I’ll be going back to the sulfur spring since it seemed to help my skin. Again, if you feel you’ve hit a plateau in your healing I highly recommend the sulfur hot springs. I still have discoloration all over my body but I’m sure they will go away in time.

Life is good. I’ll be praying and hoping all of the tsw warriors reach this stage sooner rather than later. Stay strong everybody <3

Almost finals week- feeling good!

I’ve been insanely busy but a quick update! I’ll do a thorough one soon!

I’m doing very well. Over thanksgiving break I went to a sulfur hot springs and it was amazing for me!! So if any of you feel you’re hitting a plateau in healing, try it out. Lmk if you are interested in which one I went to.

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Face today. Arms below from right after hot springs.

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It seems neck down is mostly healed – I soaked in hot springs for hours and my skin ate it up! Afterwards it’s been clear like it hasn’t been in a long time. Neck up was dry and irritated but few days ago something clicked and my face started to feel oily again. I am not using any moisturizers again- so that picture is all me! It’s amazing how far my body has come. Just keep trekking everybody!

Happy healing warriors!

Month 14 and 15 update

Hello!
I hope everyone is doing well. I feel like I have finally moved on with my life. Doing school, taking too many units, all right up my alley. That said, skin isn’t at 100% yet and I am sorry to say I am on my third flare. It’s definitely not as bad as first two times. Weather have turned very dry here as of 11/1 which is definitely not helping. My legs have started to act up, and I have a bit of wound in back of my leg which is painful. However, as usual, I get plenty of sleep all the time (~8hrs)

Unfortunately the flare started from 10/20. Itchy nights and a bit of oozing. Thankfully, by 10/23 it’s settled down. I’m no longer itchy but am flaking a bit more as I usually do when I recover from a flare.

However, on 10/29 I had,to go to the ER for severe abdominal pain, and my skin usually follows suit when other parts aren’t doing well. Then the weather turned dry and I’ve been inflamed and itchy. My face, scalp, neck, back of my knees and elbow flexure are the affected areas.

I’ve been shedding more and my neck sometimes gets oozy, which everyone knows it’s the worst. That said, I am not super itchy, and the skin itself is still pretty strong. I am still not using any moisturizer, and on good days you can’t even tell that I am not.

Since 11/3, I’ve started eating no dairy and gluten again. We shall see if it helps! Despite the flare, I’ve been leading a basically normal life, but I’m really hoping the flare will subside soon!

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Above were all taken 11/9

11/4
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Some photos from month 14, when I was doing better.
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So as you can see, my face alternates from looking mostly normal to dry and irritated.

That is it for now, sorry about the delay! Stay strong everybody, and always, if you have any questions, let me know.