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Saturday, 25 January 2014

Happy Birthday I Have Eczema Blog!

Tomorrow will mark 1 year since this here blog has been up and running. No doubt there will be a celebration of cake to mark the occasion... any excuse for cake in this household!

This blog matter has come a very long way though seeing as I originally started it up to inform others about how severe eczema can be as a condition, only to then learn that the reason I was suffering so terribly was because I had gone on to develop a condition called topical steroid addiction. It has changed my life now knowing what I am suffering from.

I have also been subject to some very exciting opportunities which have only happened because of this blog such as writing for Talkhealth, having an article printed in a nationwide magazine, writing guest posts on other people's blogs and even taking part in competitions that my readers have also benefited from. I've reached over 80,000 page views which is absolutely fantastic to know that I have been able to reach out to so, so many people over this past year. Your emails and comments help keep me going and I really cherish them, even if I can be lax in responding (I'm sorry!).

Unfortunately there are no celebrations to surround my skin. It still isn't letting up just yet, despite my best efforts to try to keep it under some form of control. Just seems to be one of those annoying inexorable things that comes part and parcel with topical steroid withdrawal.

 Right side of face

 Left side of  face

Neck

 Part of breast

Torso

Monday, 20 January 2014

8 Months Into Topical Steroid Withdrawal

This Wednesday will mark my 8 months of topical steroid withdrawal. The flare that came about last weekend is still prominent and I can't seem to quite shake it off. Alongside this I have also developed another sodding cold sore. Just what I need!

The flare has traveled down my neck, onto my chest, breasts and spreading down my torso much to my annoyance. My arms are still a bit of a state and my legs still bear the wounds from last summer, however it is mostly just scarred and pigmented skin now, though round my knees I still have active "eczema".

I haven't let my skin stop me from doing anything though. I've been going to work as normal and not felt too uncomfortable. I've also made a point of going out and doing stuff when I'm not necessarily required to as well. I was trying to explain it to my friends but it kind of feels like more of an annoyance than anything because mentally I feel able to face the world and cope, but my body has just decided to let me down a bit... whereas before when I was like this, everything seemed entirely hopeless and my body was so bad that I was unable to do anything even mentally if that makes any grain of sense? I think it could be that I've come out of a state of depression and as with the progression of the withdrawal some of my energies have returned so I am able to fight it off more readily.

I've started to take Vitamin D supplements so hopefully these will help me out soon.

Hope everyone is doing ok?


Stupid cold sores and reddish face >:(


Check that white leg out! *proud*

Scarring

Chest is a bit of a mess and you can see the contrasting skin tones

Monday, 13 January 2014

2014 Eczema Flare: Topical Steroid Withdrawal

Ok so this is annoying. After a particularly good stint I guess it was only a matter of time.






Not sure what has brought this on but needless to say I'm not a happy bunny.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Hopes for 2014

Wow. What a year 2013 was. I thought 2012 was my worst year in history for my health however 2013 managed to trump it by far. I reached an all new low of constant skin infections, finding out about the effects of topical steroid addiction and how the withdrawal process is one of the most shockingly horrendous and disgusting procedures that one can undertake, and that it's all thanks to doctors, who are supposed to make us better yet in fact make us worse.

So much has been sacrificed because of my health; friendships, happiness, the happiness of others, life in general etc. This year I think the only possible route is up, up and away, to leave the past behind me and to open new doors that aren't so exclusively interlinked with my health.

It has now been 5 years since I have truly suffered with "eczema" and I feel as though I've wasted so much time succumbed to my illness that I've lost sight of how life should be. It shouldn't all be doom and gloom as it has been. Sure, I've still managed to achieve a lot in that time and I am thankful that it has actually offered me some great opportunities that it otherwise wouldn't have but it has also prevented me from doing so much too. I think this is the year that I give my health the finger and try to find true happiness, to finally become confident in myself and my abilities and to move forwards.

I have so many regrets of opportunities missed that I can only blame on my health and my own selfish nature, and in turn have lost sight of who I really am and which direction I would like my life to go in. I feel as though I have failed myself in ways and that I should have experienced so much more in life by now.

This year I'm going to stop blaming myself for my shortcomings as I think that is the only way that I can ever truly move forward. I intend to become a much more positive person and help others around me whilst striving to be the best version of me that I can be. I want to grab life by the horns and just live it. I want to get out there and do stuff, see new places and meet new people. I want to take risks and be carefree (or as carefree as I dare to be) and to just find a sense of true happiness.

I want this year to be the best yet, or at the very least, better than last year.

Here's to a new year of challenges and happiness.

I wish you all the very best xxx


Shane finished his 1000km challenge on New Years Eve, running his 53rd race and reaching a total of 1093.48km. It has been tough year for both of us with him running every weekend when I felt I needed him most but it just shows how determined he is to make a change and to raise money for those suffering dearly from eczema. Fortunately the sun bleached out my face but I think you can still tell that I'm much better than I was this time last year. Here's to an even bigger improvement for the end of this year!