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Day 521: Life is 90% normal

Apologies for such a long delay between postings. Life has been busy!

Over the last two months, I’ve been through a flare. Although I don’t really like to use the word “flare” because that implies there was a lot of struggle and pain, when in reality I just had lots of very dry skin and shedding.

I always view shedding as a good thing. It means the body is discarding lots of skin, and that also means the body must be making new skin. It was bit of a deja vu to see lots of skin flakes all over my sheets and desk again. I call it, becoming a snowman. Just because everywhere you go, your body snows dead skin!

I did have one day when the skin started looking particularly bad though. Not oozing, just very very dry. I even took a photo of it, and these days I don’t take photos unless it’s really out of the ordinary.

The thing that was most interesting to me was how you can clearly see the line where I used steroids starts and stops. It’s like a fence line! Perfect skin on one side, and steroid-damaged skin on the other. The damaged side is continuing to scale up and shed, and I don’t know how many more layers of damaged skin we’ll go through before we get back to normal skin, but I do know it’s 100x better than when we started which is what matters. As long as I’m moving in the right direction, I can handle “flares” like this from time to time.

The other interesting thing was how quickly it changes now. I can wake up in the morning which a face covered in flakes, and by dinner time the following day my face looks 90% normal.

Morning:

Day after:

I think these are all good signs and I hope over this second year this leads to my skin just getting stronger and stronger as I make more and more new layers. I am still taking tons of collagen and Vit C and I find this helps a lot too.

I remember some NMT veterans like tsw_jr and rafa.tsw also had “re flares” during their second year but overall their skin is still trending up and it was just another stage of the healing. My steroid use was also not as heavy as theirs – I did use steroids for 30+ years, but in my 20s and up and I didn’t use them every day.

For now, since my flares don’t leave me bed-ridden I try to not let TSW affect my life and just keep moving forward with new energy and new goals. I’m running Auckland marathon in 2 weeks. After that I will do my best to enjoy the summer down here in New Zealand 🙂

Be strong everyone and wishing you healing!

6 replies on “Day 521: Life is 90% normal”

Man this has been one inspirational blog. Congrats on your attitude and dedication through one of the hardest and overlooked health issue. TSW is one nasty fight but out of all the bad there is so much good and growth that initially changes you as a person and also tests the human body and how amazing it truly is at healing and overcoming. Keep the good fight man.

Thank you Bren for your effort in logging your TSW NMT journey. I have drawn a lot of strength from your blog and many others. I am currently on day 80 of NMT, Day 153 of TSW. It has been a journey like no other.

Hey! Thank you for your inspirational blog, this has been a great help to me! I wanted to ask you that now when you have almost beaten TSW, how is your eczema (not TSW but atopic dermatitis) doing? Do you need to treat it some way and if you do, how?

I don’t treat it with anything. I still have flares and am dealing with them the same way 🙂

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