So I caved. I had been so good and was proud of adjusting to the trial sugar, dairy and gluten free diet to help reduce the inflammation in my skin. My eczema has definitely been on the improve, but a lot of the factors holding me up I do not believe are long-term strategies. Steroids and light treatment are the main attack on my flare up but want to provide a stable base for a future of scratch-free skin.
I had had an amazing weekend for my birthday. We went whale watching, saw seals, albatross and dolphins plus had my first flight in a helicopter. The whale was amazing, though smaller than we expected. It was only a juvenile Humpback passing through on its migration. They apparently do not feed at great depths so Barney (our name due to barnacles near its blowhole), would dive for 5-10 minutes, then resurface for a couple, catch it’s breath and then a graceful dip, flash of the tail and gone again. We got to see Barney several times as the whole boat kept its eyes peeled to see where he would surface. We were also surprised at just how close to shore Barney was. Kaikoura is known for its plunging trench just offshore and this creates great feeding areas for the whales and other sea life.
The chopper ride was surreal and an amazing way to see the world. Was a fantastic way to see the landslides and rebuild of the road after the enormous 7.8 earthquake that rocked the region. The white rocks in the photos below were originally below the water and were thrust up by the earthquake by up to 6 metres. They now sit well above the waterline and bleach in the sun. The construction company has to employ 19 people just to help move the seals off the rocks when doing repairs.
The main thing was just a nice relaxing escape for Millie and myself. We had been through a rather stressful month prior. Millie’s cancer had flared up putting her in the hospital for a week, then we had a fortnight of full-on family support. This was amazing but also tiring, like celebrating Christmas 5 times in a week. This escape was just what we needed to recharge, reconnect and take a breath. We both loved it and ticked off some bucket list items or as we call it, making memories. Photos at the end.
I guess after that I was feeling a little entitled or just a buzz with experiences and did not want to miss out on my favourite relaxing indulgence, movie, popcorn, ice cream, lollies and soft drink. Much to Millie’s attempts to dissuade me, I was all in. Large popcorn, a large bag of pineapple lumps, large lemonade (this was my compromise that I did not get Coke) and an ice cream (to dip into the popcorn, ALWAYS!). Wow, it was good. The ice cream tasted super creamy and the soft drink syrupy sweet.
I justified it to myself as most diets have a blow out day to remind the body there are other foods out there. That was rubbish, I felt like it so I did it. It was a moment of weakness.
Later that night I returned to that bloated feeling, but that may have just been large popcorn and soft drink. I had difficulty getting to sleep as I had all of this sugar buzzing through my system as I ate it late at night. Millie commented that I was a lot scratchier than I had been, particularly in my sleep. Thank goodness for the mitts.
The next day redness had returned to my skin and I had to resort to a short blast of steroids to bring it back down. Hate doing this, but almost worth it.
I do regret having fallen off the diet deep down. After only one blow out, my cravings for sugar have taken about a month to die down again. I have returned to my diet but it was interesting to see. My bloated feeling has now gone (mostly) and my skin has remained settled. My skin infection had a wee flare up after my pig out but as also returned to again be settled.
It is hard to tell what has caused the improvement with light treatment, diet, increased exercise and improved mood all kicking in at the same time. Anyway, I will embrace it and am determined to stay on the diet until Christmas at least.
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