My last update I wrote to you from Australia, where I was battling a flare and trying really hard to keep my skin from totally imploding.
Well, the implosion finally happened (I won’t be dramatic, wasn’t that bad), and now I’m finally seeing the other side.
Let me tell you how it went.
So as my flare progressed, I decided that yes, I did indeed need to move back to the Cook Islands. My skin was visibly damaged all over my body, and it wasn’t getting better.
I wrote in my previous update how I believed I had found “the magic bullet” and that if I simply went to a kind environment that didn’t irritate my skin (i.e. NOT Australia or New Zealand) then my skin would clear up pretty much instantly.
Now mid flare, it was time to put that theory to the test.
So, I landed in the Cook Islands and immediately, I felt better.
Just the air, it felt like my skin was happier here.
However, it didn’t quite turn out to be a “magic bullet” this time.
The next few weeks turned out to be incredibly bumpy.
I would go three days of serious improvement, thinking OMG! It’s working! And then I’d wake up the next day with a red flaky face, wondering what the heck is going on.
Then finally after about three weeks, I went into a full-on flare.
Now – when I say “full-on flare”, what I mean is my body went into full TSW symptom mode. That means redness, shedding lots of skin, and itching.
However, it does not mean it was anywhere close to the original flares I went through.
It was noticeably less severe, to the point I could still go out with friends and so on, and they would see the peeling on my face and the redness, and I would simply tell them, yeah my skin’s been playing up a bit lately, and then we’d never talk about it again.
Compared to my original flares where you couldn’t have paid me to leave the house, it’s not even close.
So back to the flare.
This flare was quite different to my previous flares.
Literally, my entire torso just wanted to shed skin.
I shed layers upon layers.
BUT – it wasn’t painful (for the most part).
There was no ooze and little bleeding.
Just lots and lots of skin.
I did have some of the old symptoms of soreness and redness, mostly on my neck and face. But it was manageable for the most part.
One thing I went back to was swimming in the pool, until I realised my skin noticeably worse the next day and after a few times, I figured out this time, the pool was NOT helping.
I think the pool helps if you have some surface infection and the staph on your skin is causing havoc. But otherwise, you probably don’t need the pool.
I started swimming in the ocean, and I believe that probably did help a little.
Keep in mind swimming is definitely not NMT, so if you’re on strict NMT, don’t think about swimming.
I also did go back to loose NMT rules – no moisturizers, keeping skin dry as possible, and water restriction at night.
My skin went through a roller coaster of ups and downs, before finally clearing up this last couple of weeks. So, magic bullet, no, but did it heal up eventually? Yes? And did I notice a difference in general being in a different environment? Yes.
It was probably around four months in total – but try to remember – this isn’t four months of pain and suffering, it’s four months of managing a flare, some good days and some bad days, sleeping well most nights, and just dealing with a flaky face for a couple of months. After what I’ve been through, it wasn’t too bad.
The most important thing I’ve learned through this flare is first – to stay at peace. Your skin knows what it’s doing and is simply trying to heal. It is extremely difficult to deal with flares mentally, but stay positive and know that each day is moving you closer.
Secondly, I learned that you need to trust and encourage your skin. Don’t be angry at your skin or allow that negative energy to take over your life. Your skin is always trying to heal, every single second of every day. It’s your job to support it, give it love and patience, and trust that it knows what it’s doing. Your skin doesn’t want to be damaged any more than you do. The healing process takes time, but your skin can do magnificent things if you let it.
Thirdly, do your best to stay healthy. Get sunshine, eat healthy foods, exercise, and spend lots of time outside in fresh air and in contact with the earth. Walks on the beach are perfect. Anything that puts you in touch with nature is perfect. A healthy body will always heal quicker than an unhealthy one.
I’ve got some photos too. Take a look at the timeline. The photos are interesting because like I said, the flare was quite different to other flares. Notice how it was bad, bad, bad, bad, and then suddenly, I was okay again. And with the bad, bad, bad, you can tell the skin is trying really hard to rebuild itself.