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Sunday, 31 March 2013

If It Ain't One Thing It's Another!

So what's new with me you ask? I'm actually really horribly ill with a chest infection, sore throat, headaches, face ache and now toothache which I've had since last Sunday. I've been trying to brave it out by not bothering to go see the doctor but now I'm thinking that's a stupid idea. Damn it being a bank holiday! It just makes things all the more awkward.

Anyway, because I am ridiculously run down guess what has come back? Yup. I've got eczema herpeticum on my chin. Oh joy of joys! It is my own stupid fault though. I've been forgetting to take my Aciclovir tablets recently so hopefully taking those again will halt it in its path. It's so itchy and tingly though :(

Haha, this angle looks weird!

The skin on my eyelids have also started to go wrinkled which I'm a bit worried about. I've stopped using steroids for now and just concentrating on copious amounts of white soft paraffin.

23 years old and I look like an old woman!

For an update on my monthly photos, I'll be sorting out that post probably on Tuesday though I have to admit I did become rather lax in taking them daily. It does give you the idea though!


Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Same Old Itchy Story

After having had a couple of manageable days after such a long stretch of bad ones, I'm in a bad way again. I have no idea what has caused the flare this time but I do know that it came on at about 10pm last night. The right hand side of my face went bright red and so, so itchy. I smothered myself in emollient ointment, white soft paraffin, took an antihistamine and off to bed I went. I woke up after an hour of not so deep sleep to find my face to be soaking wet. It was absolutely drenched with weeping skin. Mmmm. I was so tired that I just took a tissue and stuck it to the entire area so that it would absorb to the tissue and not my pillow. This morning I've woken up and my face is a bit grim. So yeah, not sure what to pinpoint as the culprit... and this is how it always is. I make diaries to document things I've done/ become exposed to, food I've eaten and my mood but there never seems to be a pattern. :(


 

 


Haha excuse the state of my hair. There's bed hair then there's my hair. Mental.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

I'm just a little flakey

Just thought I'd show you all what I've been contending with for these past few mornings. Delicious flakes. Mmmm!


 

And a beautiful close-up...


 

"Oooh that's a keeper!" I think Gold Member from Austin Powers would be having a field day.

Monday, 18 March 2013

The Ability To Get Dressed & Eczema

Does anyone else's eczema prevent them from getting dressed?

My skin is so, so sore and weepy that putting clothing on will just exacerbate the situation and make it worse. I need to make sure my moisturiser has sunk into my ever-thirsty skin before I can even contemplate the idea of clothing because the sticky heat that it brings just sets off my heat urticaria, not to mention ruins my clothes! But even when it has been absorbed I still have to put up with the weeping skin sticking to my clothing and thus taking in fibres/ dust whatever the hell foreign body that shouldn't go any where near my wounds and for these reasons I cannot get dressed. I am a sticky, sore, weeping mess.

Today is a catch 22 situation. I need to go to see the doctor to get some antibiotics because my skin is so inflamed, burning and weeping that moisturising alone just isn't going to help and I suspect it is infected... but I can't get dressed.

I've rang my derm nurse at the hospital to let her know but there will be little that anyone can do for me because at the end of the day I need to be examined by a doctor, and I sure as hell won't be inviting them in for a home visit to see my nakedness in all its glory. It's a sad time when this happens because I know I need to go get help, but my body is cruel and won't allow me to go get these resources to make it better.

Stuck in a rut :(

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Documenting My Skin 14/3

So I can't be bothered to keep doing single installments of my days throughout the month so I'll let you wait until the end to show you the full montage of images displaying my skin. Though I have to put my hands up and admit there have been a couple of days where I've simply forgotten to snap an image because the camera hasn't been in reach/ been too tired and what not.

I thought I'd include a few pictures of how my skin was this morning though. It doesn't really show close-ups of the entirety of my face, which admittedly was rather grim, but it does give you an idea.





Since having showered and moisturised my face is now lovely and blotchy. Sometimes I'm not sure which stage I prefer... the incredibly dry, tight and cracked stage that peels off and weeps with huge discomfort, or the moisturised blotchy stage where the skin feels red, inflamed, itchy and just as uncomfortable/ intolerable. There's no happy medium. When my skin is bad, it's bad.

Unfortunately I'm working today and doing a food shop straight after so no doubt I'll be a bit of a mess tonight, as I inevitably am after a day of work. Those who say they're "allergic to work" say hello to me, I actually am!

Monday, 11 March 2013

Reaching A Mile Stone: & How I Feel Today

Wow guys I've finally hit 3,500 views and it's only been 6 weeks. Thanks for coming to visit and please do share my blog around if you think it could benefit or even educate someone else :)

After a reasonably good day yesterday my eczema has decided to do that thing where it just randomly goes bad, swells, itches and weeps. I woke up this morning with my eyes swollen and massively encrusted in dry yellow weepy skin - yummy! But once again have no idea what to pinpoint as the culprit as I did have a reasonably good day yesterday and didn't eat anything out of the ordinary.

Today I'm having a recovery day, applying copious amounts of moisturiser, guzzling antihistamines and have pleaded with another colleague to cover my shift. He's such a star <3 but of course as I explained in my last post, means that I am losing out on money much needed. Never mind.

Check out this video I found on Youtube relating to allergies. It's so relatable and made me laugh xD

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Adult Atopic Eczema

As an adult sufferer of severe chronic eczema it's often hard to feel accepted and to know that other people are suffering the exact same thing due to the fact that most people's view of eczema is only from knowing it in its mild form. From having that stand point, I find many people don't really understand just what people like myself are going through on a daily basis. I've had a number of people congratulate me on creating this blog because they have finally found someone who is going through the same thing as they are. This is of course great as it means that I've had people to chat about the various highs and lows, what medications to use, how they cope etc.

Of course we have fantastic resources such as the National Eczema Society to go to, but sometimes it's nice to know that real people understand your woes and your need to get better to fulfill what could be considered a normal life. Not only this, but I believe that being honest and open about conditions, like I have with including images of my skin on a daily basis, and divulging the facts of how I have been forced to adapt and cope is also helpful in spreading awareness and even to act as a hub of information for other sufferers to gain some form of solace from.

I find many websites and even health services are more aimed towards children with atopic eczema and what parents should be doing etc. Where are the websites and services for those who have adult eczema? Eczema that only became a severe form in adulthood? OK, I understand that as an adult I don't need creams to be applied and that kind of thing (well sometimes I do if it's somewhere I can't quite reach but I seem to be a lot more flexible now!) but I still suffer from the other associated things. I cry when it is too much to bare in terms of itchiness and soreness, I do get embarrassed about it when people stare and say things, I need to have many tasks performed for me in fear of exacerbating my condition and making it worse. When I'm in such a state I feel like an invalid. I need to be constantly reminded not to scratch and even have force used against me if I'm undergoing a mad scratching frenzy.

As an adult, I feel we need more support than ever. Being a child you're under the care of your parent who pays for you to live; they pay the bills, ensure food is on the table and all those sorts of things that a child wouldn't ever have to even contemplate because they are exempt from the grown up world. An adult with atopic eczema will have such a hard time, especially if others are misinformed of their condition. I have been very lucky that work understand to a degree that when I'm bad, I can't come in to work, but that doesn't mean that things like my end of year bonus and my sickness record aren't affected by my inability to go in to work. It's these little consequences that annoy me as generally I will find myself unable to work on the days that work falls, and by the time I've recovered enough it hasn't even been a week and so I lose out on sick pay. Money that is necessary to fund my existence.

You may be wondering why I haven't applied for benefits if this is the case. Well, in actual fact I have. But because Shane is working we aren't entitled to anything. We have to live in the house we live in because it is modern, clean and large enough to fit in our possessions. But houses like this come with a higher price tag which we frequently struggle with some months. Don't worry our bills are always paid on time but working in an overdraft every month isn't exactly ideal.

If I didn't have Shane to support me I'm not sure how I would cope and I know there are many sufferers out there who don't have partners to support them. It is for this reason I feel that adult eczema should be more recognised. As I've said before, eczema isn't always a little bit of itchy skin that can be remedied, it can be so much worse; a daily, weekly, monthly, yearly battle of trying to control and regulate. The skin is the bodies largest organ, so just take a moment to take in the fact that someone who is suffering quite literally from head to toe is going through a very tough time.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Documenting My Eczema 5th- 8th March 2013

So I'm back with my next installment of photographs from the 5th - 8th March. As I said last time, I apologise in advance for my facial expressions. Especially the one from this morning. I really struggled to keep my eyes open haha!



              Morning 5th                                              Evening 5th



Morning of the 6th (seem to have forgotten to get one for the evening -oops!)



     Morning of the 7th : Evening of the 7th (Shane was making me laugh, despite the state of my skin!)


Morning of the 8th


So as you can see last night was especially bad for me and I have to retire early to have a nice relaxing shower/ bath and it's still not brilliant this morning. Hmpf.

Monday, 4 March 2013

Documenting My Skin 02/03/04 of March

Today I've woken up and my skin isn't so good. Yesterday I could feel my skin becoming tight and weepy when I got home from work but Shane's parents had driven him back from his Silverstone Half Marathon Race so we went out for a meal. Prior to leaving the house I took one of my Hydroxyzine antihistamines which can make you drowsy as hell. By the time we got in I zonked out on the couch for around 3 hours before dragging myself up to bed, somehow managing to take a photograph, and remaining asleep for a further 9 hours! Must have needed it.

Luckily I haven't been rota'd in for work tonight so I'll use today as a recovery day which I definitely need. I'm having to constantly moisturise after all.

     
                 2/3/2013 Morning                                          2/3/2013 Night

 
                   3/3/2013 Morning                                                3/3/2013 Night


4/3/2013 Morning

      
I thought I would include a close up of my face this morning as it looked rather lovely and grim.
Sorry that the pictures don't all match up and what not, I really can't be chewed today. Just need to relax and be kind to my skin!

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Photographing Eczema Daily 01/03

So staying true to my word, I have started to take photographs of my skin, seconds after waking up on a morning and just before I hop into bed on a night time. I decided to take the photographs of just my face because even though I suffer with eczema from head to toe, a) it tends to be more prominent on my face and b) I think it would be a bit rude and too much to take full body photographs of myself, especially because a lot of people I know will read this. Not only this, but I'm unable to even wear underwear some days so yeah, a pretty impossible task really...

Beware though, I've taken photos to show just how it is, so there's no Photoshopping and I'm probably blinking or pulling some pained "I've just woken up" or whatever expression as they literally were taken seconds after getting out of bed. This camera also isn't the greatest either. I would use my fancy DSLR but I've lost the charger :(


01/03/2013 Morning Photo

01/03/2013 Night Photo

It isn't too bad in these pictures, my skin tends to pale out when I sleep. I'm guessing that's something to do with my nervous system? But you can certainly see some of the dryness on my face.

The night time photo you can see I'm starting to get a bit blotchy. I tend to be really itchy when I get in from work. I guess it's just being exposed to a level of dust there. But yeah, my hair is a mess from scratching my scalp. Naughty! You can also see some yummy skin dandruff on my black vest top too. The joys of dermatitis.

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I've been taking Mycophenolate for a week now. Can't really report any changes really. I had a bad flare on Wednesday that made me housebound and unable to dress for the majority of the day and my skin has been very dry but I'm going to put that down to the light therapy as that is one of the side effects. I'm back to being a human pin cushion which doesn't exactly fill me with joy. I'm completely used to having blood tests but I'll still forever flinch as the needle goes into my arm. Stupid reflexes.

Hope everyone is doing OK :)