Shout out to Albin @ http://www.albinjo.com for the dope logo illustrations! Make sure to hit him up if you need any work done 😎
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! ❤
(click continue reading below for more!)
Random Question… Who else hasn’t shaved their legs in forever because of healing eczema?? 😂😂😂 It’s literally been YEARS for me! At one point my legs stopped growing hair all together because of terrible flares, as it’s healed the hair has grown in more and more. I found no reason to bother shaving because A. I didn’t want to irritate the skin more even if it was healing nicely & B. I wasn’t showing off my legs like that anyways, just too self conscious at times. I was noticing just yesterday how smooth my legs are becoming, barely any flaking, even the thickened “elephant skin” is smoothing out…and I said to myself, “wow I might actually be able to shave soon!” 😂 Gotta love the little victories in this healing process! I think I’ll actually be looking forward to shaving once I’m comfortable enough. I pray you all are well today, staying strong and keeping the faith in your body’s natural ability to heal 🙏 I know how aggravating and lengthy this process is (I’m 5 years TS free! So BELIEVE me I know!) but hang in there…each day is a step closer to healing and a day more that you’re free from the bondage of topical steroids! Celebrate the mini victories and give gratitude for each day, good or bad. Trust in your body, it is your temple, it knows exactly what it’s doing! My sayings are “this time set for healing is truly only a fraction of your life” and “it didn’t take overnight for the toxicity to accumulate, so it won’t take overnight to heal…but it WILL heal!” Keep those things in mind and always have patience.
Peace & Love to you all 💜✌️
It’s been quite awhile since I’ve put a blog post up, but I shall be posting more frequently soon!
I hope everyone is enjoying this holiday season and spreading love and giving thanks! It seems like we need an overflow of love more now than ever.
I’ve especially been giving thanks for all that God has brought me through this year. 2016 has been a rough road for sure. It’s been a year and 3 months since I’ve relocated to Florida and I’m so amazed at how far I’ve come! From September 2015-December 2015 I was in such a state. Just flying down from Nyc to Florida was difficult and I barely left the house because of the terrible shape my feet were in. I experienced intense pain, nerve tingles, oozing and extreme shedding from my legs down. Thankfully these symptoms started to taper off, and I was able to go out and be more active around springtime. This past summer I experienced even better healing progress! I’ve stayed with clear skin pretty consistently since the end of summer, with the exception of a few spots on my feet that occasionally get irritated, with some discolouration taking it’s time to even out. (I’ve been using a diy essential oil lotion for the discolouration which you can find more info about here…number 6)
Just last month I progressed to comfortably wearing socks and sneakers…something I haven’t done since spring 2015! Thankfully I live in a warm enough climate where I can get away with sandals in the fall/winter 😂 I even started driving again, something that I haven’t done since 2010!! I’ve been sleeping better, not experiencing any oozing (except for those few spots on my feet), very little shedding of skin, zero pain, and only itchiness from my knees down! The wrinkling or elephant skin has gone down a lot and will only continue to go down (although it still persists on bends of my feet unfortunately). I remember last year having such torn up fingers that just water alone would irritate them, leaving me in an itch fest. Thankfully the skin has gotten stronger and doesn’t irritate me like before! (I shall post healing photos in a separate post before the end of the year)
All of these wonderful progressions came at the exact right time as my mother has been dealing with her own health issues. I know God has a plan because as I was struggling with my health, my mother was there to see me through. Now that I’m doing much better, I’m strong enough to reciprocate and help my mother through her healing process. She was diagnosed with Meningitis and it progressed to swelling and a lot of scar tissue on her spine which started to effect her walking, gave her intense numbness and nerve pain. 3 spinal surgeries later (due to complications), and she’s been slowly healing with the help of physical therapy and the assistance of a walker & a wheelchair. I hate that this is the current situation, but I give thanks that I am strong enough to take on the day to day responsibilities. It truly shows that everything happens at it’s right time.
It’s so hard to see her like this, especially when she is in such pain. She has been my strength through all of my health trials & exhibits that same strength to battle through her own healing process. Even as she experiences set backs like recently, she still keeps such a positive attitude and keeps the faith & hope. She knows that this is temporary and that she WILL heal. I keep reminding her of what I have come to know with my healing journey that “healing isn’t linear” that there will be many ups and downs, just because the body takes awhile to repair, but to trust it because it WILL repair. She reflects that exact same faith that she has instilled in me all of these many years, even when she isn’t having such a great day or as the medical bills continue to pile up. She knows to give thanks and to keep continuing to praise God as he has brought us through struggles before and he WILL do it again! She’s doing the work, staying postitve, eating well (she’s been vegan for a year now!), and even using her own home remedies for cell regeneration and scar tissue with the helichrysum and frankinscense essential oil along with many other oils for pain, numbeness and weakness.
I just want to send this message out to all of you who come across my site and who are suffering. I’m thankful for all of the kind words and emails that I receive and I continue to strive to be of service to you all in any way that I can. I know how hard it is to heal your skin. I know first hand the excruciating pain and suffering. I know the excitement of waking up pain free, or showering pain free! I’ve experienced the many many ups and downs of this healing journey and as I’ve said before I am so thankful that I’ve endured it and never gave up, going through topical steroid withdrawal is the best decision I’ve ever made! Now there were many times where I just wanted to throw in the towel, but I knew that I had to keep my trust and faith in God, and keep believing deep down that this is temporary and it will end…that it is only a fraction of my life taken to heal and I will be much stronger, healthier and appreciative for life afterwards. When you are feeling like you cannot go on, just dig a little deeper. Just make it through the day and know that tomorrow will be better, that seeing tomorrow means one more day closer to a healthier you! Look towards the future and all of the awesome things you will do, and how you will never take anything for granted. Have gratitude every single day, even when you are in extreme pain, because the pain has to happen for the body to heal and repair, give thanks that your body is cleansing properly to get you healthy again.
I pray that everyone has a blessed holiday season and healing success and continued blessing for the new year! Never give up, just take it all one day at a time and have constant gratitude. Reach out to others who are suffering are in need of love, it will ease you out of your pain and give you a boost to keep going. Encourage someone who is in a tough spot and spread love whenever you can, not only in this holiday season but every day of the year!
God bless you Eczema Warriors! Feel free to reach out to me if you’d like at my email address: email@example.com
Here it is finally, my summer 2016 healing update! I guess being that today is the first day of fall, it’s better that I get it in today, better now than never! It’s been a little while since I’ve given an update with pictures and such, so here it is!
Yup, you read that title right… March 2016 marks four whole years that I’ve been topical steroid free! It’s pretty amazing when I look back at all that I’ve endured, physically, mentally & emotionally. This post is kind of bittersweet because on one hand I have nothing but gratitude in my heart that I’ve come this far but on the other hand I wish I could be writing this saying that I’m completely healed and back to my normal life. Now this isn’t to discourage anyone…healing DOES happen. In my case it’s taking awhile. If you’re new to my blog I think it’s best for me to give some background of my history. I used topical steroids from 10 months old to 26 years old. I also had injections of (I believe) triamcinolone into my hands and feet multiple times. I was diagnosed with stage 3 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2008, which I underwent 6 months of chemo twice a month (it’s said chemo has a half life in the body up to 10-12 years!). So needless to say I’ve had A LOT of toxic build up in my body, hence my lengthy withdrawal. Buuuut I’m apparently right around the time as far as healing times go. Supposedly for every 7 years you’ve used TS you will go through a year of withdrawal. So although actually 28 years of usage would equal 4 years of withdrawal, I’m not too far off, plus I have the “added bonus” of injections and chemo 😦 . Everyone is different and depending on your usage and potency you may have a shorter or longer healing time than myself, so don’t be alarmed by my lengthy healing time… you may restore faster than me, it just all depends.
I had been reading a little bit about fasting and specifically water fasting and wanted to give a go. I’m always looking into natural remedies that I can try out, and fasting is one of the best ways to give our bodies a break and let it heal on its own. Just days before my 3 day fast, I was an oozy mess. My legs were sticking to my sheets (from the ooze coming out and drying on the sheets) and I was having this uncomfortable, achy, heavy pain in both of my legs and feet. That odd throbbing pain seems to happen when the skin is cracked, open and oozing. My skin also itched and flaked a decent amount the night before the first day of the 3 day fast, and shed even more the morning of.
Before I go into my experience, let me give you some info on why in the world someone would want to go days without food, only consuming water, and how to do it safely.
Here’s a little “part two” of my emollient experimentation 😉
You can check out my DIY essential oil lotion and see what I added to it the first time around. I kept this mix a bit simple with only 4 essential oils this time, and I made the consistency a bit thicker so it’s more like a cream instead of a lotion. Since using this blend, I’ve found that I like it better with this consistency than the lotion. Using less olive oil and less essential oils made it more like a thick, fluffy cream instead of liquidy.
The newest addition to this mix is helichrysum essential oil, which is a game changer for skin health. I’m so glad I started incorporating this healing oil to my moisturizer because of it’s awesome restorative properties! It feels really smooth when applying and it locks the moisture in well enough to where I don’t really need to reapply too often. It’s weird, but in a way I feel like it’s almost drawing out the dead skin to where my skin is sloughing off flakes somewhat more often. I suppose it’s just the skin cells regenerating at a faster rate, this property is due to the helichrysum oil.
I’ve been experiencing some super annoying irritation on my hands lately. Cracks in the lines of my palms and rawness in between the fingers. This has been making everything much more challenging because of the pain I feel in doing the most normal chores. Just getting my hands wet would burn like crazy and leave me crying waiting for the tingling and intense itch to calm down. Because of this symptom, I’ve been keeping my hands as dry as possible, using loose fitting plastic gloves to do anything (chopping up veggies, brushing my teeth, washing up my body). The skin is trying so hard to form a new layer and every time it gets wet it’s just ripped off, left exposed and oozy 😔
October was thankfully a pretty great month for me! It had been a full month since I had been in Florida and my body had finally acclimated to my new environment. It took me a minute for my body to calm down from the stress that I was experiencing from the month before. Upon coming to Florida from New York, I was packing, getting my things together trying to not stress out on the day to day chores and such and my skin was already in a state, so of course it just started to get worse. When I got to Florida on the first of September, I was going through crazy insomnia, on and off oozing, chills and feverish symptoms. It wasn’t until the end of September that I started to feel a lot better. My sleep slowly started to improve, the skin that I was shedding (MASSIVE amounts at that) was becoming less and less and my oozing was calming down. I was experiencing oozing on my legs so badly that I was sticking to my sheets 😦