Week Five, Overwhelm

I just finished my fifth week. Weeks 3 and 4 were the worst I’ve had so far: many horrible days of white-knuckling through the pain, oozing, and lack of sleep. Looking back, I’m not sure how I got through it and I really hope it never gets that bad again. One thing I think TSWers should do is ask their doctors for vicodin. I just did and I can’t believe it took me so long to think of that. There just comes a point where the pain and suffering feel overwhelming and cause their own problem of soreness and exhaustion. Here’s to hoping a good painkiller will make those “surging” days a little more bearable in the next month.

Otherwise, I’m still using the Domeboro, Epsom salt baths, Vaseline, and hydroxyzine (antihistamine). I’ve been able to rely a little less on the ice this week, which feels like progress. My skin is still weeping in spots (inside of elbows, neck, chest, and eyes), though there are less of them and they are weeping less intensely. The swelling has gone down by about 50%. Overall my skin feels and looks like red sandpaper. It’s extremely hard not to scratch the itch, even when I know all the reasons I shouldn’t. It’s a constant battle.

I went out for a ten-minute walk yesterday at noon, with a hat, sunglasses, and covering clothing. It felt good to move my body and be outside. I think on my good days I need to make sure I do some basic stretching because I feel so sore and stiff all over. I’ve noticed that because of the pain, I try to find a comfortable position and then hold it as long as possible. So when I’m sitting on the couch, for example, I don’t move. It keeps me comfortable, but then later I feel broken as a result.

The other thing I’ve been trying to do is take my mind elsewhere. That can be sooooo hard when you’re burning, oozing, and itching! A few times it’s been so painful that I’ve taken some sleeping pills and slept off the worst hours. I’ve watched a lot of movies and listened to a couple of audiobooks. I’ve been trying to practice a basic form of meditation (just focusing on my breath) to calm down and keep from scratching, but I feel like I haven’t been very successful at all with that. Must keep trying.

photo 1

Still pretty red and irritated with some patches of oozing.

photo 2

My hand after five weeks. Sorry for crappy iPhone pictures.



Filed under topical steroid withdrawal

4 responses to “Week Five, Overwhelm

  1. Hey there! You’re so strong through all this and your a real inspiration to me to keep going. Stay brave- every day you get closer to being healed.

  2. mjennings26

    Thanks so much for stopping by, Khai, and for the words of encouragement. I read around on your blog and it seems like you’re making good progress, inspiring!

  3. The first few months are the hardest! I watched lots of tv shows and played candy crush haha. My husband is taking mulungu for his insomnia and it seems to be helping. For me sleeping whenever I can helped the most, but I’m not sure if you can do that. Good luck and stay strong!

  4. mjennings26

    Thanks for the support, Esther! I just looked at your pictures after year one. You’re giving me hope.

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