Sunday, December 30, 2012

Why I Don't Blog Like I Used To...

Many drastic things has changed since my last blog and most of it are not good.

I have been very busy since I passed the board exams (yey!) and have gotten work immediately after that (which is a blessing). Unfortunately, stress took a toll on me in a very bad way.

Like most people, we get sick when our immune system is down, but unlike me, I don't get sick "the usual way" like when people just got a simple fever and flu. When my immune system is down, everything just goes downhill.

I'm so sick and tired of explaining my health situation on my blog that I tend to delete my post talking about my health issues hours after I posted it. Some may have read it, most of you have not, but I'm trying one more time to explain my current situation with my illness.

I have Atopic Dermatitis. Some call it eczema, skin asthma, etc.

The first time I've had this was 2 years ago ( can't remember the exact date). At first I thought it was just a simple rash or allergic reaction to something I applied on my skin or I have eaten. I did not bother to consult a doctor and just take antihistamines since I only flare up rarely and antihistamines treat the allergy quickly.

...And then it has gotten worse and I flare up often until it was late last year when I've experienced really bad allergies for weeks. My dermatologist gave me some hydrocortisone creams to temporarily ease my allergies and told me that I have atopic dermatitis.

Even though I'm not a doctor, I have a very good background on medicine and I know steroid creams do not cure atopic dermatitis and it is CURRENTLY NOT CURABLE. You can treat or prevent it, but you cannot cure it (as of now). It is a lifelong battle.

Months have passed since I've used hydrocortisone creams and still my skin flares up, I got fed up and consulted an Allergologist.

I started painful allergy tests (from pollens and other allergens that may go through respiratory route), blood tests, except for food allergy test (because it is so expensive I can't afford it anymore). I've found out that I am very allergic to mango pollens, coconut pollens, cockroach, ants, acacia pollens, dust mites, etc.

I've got so many allergies to so many things that are very common here in my country. So I started immunotherapy on April this year.

Immunotherapy is just injecting weakened allergens to you until your immune system has created an antibody
against the things that you are allergic to. The doctor told me that I could have as much as 80% immunity against the allergens and the 20% is up to me, my immune system and how I take care of my body.

Everything was going great because I flare up less and if ever I flare up, the allergies that manifest on my skin is not as bad as it was before. Unfortunately, this time of year (December 2012), got sick with flu and I was so stressed with work and all hell broke lose again. My immune system was down and as a result, the weakest part of my body is always the vulnerable one which is my skin was most affected.

I got bad atopic dermatitis flare up that I am still suffering now, even when I already recovered from flu and fever.

The part of my body that usually flare up is my face and neck, but now, my arms, ears and even some parts on my legs are already affected and they won't go away.

I've already consulted my allergologist about this and she said that it may not have been the allergens that I am allergic to that triggers my flare ups because I am already in my maintenance dose on my immunotherapy sessions, meaning that I already have antibodies on those things.

Now, the main culprit is most likely stress. Stress in everything. Not just work, but also personal things. With me looking like sh*t (sorry for the term) also contributed to my stress and it has affected my self esteem and self confidence. Yes, I am stressed and depressed.

So what does not blogging have to do with my explanation?

Besides having a hard time treating this dermatitis that I have on my face and neck, I am having a very hard time trying out things that may not aggravate my skin issues. Products that I can use are currently limited to the point that I already gave away most of the things that I have used before that worked for my then normal skin and even the things that I haven't even reviewed here in my blog. It pains me to not have the freedom to have more options when it comes to skincare and makeup because this has become one of my major hobbies and haven to de-stress myself. Yeah, I know it sounds shallow, but for someone who has a constantly depleting self esteem and self confidence (because I am literally getting uglier by the day), I feel like I have something that I love to do taken away from me.

Having said all that, I still will be trying to review things that work for my very dry, sensitive and damaged skin from atopic dermatitis. Things that may work for me may be limited, but I hope it would serve as some kind of "help" to people who are also dealing the same illness I currently have.

This will also serve as a guide for me to try to find, discover and research things, products, or alternatives to steroid creams that might help many people. I know it is a futile attempt to find a solution to a currently incurable illness, but at least I try to find ways to ease the pain...I just want to be normal again.

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