Today, August 27th 2017 is my 32nd birthday! I seriously can’t believe sometimes that I’m in my 3os AHHHHHH! Although getting older can be daunting at times, I’m so very thankful for reaching another year, stronger, healthier and wiser than the last. I’m always in awe of all that I’ve been through with my health and how I’m still here…even after many times of, well honestly wanting to not be here. It’s sad to talk about but at my lowest of lowest moments I had a lot of mental & emotional turmoil within, where I didn’t want to live to only see the next day struggling in my body again. I give thanks to God that He gave me the strength to keep pushing, to KNOW that things won’t always be this way, that in time it will get better, and my body WILL heal.
“This too shall pass.”
Psalm 30:5 “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.”
At this moment as I type this I’m not in an agonizing pain with an intense itch. I only have some irritation around my mouth (little cuts that are oh so stubborn to heal up already) that can be painful at times and tight to where it’s hard to open my mouth. I’m not complaining though because it was only two years ago on my birthday I remember being stuck in the house with oozy achy feet. My bestie who lived with me at the time was so sweet and brought home vegan cupcakes and balloons for me, and another bestie of mine came to visit with gifts as well! I do wish I was back in New York with my friends, partying it up this past weekend, maybe going to a concert and out to dinner…but I’m thankful that I’m here, alive, breathing, in good health that will only continue to get better and better!
I give thanks that I have the strength to take care of my mom who had 3 spinal surgeries last year and is recovering with the use of a walker and a wheelchair. It can be hard to see her struggle with numb & weak legs and feet, but her positive attitude and resilience shows me that no matter how hard it gets never give up, and continue to have faith and hope! Through my struggles and experience I can assure her that healing does indeed take time, and that the patience that I had to learn through my healing process is the same virtue that she must adopt (she can be like me at times and want it to hurry up and end already lol). I give thanks that the mother who gave birth to me 32 years ago and who has been there with me through it all can now lean on me as I help to take care of her. I know that my future birthdays will be bright with even better health, great experiences and adventures!
As I reflect on this past year, my heart is full of gratitude for the ups and even the downs as it strengthened me, for those who helped in anyway possible as it showed me that there are kind people out there willing to lend a hand and to not always feel like I have it under control, that I can be vulnerable and ask for help. I have gratitude for my environment, for the healing sun rays that I’ve definitely taken advantage of this year and the healing plant based foods that I’ve been able to get living here in Florida. I have gratitude for my body, for healing so nicely and never letting me down…even in the days when I would look down at my skin and scream at it, wondering why it’s flaring again…why is this my body…then of course I’d lovingly take back those words and speak life into myself, close my eyes and pray over my body and envision only clear healthy skin. I give thanks for my family, friends and all of those whom I’ve met through this website, instagram and facebook support groups, always giving me encouraging words and giving me blessings and thanks for the work that I do just helping them out on their healing journey. I’m so thankful for another birthday, and I look forward to all of the amazing things that are ahead of me! ❤
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Improvements in my skin & overall health these days:
- I can shower with zero pain, no burning during showering, and no burning, itching and tingling pain when I come out of the shower.
- I barely shed skin flakes any more, it’s basically just a light dusting if that much (mainly on my legs), not huge dime size to quarter sized pieces anymore thank goodness!
- I can sleep through the night without being awake for hours at a time in an endless itch scratch cycle, and I’m sleeping a lot deeper as well. I love feeling rested and actually waking up early for a change!
- My skin is smoothing out in more areas, even if it’s taking a slow time to do so, I see the progress and I’m so thankful for it. I still have thickened, wrinkled areas but it’s getting there.
- I don’t ooze like crazy anymore, it may be a few tiny spots here and there usually on my feet and legs but it clears up in a short time.
- I can tolerate soaking up the sunshine more to where it’s not making me feel overheated or like my skin is starting to get irritated. It feels great on my body!
- Sweating doesn’t leave me in a crazy itch frenzy like before, I still have some irritation behind my knees at times if I sweat too much but it calms down once it dries.
- I can wear sneakers with no problem as I mentioned before, a huge accomplishment for me!
- I have a lot more energy in the day to get all of the many things I need to get done without feeling like I need to take a nap mid day.
Below are some progress pics. It has been such a while since I have posted some healing photos, so you will see there are some gaps. It has been a lot of small ups and downs since the new year…just a lot of mini flares then calm periods. I didn’t bother to really document each month and post because it was a lot of the same symptoms. I really started to see good progress when I started implementing bentonite clay into my regime. I will make a paste of it, one part clay to two parts water, stir and apply to freshly washed (with just water) and dried skin. I let the clay dry on the skin for as long as I can stand it then wash it off. It goes on pretty cool, but I noticed if I’ve scratched the skin beforehand it can burn slightly a few minutes after applying. I try to leave it on at least for 10 minutes. If you’re interested in purchasing some you can get it at one of my favourite retailers, Vitacost. You can get the clay and a whole lot of amazing products at this site for discounted prices! I’ll make sure to do a separate post about the bentonite clay and it’s benefits in the future!
Below you will also see some gnarly photos of my feet from the very beginning of TSW. It’s been such a crazy roller coaster of a ride, and it really shows the severity of the symptoms. It also shows just how truly amazing the body is at self-healing. I’m so in awe all of the time of how it can literally build itself back up again after detox or trauma. 5 years and 5 months topical steroid free and I can honestly say I’m about 90% clear! I still have some wrinkles, discolouration and blotchiness which you will see below, but the flaking has gone down significantly, the oozing as well and no more aches and pains like how I’d experience in my legs and feet! Do I wish I would be a whole lot more clear by now?? Heck Yeah! But I have to keep reminding myself that I have 26 years of topical steroid use, injections and I had chemo years ago (2008) for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma which has a half life of up to 12 years to stay in the body! Keeping all of those things in perspective keeps my mind right, and reminds me that not everyone heals at the same time, everyone’s body is different and that’s ok!
APRIL 4 2017 – The pics below is what it looks like when my skin has gone through the oozing and now it’s in the dry, crusted stage. It’s not pretty at all and can be quite uncomfy. It’s a lot better than the actual ooze though as that can be agony. When I’m going through an oozy period I like to take essential oil of oregano capsules. I will make my own of 4-6 drops of the oil (sometimes I add frankincense for pain and inflammation) into a veggie capsules and I’ll take this every 6-8 hours depending on the severity of the ooze. The oregano oil is anti fungal, anti bacterial, anti septic and is basically like a natural antibiotic. This is my most effective remedy for the ooze, I’m always amazed at how fast it cleanses and clears it up!
If you are interested in this remedy you can purchase the 100% pure food and therapeutic grade oils that I get from HERE just click on the “shop” tab, they also have the veggie caps there too. That link is my mom’s store site, and by purchasing from me you help to support our small business!
AUG 9 2017 – My skin is finally calming down with no flaring. I’ve had flares on and off for years now with the flares becoming less and less intense and usually for a shorter duration. These photos are without any kind of moisturizer, so they are pretty dry, but I’m barely flaking anymore, just a light dusting if that much. You can see lots of wrinkles that look pretty awful but in all honestly this is STILL better than years past.