What a difference a day and some drugs make. A scratching and mental mess yesterday to skin clearing and regaining a bounce today. The physical difference was marked, but the mental changes were the most dramatic. I feel kind of sheepish now about my feelings of despair and frustration yesterday. The swing of skin and mind in the space of 24 hours is awesome and scary for me at the same time.
For anyone who has read any of my other posts, you are well aware my skin, frustration and confidence have been in a constant state of flux for some time now. I wrote yesterday about my rash and a meltdown into a scratching mess. My hands a brief blur, scratching and rubbing my forehead.
This episode was a culmination of a rash that had built over the matter of a few days. Some small bumps on my shoulder gradually spread down my shoulder blade and up my neck. During work in the day, I had felt the rash get itchier and itchier. The bumps getting bigger as I summoned up all the willpower to moisturise rather than scratch. I was applying moisturiser every half hour to try and suppress the rash with only temporary relief. Suddenly it took off that night and I woke up with it all over my back.
I am SO glad I have my mitts to wear to bed or I would have found a way to tear my back to shreds. I am frequently surprised how I can get scratches in place I swear I cant reach. I also know how hard I scratch during the day and yet the damage is usually tiny compared the free reign of night time.
I had resisted and resisted dipping into the steroid creams but yesterday I caved. Not only caved but dived in. Now using a combination of topical (creams and ointments for the skin directly) and oral (tablets) together. I had hit my mental breaking point and was prescribed a way to double team out of this flare-up. I am grabbing it with both hands. Any resolve or resistance scratched away over the previous days of decline.
It amazed me, waking the next morning that the redness and height of the rash had reduced so dramatically. The level of itch was down by at least 80%. This also made it a lot more obvious where I had created damage patches. I was proud of myself and a reward for moisturising and not scratching and protecting myself at night time.
Steroids are magical things. I am so glad my skin responds so well to them. They work so well that I believe there has to be a cost. I am still working that out but there just has to be. I think of Newton’s Laws of an equal and opposite reaction. I do not want to create a harm tomorrow that cannot be healed while fixing a frustration of today.
Aligning to this belief is my determination to allow as little skin damage as possible. This is way easier said than done and much easier to roll off the tongue when in a calm stable, scratch free state. The theory being that the less damage caused, the less healing required, the less heavy the treatment required. Also, the reduced mental and emotional impact as well.
I have mentioned it before but the dramatic impact a skin flare up has on my confidence and mental state concerns and disappoints me. This mental change from yesterday to today has been dramatic. I wanted to bury myself in a dark hole and not see anybody for months. The light seemed a long way off. My skin was my enemy, not my protector. I was fighting my own internal battle I could not escape and that distracted me from almost everything else in my life. Today this noise has been quietened and I can see the world around me again. I can actually look up and out.
A calm, fun, light and positivity has returned. A belief that I will be ok, at least for today has returned. This is more valuable than gold to me right now.
Over the past couple of years, as I have tried to wrestle my way out of this recurring flare up, I have noticed the importance of the mental strength and positivity. I have endured and made it through flare-ups for these moments and to be back to where I know I can be. My inside reflects my outside and vice versa. I do not know which one triggers first. My guess is they are both linked and it does not matter which one is struggling, the other will be quickly on its heels.
I need to become more resilient. I need to be stronger. I need to learn to stop one from corroding the other and bringing the whole castle down. Today is a good day. We are heading in the right direction, both mentally and physically. Again, this is a lot easier to say and commit to when in a good, clear, positive space.
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