When I first started TSW I really did not make any concrete plans on how I was going to deal with it. I knew after 30 years of use I was looking at a long and hard withdrawal. But since I went through a partial withdrawal 7 years before I was hoping for a lighter withdrawal - but unfortunately that has not been the case. So for the first 3 months I sunk into a deep depression because of the severity of my TSW and having to quit work. I did not try much to help my skin heal. But after 3 months I decided to try some things - the vitamins helped wake me up a bit so I had more energy to get things done. I then tried multiple things from a strict diet to herbal salves. Things seemed to get worse after starting the diet - my thinking was that my body had more nutrients to heal so it was "spreading" the healing causing me more itching, spreading and pain. I then tried juicing - hubby stated he noted I got much better (energy wise) with the juicing. I had to agree. Unfortunately I slipped with the juicing and vitamins with working once a week - that one day just made me tired enough where I just couldn't muster the energy to juice, grocery shop, and take all my vitamins. Then I slipped into another depression the past few weeks along with having really bad anxiety. I pretty much stopped everything except the diet and a few days of vitamins.
So last night hubby and I had a talk and I am back to planning things out for getting through this. I did some significant reading on others who have helped their eczema with juicing - there is one website of a lady who used topical steroids for over 20-30 years and decided to stop all creams and prescriptions and went on a very strict diet with one small meal a day with 2 juices. She got significantly better within about 6 months. She got worse before she got better (TSW I am sure but she did not know she was going through it seems). What she did is exactly what I was planning to do - 1 small meal with protein and 2 juices per day. Unfortunately doing dishes all day stopped me - we do not have a dishwasher so I have to wash all my dishes and then dishes for the kids' meals. Hubby decided we should get a dishwasher now - when we revamped the kitchen, we put a spot in for a dishwasher but just never got around to buying one as it was not a priority with all the other appliances and furniture we needed at the time.
To do this more than strict diet, I will need to NOT work for at least 3-4 weeks. Even the one day a week will throw me off, so hubby says no more work after next week - this gives us about 10 days to get a dishwasher and for me to put a plan together for meals for 3-4 weeks (then repeat the meal plan).
I am also doing some wrapping of my skin. Behind my knees have gotten REALLY bad. No matter how much Vaseline or salves I put on them - I tear them to shreds because of the itching and dryness. So last night I put on a little salve and then smeared it all over with my Vaseline. Then I placed 4x4 gauzes on them and wrapped them in more gauze. Then went to bed. Never itched all night on the back of my knees! They looked and felt so much better today! So this morning I wrapped my lower arms with the same things. They are slightly itchy but not to the point I HAVE to scratch. Going to try this on various parts of my body everyday if it continues to help.
So that is all for now - hoping to get this depression and anxiety lifted. It brings me down too much and that is not good for getting things done. Of course after speaking with many people from the support group, it is very obvious that anxiety and depression are all a part of this process - it is normal while dealing with all this. So I am going to accept it and do my best to realize its role in my life right now but find ways to get around it for a few hours each day. Of course it helps that I am now on day 2 of that time of the month and the pain and itching are already down by at least 25% since yesterday! I sooooo look forward to these monthly reprieves! I know I will flare in about 4-6 days again but for now I will enjoy my coming break!