Saturday, February 8, 2014

Next Big Flare OR Bump in the Road?

For the last 3 days or so I have been absent from the computer.  Not sure what is happening to my skin as none of it is anything I have experienced before like this.  Not sure if this is just a big bump of a mini-flare, or the beginning of the next big flare I was hoping to avoid, but still thought might happen.  I've tried to give it a few days to see what happens, but I'm stagnant at this phase and it's nothing like a major flare, but more than my mini-flares that lasted a few hours.

It's hard to explain, but I will try....first off, if my hands were not so bad, I would still be working through what is happening's not debilitating or even stopping me from anything. I sleep all night, have no cold shivers, no redness, and no swelling.  My hands remain a mess so I am still out of work.  But, they no longer have that tight feeling that hurts to move.  I just have multiple sores everywhere from my fingers to my wrists. They ooze if scratched.  The rest of me has scattered sores like on my hands....ooze if scratched and showing no signs of healing.  The sores remain in my problem areas spreading of these areas so it is hard to define this as a flare. But there is more  itching than I was having and I'm  tired of the ooze smell. Sometimes when I scratch, I  just break open old scabs, but sometimes I am opening up new sores...the skin will just slough off with one scratch.  It's frustrating as I was healing so well.

My problem areas: hands, forearms (inner aspect only from wrists to elbow), ears, chin, neck, chest, ankles, and  left lower back. My legs look great otherwise as do my upper arms and 90% of my back. My feet are 95% clear....have a few tiny dots left over still healing but nothing new in this area).  I plan to take pictures after my bath today....maybe I will post them later today.

I cried a few times....scared this will turn into a big flare, but so far it remains the same.  It's been this way for 3 days with no new sores or spreading. In fact today my hands feel better even though they don't look better.  Not sure what this is again because it is nothing like my previous major flare.  The itching doesn't even compare.  The only thing that seems similar is the dead skin is growing in my house....had to vacuum extra this week  And will be changing my sheets an extra day earlier than normal.  And the ooze smell is the same.  But that is all that is similar. I only have pain when I scratch and break open the skin. Otherwise I am pain free. My neck will itch and ooze ever so slightly, but I can turn it without pain or discomfort.  If I had to compare it to anything, I would say it reminds me of the eczema I had as a teenager. It's annoying and itchy, but doesn't disturb me.  Of course my hands are more than annoying as I can't work with them having sores all over them, but otherwise I can function.  I  find myself though not wanting to go out in public because of how my hands look...I feel like a leper.  I feel people might be wondering if I'm contagious.  It's stupid I know,  but the redness never bothered me like these sores bother me.

As for what I am trying....UV lamp still not here, but my regular tanning is doing nothing for these sores. I just finished a round of antibiotics but again, no change in my hands. The antibiotic cream did nothing. I've switched a few things in my supplements that might have affected me....changed brands of my active folic acid and the dosage is much lower....went back to old brand yesterday....maybe that was impeding healing? I also added vitamins D and E to my mix. And my ND put me on low dose naltrexone to see if it would help. Naltrexone is a common drug used in hospitals to reverse the effects of opiates...given for drug overdoses.  However studies show it may boost the immune system.  Some people have found relief from auto-immune disorders with it.  It has no known side effects and it has been around for I thought I would give it a try.  I'm at the point where I feel my healing is stagnant....I don't feel like I have gone backwards, but I don't see any healing taking place and that's discouraging.  I know we all just want to be done with this - just get it over with so we can move on with our lives.  And while I still want to help others with TSW, I too just want it over with NOW. I'm done thinking about my skin. I'm done dealing with it. It's just getting old.

If I had to really think about it, I would definitely say this is a bump in the road, and not the next big flare. I have gone over 3 months without any major flaring....just these minor flares in isolated areas.  This affected all my isolated areas at once but no spreading occurred as well as no  redness or swelling. It's hard to determine as there doesn't seem to be a specific definition for a flare...I think it is individualized as we all have different presentations.  But my first 7 month long flare was severe and this doesn't even come remotely close to that flare. So I find it hard to categorize as an actual flare.  I'm going to give it a few more days...if no improvement in my hands by Monday,  then I will have to cancel my contract and be out of work for another few months. It will be a huge bummer and I will hate to see my hubby work overtime again, but if my hands won't heal while not working, they will only get worse if I go back to work. :(

Hope everyone else is having a decent day!!!!!!!!!!!


  1. Sad to hear you are having a rough time after so many good months. I can relate, as my skin was "healed" back in summer and I had many good months before my skin went downhill in October again. There is no rhyme or reason to this!

    I hope that this blip is short lived and that your skin returns to its good state again soon.

    Much love and empathy,

    Lou x

    1. Thanks love! It was thankfully a bump in the road! Seeing a lot of improvement tonight! The side of my right wrist is amazingly better than the picture in my next post! I will take a picture tomorrow to show a comparison at the quick healing going on! I think this winter weather is for the birds wreaking havoc on our skin! Hope you are doing well across the sea!! :)

  2. Maybe this is what your flares will be like now that you are on the supplements and/or doing MW? I really hope that its over quickly for you Tracy.

    1. Hi Amanda....since being on the supplements for the last 4 months, I was having mini-flares....short lived (hours only) in one area....then a day or 2 later, another micro-flare in another problem area. It would rotate like this and was manageable because there was no oozing, redness, or swelling....just itching and irritation. But then my hands got bad from work and my stress went way up last week with family things so I think I flared in all my problem areas all at once due to stress. Today was a turning point for me and things are quickly improving. So it was a bad bump, but not a major flare by any means. So I am very grateful! But it was scary not knowing which direction it was going to take! Hope you are doing well!!