OH… HELLO PALE, NAKED FACE!!!
For the first time EVER this is me sharing with you my completely normal naked face and to be honest I’m feeling somewhat nervous about it! I’ve gained so much confidence when I’m covered in eczema that I’d forgotten what it feels like to be insecure about the way I look without make-up when I’m eczema free. People can be cruel sometimes and it’s hard to read negative comments. I guess I’ve just become so used to having a face full of eczema that I’d actually forgotten what I really look like. All of those old feelings of hating the way I look just seemed to come flooding back when I first looked in the mirror, but this time it’s different. This time I’m thankful for all of those features I’d spent so many years despising. How does the saying go again? ‘You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone’… I couldn’t agree more. You can only work with what you’ve got at the end of the day and this is just what I have to work with.
Pushing aside my insecurity for baring all… CAN YOU BELIEVE IT!!!? A CLEAR FACE!!!! This I have not seen for years. I’d forgotten what having a smooth face felt like. The other day a lady said to me “Gosh, you look pale, are you feeling ok?” :O I was literally skipping with joy inside! For the first time in over a year I just look ill because I’m deathly pale and not because I have a flakey, patchy, weepy, swollen, bleeding face! I’ve never been so happy to look ill before! I mean don’t get me wrong, I’m still pretty much covered in eczema everywhere else but my face, neck and chest are giving me hope that one day my whole body will look as good as this. I can’t stop feeling my smooth skin. I never thought it was possible to love my forever troublesome skin but here I am, completely in love with my super paleness! I used to get so down about people saying how pale I was, and suggesting I need get a tan but now that’s all beautiful music to my ears! I AM SO PALE I LOOK ILL AND I COULDN’T BE HAPPIER! 🙂 I absolutely do not intend to get a tan and I will cherish my paleness for as long as I can. I don’t doubt that this won’t last so for now, I’m going to enjoy every inch of it. 🙂 A little message to all of you wonderful people out there: Whatever problems and troublesome times you’re going through right now, whether that’s physical issues, mental issues or just issues with life in general, keep battling and think positive. I know sometimes it doesn’t feel like you will ever see the light again but this is proof that things do get better. It’s easier said than done, I agree, but you just need to give it time. If I can do it, so can you 🙂 Peace out you beautiful lot. Loves.xx
A beautiful reflection of the last 365 days…
This week I hit ONE WHOLE YEAR of TSW! I cannot believe it has been a whole year already. 365 days of looking like a crack whore and I’m still smiling! Well, smiling when my tight, dry skin lets me. For a year I have been like besties with hell. I’ve become a frequent visitor to that fiery furness!! If this was the 15/1600’s I’d have been burnt at the stake for being a witch months ago! Not that I am ACTUALLY a Witch of course, but this constant weepy, itchy, smelly skin would surely have been mistaken for the devil by some curious Tudor citizens! That aside… I’M STILL HERE! I MADE IT!
When I think back to DAY 1 I shiver. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy but did I think it was going to be THIS hard? Absolutely not! Would I have still have gone ahead with it had I known? ABSOLUTELY!
Making the decision to stop steroids and go cold turkey was the BEST decision I have ever made however difficult the journey has been. No, I may not be healed but I’m on the bumpy road to getting my life back and that is an exciting thought! Even good ole’Dorothy following her yellow brick road to Oz had to face a few “Lions and Tigers and Bears” (OH MY) on the way. I’m telling you now Dorothy, you’re a lucky lady because I’d welcome Lion and Tigers and Bears with open arms. I’d invite them round for a cuppa any day instead of having to dine with Mr. ITCHY, Mrs. SCRATCHY and Ms. WEEPY that’s for sure!!!
I know Topical Steroid Withdrawal is pretty darn horrific but it has strangely had a huge positive effect on me. I have my moments, naturally, where I cry and scream and wish it would all just end but on a whole I stay as strong as a Ox (I think that’s how the saying goes?).
Since I started sharing my eczema journey with you all last year, my life has substantially changed. Friends have become strangers. Strangers have become friends. I couldn’t have got this far without my amazing support network so for all of you who have supported me and have joined me on this difficult road I thank you so so much. You have been incredible and I will be forever grateful.
I’ve grown so much as an individual. I used to always be a person who would constantly worry about what other people thought. I’d worry about not being ‘beautiful’ and I’d frequently get upset because I felt ugly. My insecurities completely controlled me but actually, for all those years I’ve just been blinded. Absolutely blinded by the barriers set by society about what is or isn’t, the ‘ideal image’. WHO CARES?
Ever since I’ve shown you all my photos of my swollen face, my weeping skin, my blotchy body and my thinning hair I’ve had nothing but positive comments. I have had more people call ME beautiful since I’ve been showing my imperfections than in my whole lifetime.
Beautiful… what is ‘beauty’? If there is one thing this last year has taught me it’s that beauty isn’t all about looking good in that swimming costume you saw your friend wear last week, it’s not about having the perfect pony tail and the best tanned legs in that expensive dress. Beauty is about confidence, it’s about not caring what people think, it’s about loving you for you and not wishing you were someone else. We can’t change what we have so we need to stop wishing we looked more like other people and rock the hell out of what we’ve got. It’s about loving the very skin you’re in. Your imperfections make you different. Embrace them. Be your own kind of beautiful. How does the saying go again? ‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ and this I cannot stress this to you enough. I am so grateful to TSW for opening up my eyes and making me realise that actually, my very existence doesn’t depend on how attractive people find me and neither does yours. Beauty comes from within and since realising this I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my very sore, eczema ridden shoulders.
I know that suffering from a skin condition may make you feel unattractive from time to time, but believe me when I tell you that each and every one of you are stunning individuals. To deal with all the issues that come with having a skin disorder and still keep smiling is an amazing quality to have. That love and strength that shines through inspires others to also keep smiling and isn’t that what it’s all about?
Smile and the world smiles with you.
Thanks again for all your support throughout this last year.
Peace out you beautiful, beautiful lot,
This weekend was a big weekend for me. You may think, PAH! You, dressing up as a Tudor, performing? Difficult? Noway! But I swear to you it’s true! Performing yes, comes naturally to me but TSW really knocked it out of me and for a year I’ve been hibernating like a tortoise in my little Victorian terrace shell!
To put myself out there on the stage allowing everyone to stare at me, judging my skills as an actor is something I’m used to. Having people judging me because of the way my skin looks is also something I’m used to but combining the two really turned up the pressure. Pressure= Stress. Stress= ITCHING!
It was a weird little feeling. I was so excited to be back doing what I love more than anything but terrified of throwing myself out there for all eyes to see. What if I can’t do it? What if I have a flare up and need to have a scratching fit? What if I start shedding skin everywhere? What if I’m just not ready for this yet? So traumatic.
The stage isn’t a place whereby you can fade into the back ground going unnoticed. I will be centre of attention, I will have everyone focused on me, judging my ability to act. Little would they know just how hard acting would be for me this time. Not only am I Suzannah Shakespeare, but I’m also performing as a different me. The professional, confident actress with no troubles in the world. How inaccurate. It wasn’t my ultimate best performance I’ve ever done but considering the circumstances I think did pretty well.
The anxiety I felt the night before heading down to Stratford-Upon-Avon kept me awake, which was rather a good thing considering I was on a 12 hour night shift.
I know you all say I’m so strong to get through this with a positive attitude but I still get the same insecure feelings as you all do. I still get worried, anxious, upset. I certainly felt all of this whilst on the journey down there. It was going to be the first time I’d have saw the wonderful people at Tudor World for over a year, what if they don’t recognise this new me? So much has happened in the last year that I feel like a completely different person and what if they don’t like this new Amy-Lou?
Turns out all of this worrying was for absolutely nothing because as soon as I took the first step onto the original 16th century cobbles that lead up to the museum I felt like I’d come back home and I was so relaxed. I felt inspired, rejuvenated, alive!
It was amazing to once again get stuck into rehearing and to be working with my awesome colleagues again! I was so busy it really distracted me from my itchy nightmare. My colleagues made me feel so at ease, even getting changed in front of them just wasn’t an issue at all. It literally took so much man strength to squeeze me into my dress. I’ve put on a whole stone since I last tried to fasten up this little number. I’m pretty sure that’s down to not being able to do any exercise since TSW because sweat and eczema do not get on! If you could have seen me trying to get into this dress I guarantee you’d have been on your back laughing!
Once in that dress, I felt amazing! I felt like me again! The ‘me’ that loves performing, that loves making an audience laugh and loves being complimented. I DID IT! I finally, after 11 months of TSW got back on that stage! I am so proud of myself for it! If we can get through all the pain steroids have induced on us and still stay positive, we can do ANYTHING!
I spent a day having people take my photo, calling me beautiful because of the dress and I loved every minute of it! My skin looked great and I felt great! When you’re smiling no-one even notices your imperfections because smiling is so contagious. I was at no point questioned about my eczema and for once, I felt normal. People didn’t want a photo with me because I was the girl in the paper for having a skin condition, I was just a girl playing a character in a Tudor costume anonymous to the general public and I couldn’t have felt happier.
I still stick by not pushing yourself too far and accepting your limits but sometimes you’ve just got to get out there and start living again! Challenge yourself! Whether that’s leaving the house, getting out of bed or even just making a cup of tea, try it. It is just such a rewarding feeling when you’ve successfully achieved whatever challenge you may have set yourself. It will be worth every ache, pain and effort to just feel proud. Just replacing that feeling of failure with success will pick you up if you’re having a down day. It will make you feel positive, it will make you realise you can still live life, and it will give you a taste of what life may feel like when you get to the end of our super dark, itchy tunnel. If you don’t succeed the first time, get up and try again, don’t give up. What’s that song about getting knocked down and getting back up again? There’s no such word as can’t here, if I can do it, you can do it. We are all in this together and together we will beat this!
What challenges have you set yourself? What challenges have you already successfully completed? Or what are you currently trying to work towards?
I want to hear all! 🙂
PS. If you like ‘The Terrible Tudors’, you will love ‘The Falstaff Experience. Tudor World’. Check out the website for up and coming events… http://www.falstaffexperience.co.uk/
Seriously guys… We know you are only trying to help but trust me when I say, you’re not!
WOW! Thank you for your advice Doris! I will stop scratching straight away! Who’d have thought it was that easy hey! If only we’d all been told sooner, we’d have saved ourselves from so much suffering! What are we like!!! *Rolls eyes*
Oh really!? Are we!? Aren’t we a silly lot…. Slap our wrists!!! (Except, don’t do that as that may trigger a scratching fit… yes! We know… WE MUSTN’T SCRATCH)
YES! It is extremely contagious so you ought to stay the hell away! Like seriously, just talking to me means you may be able to catch it so better not breath another word in my direction! (There’s one way to get rid of morons)
Aaaaaand the award for ‘BEING ABLE TO STATE THE OBVIOUS’ goes toooo….. YOU! *Claps* What an achievement! And there we were thinking you were stupid!
Oh well that’s awkward! There I was thinking I was having a ‘good skin day’, I’d better put my long sleeve polo neck jumper back on then.
Well, it’s not is it but it’s nice to know you’d lie to my face just to make me feel better I guess. I will be sure to never ask you if “my bum looks big in this”.
Ok, let’s get one thing straight… Dry skin and eczema, not the same! Don’t compare your small dry patch to my itchy, scabby, flaky, weepy, eczema! Are you chronically under slept because of that dry patch you have there? I DIDN’T THINK SO.
So I mean really, the moral of the story is to take a leaf out of Ronan Keating’s book because *sings* “You say your best, when you say NOTHING AT ALL”.
The World Wide Story About THE WOMAN WITH SEVERE ECZEMA CURED BY PORRIDGE…….and ME.
MOANathron: My first ever experience at the DERMATOLOGY UNIT.
So I had my very first ever appointment with a dermatologist at my local hospital this week. I won’t name and shame. I’d hereby like to briefly mention that if you’re reading this post in a hope to find some advice on how to manage your eczema then you’ll be setting yourself up for disappointment. How can I advise anyone about something I’m rather clueless about? Yes, clueless is exactly what I just said. I have absolutely no idea what on earth is actually going on right now and for this reason alone I felt it completely necessary to get all of my thoughts and feelings about my first experience with ‘professionals’ out and shall apologise in advance if I take anything out on you guys, my lovely, and hopefully understanding readers. Please be forgiving. Here goes… My, MOANathron.
When I went to the doctors last week about my painful, itchy, infected hands and she referred me to a skin specialist I was overcome by joy! I had been desperate to be transferred to a specialist for over 20 years so the very thought of actually seeing one made me so excited I was all fuzzy inside. That fuzzy excitable feeling however, turned into a shaky nervous wreck when I stepped into the overly quiet and airy waiting room.
After being told I don’t have an appointment by the incompetent receptionist and making a scene in front of all the people who were trying to hide their urge to find out what the drama was all about by their sad ‘I’m just sitting here quietly whilst waiting for my appointment’ facial expressions, I look around awkwardly and see all the people being awkwardly silent, sitting as far away from others as physically possible which was also rather awkward. Did I mention it was awkward? I did, oh right… After I choose my seat wisely I sat my sore little-self down on those standard fake off cream leather chairs that have blatantly been there since the early 70’s whereby they’d have been the new ‘modern’ back then and a certain ‘talking point’ for all the ‘small talk’ that is compulsory for every patient to make. It’s all part of the rules and regulations of the ‘waiting room’ don’t you know. The only small talk anyone could make out of those chairs now was demonstrated by ‘Sandra’ during a conversation with her waiting room friend ‘Jan’ whereby she said “they could do with changing these chairs” whilst pulling the padding out of the heavily worn corners. Do you know what Sandra, I have to agree with you there, this is outrageous! I’ll be writing to the government pronto mark my words! Oh wait… I’m getting my health care FREE of charge and seeing the professionals without having to take out any HUGE crippling loan to pay for my treatment did I hear you say? I did? Oh right, okay, I think I’ll let the worn chairs slip then. THANK YOU NHS!!!!! I have nothing but love for you despite my current MOAN.
After spending 45 minutes trying to suitably disguise my itching by gradually folding my limbs in several different (and sometimes creative) ways and hacking up a ‘chesty cough’ to drown out the sound of scratching, the name LOUISE JAMES was being shouted and echoed around the room. It was only on the third calling that I realised that was probably me! I was shown into a little office that had obviously struck up a deal with the magnolia paint when it was first built and asked to ‘take a seat’. “So Louise, what can I do for you?”… Okay, so let’s get started by taking another glance over my records so you can firstly: GET MY NAME RIGHT and secondly: find out what it is exactly that I am expecting you to do for me. Ah forget it, I’ll just go ahead and recite my heavily tedious monologue on Topical Steroid Withdrawal which I have learnt word perfectly over the last 9 months. I’d certainly get an A for effort, an A for emotion and an A* for attention to detail. You however, Mr. Skin Specialist get a big fat U for your ability to listen. He informed me that I was supposed to see Dr. Woo but as Dr. Woo wasn’t in today I’m having to see him… wait for it… Dr. WooP! YES! WOOP! There was certainly nothing ‘woop woop’ about him that’s for sure!
WHAT IS IT REALLY LIKE TO BE AN ECZEMA MUM?
Does accepting your limits mean you’re giving up?
recently had a car accident where by I fainted at the wheel and crashed into the central reservation on the motorway. Don’t panic, I’m ok and no-one was hurt. I was lucky enough to have been stuck in traffic (I never thought I’d ever say that) and so I was only going about 25mph when I crashed. My car is pretty dead but who cares now that I have temporarily lost my right to drive on the roads as a result of me being redeemed medically unfit to drive. Woop woop! I guess I’ve saved myself some money on the car repairs! Every cloud and all that… It was a pretty big wake up call for me. I have spent so long pretending I’m fine. Putting on this mask of health but in actual fact, sometimes you just seriously need to accept your limits! So does excepting your limits mean you’re giving up? It’s a weird little question really. I’ve always been one to value determination and passion above all really. If you are determined to do something, you’ll do it no matter what. I mean just look at that Kenyan lady who recently collapsed 50 meters from the end of a marathon in Austin Texas and literally crawled to the finish line declining any help in order to not be disqualified.
Her passion and determination got her to her finish line but at what consequence to her health? I am by all means not suggesting she isn’t inspiring but is the lesson of “You carry on no matter what” really what we want to be living by? I like the ‘carry on’ part, it’s just the ‘no matter what’ part I have a tad bit of an issue with.
I have grown up being on the stage. If it wasn’t dancing, it was acting, if it wasn’t acting it was singing and if it wasn’t any of those things it was rigging the lights. Now you may be wondering where I’m going with this as it’s a complete change in topic but stay with me, it does have relevance. I have, since before I can remember, been told “THE SHOW MUST GO ON”. It doesn’t matter what happens when you’re on stage you carry on, improvise even but don’t draw attention to the fact that things haven’t gone to plan.
I do remember a time actually when I tried to do this during a performance but epically failed. I was doing a performance on crime and punishment in the 16th Century at ‘The Tudor Museum’ I used to work at, teaching history through drama (before TSW ruined that for me. Sad times. It was my dream job). I was moving ‘The Stocks and pillories’ to the back of the stage and accidently slipped and sliced the top of my finger open on a sharp bit of metal. There was blood pouring out everywhere but I thought, act cool, stay calm and find the quickest excuse to leave the stage and grab a fellow colleague to take over. As I went to do this however, I went seriously light headed but I couldn’t possibly just go light headed, oh no I had to go and faint, but I couldn’t possibly just faint I had to go and fall off the stage, but I couldn’t possibly just have fallen off the stage, I had to go and wack my head off the original 16th century cobble stones and knock myself clean out. I came around to my audience gasping, a black eye and paramedics trying to usher me into an ambulance insisting I go to A&E straight away. So there I found myself lying on a hospital bed dressed in full on Tudor attire awaiting a pair of free hands to help me get out of my enormous dress and four under layers that included a huge bum pad! I mean, if that’s not awkward I don’t know what is! 0__0
Anyhow, back on topic… Where was I? Ahhh yes, accepting your limits. Ever since I started suffering from depression and TSW I have lived life as though it is a performance, and no matter how you feel ‘THE SHOW MUST GO ON’. Act like there’s nothing wrong, hide your pains, your illness and get on with life but after my car accident it made me realise that pretending everything is ok isn’t the answer. Acknowledging the fact that your temporarily the under study and not the performer for a while is all part of getting better. Maybe just admitting that there are certain things you can’t do, whether that be work anymore, or go out anymore, or even drive anymore isn’t a sign of giving up at all and maybe it’s a sign of moving forward. Some may see it as weakness but I know now that it takes ultimate strength to admit you’re not quite as independent as you used to be and I think all you people out there who have already accepted they aren’t quite as ‘capable’ as they used to be are extremely brave and my ultimate inspiration.
To play a character is easy, but it takes true courage and skill to stop the performance and be your true self. So it’s official, from this moment onwards I’m going to slow down and take it easy, concentrate on getting better and rock the hell out of being a young INCAPABLE woman. 😀 I guess being looked after isn’t all that bad. Everyone loves being brought a cup of Yorkshire tea in bed when their ill right? 🙂 Be strong, be you.
TO COVER UP OR NOT COVER UP, THAT IS THE QUESTION…
Hello again my eczema warriors. I say ‘warriors’ because I really do believe it take a true warrior to battle eczema, or any other skin condition for that matter that’s physically on show. It’s hard enough for someone with beautiful skin to accept their appearance so it’s 10 times worse for us scabby, weepy, bloody, patchy, itchy lot to be happy with the way that we look. Everyone has their own insecurities and eczema has always been one of mine ever since I started high school in the year 2000 but recently it’s become less of an insecurity and more so part of my lifestyle.
I’ve recently had some feedback on my blog from an honest but unhappy lady suggesting that by me posting about ways I cover up my eczema, I’m actually sending out a negative message to all eczema sufferers that you should cover up your eczema because it’s something you shouldn’t have on show in public. This is something I never even considered to be an issue. My blog isn’t about that at all, it’s about being proud of who you are regardless which is why I felt I needed to write this post. She said people shouldn’t cover up their eczema because they have nothing to hide which got me thinking. Is covering up your eczema with make-up such a big of a deal? If someone woke up with a big angry red pimple on their face one morning and reached for that handy concealer to cover it up would they get the same reaction? Would they be told they shouldn’t wear concealer because they have nothing to hide or would it just be brushed under that make-up carpet and just accepted as an every day occurrence in most people’s lives? There are many beauty bloggers out there who youtube tutorials on how to cover up acne and their comments are all positive so what makes that any different to covering up eczema?
I wear make-up for the same reason every other make-up wearer does, because I like to. I like putting on my mask, it makes me feel good. I like trying out new make-up products and I like getting excited over new releases. I like getting dressed up for a night out and slapping on that red lippy. I like changing my make-up style according to my outfit. It mixes things up a bit and I’ve always been someone who gets bored quite easily. I don’t specifically wear make-up to solely cover up my eczema, eczema just happens to be there and so it makes wearing make-up harder to do. If I had perfect skin, I would still wear make-up. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t wear it all the time because it would irritate my skin too much to wear it every day so going out of the house with patchy dry skin is also a frequent occurrence in my life.
So why all of a sudden should one feel as though they have to go out with no make-up on and have their eczema on show in order to prove they are not ashamed of it? Why should you have to prove to people that you embrace having eczema? Surely by you not caring what people think is proof of you being proud of your skin, which also means not feeling the need to prove to strangers that you don’t care.
If you’re not usually a make-up wearer or never have been then I think that’s great, everyone is different and that’s the beauty of individuality. If we were all the same the world would be a very boring place and there would certainly be less choice for a singleton. If you didn’t like the look of someone, you would be screwed because we would all look the same and therefore you’d be alone forever. Oh…
I am proud of my eczema. I am proud of every red patch, every open wound, every swollen body part, every scab, every bit of dry skin, every scar, every pain, every itch, and every clump of hair that falls out when I wash it because being able to see all of that reminds me of how strong I am as a person and how I’m successfully getting through the most difficult time of my life. My eczema has shaped me as a person, and regardless of how it may look, I’ve come out on top.
Whether you’re young, or old, or man, or woman, whether you’re part of an LGBT community or suffer from any form of physical or mental disability or illness, whether you’re black or white, or rich or poor we all have one thing in common… Individuality.
There is a quote I live my life by and it’s a quote very dear to my heart…
“Be who you are, and say what you feel because those that mind don’t matter and those that matter don’t mind”
Be you, love you, and live your life for you.
Peace out you beautiful individuals! Stay strong and stay positive.
OATS OATS OATS… Why I love Oats, and why you should to!
Oats are great! Especially for those tired mornings when you need to fill a hole and get a gradual energy boost that will keep you going for the day. With our bodies being exhausted from fighting this steroid addiction so hard, an energy boost is definitely what we could do with if you’re one of the lucky ones who are still able to work. If you’re not one of these people who are able to work due to being Homewood bound (love that film by the way, brings a tear to my eye every time) then you should love oats just as much as we do because you don’t just have to eat them to feel the benefits!
Oats really are underdog of cereals! When you’re weighing up your breakfast options in the cereal aisle ‘Crunchy Nut Cornflakes’ will win over ‘Quaker Oats’ every time! Am I right?
So why should you reach for the Quaker Oats instead of all other tasty cereals chilling on the shelves? Well, Oats are much more versatile! You certainly wouldn’t benefit from bathing in Cornflakes or Cocopops but oats are perfect for that purpose. Killing 2 birds with one stone, not only is it a tasty treat but also it’s a great for bathing in. If only they knew this back in the Victorian workhouse days, poor Oliver Twist wouldn’t have had to ask for more if only the governors were aware they could have saved money on soap if only they used the ‘gruel’ to bathe their dirty orphan children in! Times have changed.
Having an oat bath when feeling itchy and irritant will certainly soothe those angry patches or in most of our cases, our whole bodies. Itchy skin has a high PH level and the oatmeal helps bring it back down which in turn relieves your itch. The oats also work as a natural moisturiser for the skin which is great for people also doing ‘moisture withdrawal’. With it being a natural moisturiser this means that where water itself dehydrates your skin, the oats lock in moisture helping your skin long term. The chemical components found in the oatmeal work as a cleanser which absorb oil, dirt and odour. These chemicals known as avenanthramides and phenois work as an anti-inflammatory so it’s also perfect for those swollen limbs and puffy faces. So what should you scrub yourself with then? OATS OF COURSE! 😀
Now, oat baths are really easy to do but can go horribly wrong if you don’t know how to do them, as I found out. The first time I made myself an oat bath it was disastrous! After being told to bath in it, I naturally took it literally and poured oats into the bath water. I must say, it was a little weird when I got in it to have oats floating about left, right and centre but it tasted lovely if I accidently got any in my mouth so I thought, yes! This is the best thing ever! That is until I had to empty the bath tub. It was that moment I realised that I’d probably got it all wrong. Having to sieve out such a mass amount of oats was a tragic moment and certainly an epic fail. It was at that point I thought it was probably best to look up how you do it which I now don’t quite understand why I didn’t do this in the first place.
So now I know how to do it I thought I’d provide you with a tutorial so you don’t have the same issue as I did.
1. Get an old pair of tights that you have jamming in your draws or in my case, a pair that was suffering from extreme vile pattern syndrome. I have no use for leopard tights and never have so I honestly have no idea why I thought purchasing them was a good idea. I question my ideas sometimes.
2. Moving on, get your good old Quaker Oats, take a few handfuls and put them into one of the legs.
3. Tie the legs around the head of the tap so that when the water runs it runs through the oats
4. When running the water, run it at a lukewarm temperature because you don’t want to cook the oats. A hot bath will also irritate the skin a little but it really does depend on the individual as to how hot you can handle.
5. The water will be a lovely cloudy colour that resembles the colour of sick but we have to do what we have to do don’t we.
6. Carefully take the tights off the tap being careful not to let any oats fall out into the tub and tie a knot in the top of the tights. Leave it bobbing around in the bath and use as a sponge to really scrub those wounds.
7. Bathe for around 10-15 minutes
8. Get out feeling refreshed and relieved.
9. Throw away the tights and the used oats.
10. Bob’s your Uncle, Fannie’s your Aunt. You’ve successfully achieved an oat bath!
I’m sure there are other ways of doing it but that was just my version so by all means let me know if you have any other suggestions or if you’ve had a different experience. Leave your comments below so we can all share advice
All in all, I’d say…
HOW 2014 HAS SHAPED MY OUTLOOK FOR THE NEW YEAR…
Wow! 6 days into the new year already. I’d say “you can’t believe where the time has gone can you?” but I fear I would sound like my nan so we’ll leave that one out, even though it’s what we’re all thinking. New year, new start is what is being said on every social media site possible by all sorts of people and there are talks of “Time to start the gym again and get fit” or “No more junk food, it’s time for some healthy eating” amongst my best friends. I mean, it’s pretty clear this new found attitude to life will start to slip after January. If people really kept it up we wouldn’t see the same repetitive quotes every year because there would be no need to say them if you’re already gyming it up and living that healthy lifestyle everyone strives for.
I looked at my resolutions from last year which certainly mimicked all of the above with the slight difference of ‘have more fun’. Have I achieved any of this? Well, that is debatable. I didn’t attend any gym but I did work out from home for 1 month out of the 12 months which counts right? I did also start to eat more vegetables, but being a pescetarian that was pretty much standard anyway, regardless of that fact I’d say it still counts though? I did, however, turn to the takeaways pretty quickly though which became slightly worrying when my Pizzahut answered the phone with the line “Hello Amy-Lou, would you like the usual?”. You know you’ve eaten too much pizza when the pizza hut staff almost become your friends! Awkward.
As for the third resolution of ‘have more fun’, I can’t say I achieved this to the extent of my intentions. I had big plans for the summer especially. At the start of the year I booked off the whole of the last month in July and the whole of August with the intention of really enjoying myself. Maybe attend some festivals, go out on day trips, do a bit of travelling, spend time with friends drinking cocktails and generally having ‘more fun’ but what I actually ended up doing was the complete opposite. My idea of ‘having fun’ has now completely changed which I don’t think is necessary a bad thing at all. I now appreciate the little things in life. It’s not all about big gestures and day trips. I appreciate a good sofa day with my partner and friends more than I ever did before and I can now say that I can see what all the fuss is about! Especially as I have discovered NETFLIX! This has taken over my life.
Tuesday the 13th of May is where my life changed completely and suddenly those New Year’s resolutions I’d made just over 4 months before became completely irrelevant. The 13th of May marks the day where I stopped steroids completely and started my somewhat turbulent journey of Topical Steroid Withdrawal. It has taught me a lot and has had a weirdly positive effect on my life. It may have been a difficult 7 months so far but the impact it has had on me as an individual has been insane! I have learnt that life isn’t all about looking as beautiful as possible because my existence doesn’t depend on how much other people find me attractive. I’ve learnt that positivity is imperative when recovering from a topical steroid addiction. I’ve learnt not to be so quick to judge because behind everyone’s smile there is always some sort of pain and suffering that you are unaware of, everyone has their own difficult journey. I’ve learnt that everyone of us is stronger than we think, our bodies are wonderful things that can handle anything and I’ve learnt that TSW isn’t just something you just go through, it’s a whole life style change that not only effects the person going through it but also the people supporting you. Respecting them and understanding their point of view is certainly the key to a smooth running recovery. It’s hard to see an out siders point of view when TSW seems to completely devour and strangulate any thoughts regarding other people and makes you extremely self-involved which can be extremely dangerous if you let it take over you. How you handle things is a choice that only you can make. You can either let it beat you or you can tell it where to go and beat the hell out of it. Don’t let it run your life. This is your life and this steroid addiction doesn’t have the right to tell you how to run it, take back the control. Just by putting a smile on your face through the hard times and being positive on even the darkest of days means you’re already half way there! 😉 Stay strong peeps! Together we will beat this, one day at a time. Loves.xx Amy-Lou ❤
So, you want to know about my atopic dermatitis right…
I have suffered with eczema for 20 years, technically I started out with just a mild itch in the creases of my arms and on the back of my legs and as I’ve gradually got older it’s got worse and worse and now I’m faced with severe full body eczema. It is literally from my scalp to my ankles with the only place I don’t have it being my tiny feet, I’d prefer not to speak too soon though. I have recently found out that the reason for this is something called ‘topical steroid addiction’, something the doctors like to leave out when providing you with the magical steroid cream. Please go and take a look at https://didsomeonesaycheese.wordpress.com/the-facts-what-is-topical-steroid-withdrawal/ to find out what a topical steroid addiction actually is and how to solve it.
I do like to refer to it as my ‘itchy nightmare’ but by suggesting it is a nightmare I would be suggesting I’ve had sleep which is something that seriously does not fit into my itchy schedule. I have averaged about 6 hours sleep in the last 3 days and I am seriously starting to feel like an exhausted first time mum having to deal with a screaming new born every time she tries to get her head down! Except there is no screaming baby to go and rock to sleep, there’s just my screaming body crying out for my nails to scratch it until it bleeds and burns. With eczema this severe, I’m sure you’d all agree, there is no such thing as ‘relief’. For all you people out there that have to live with us I really do feel for you! It must be such a strange site to see someone literally tearing off their skin in a state of what I can only imagine looks like we are being possessed! If we were born in the 16th Century they’d think we had the devil inside us and would no doubt burn us at the stake!! Am I getting too morbid here!? I apologise, I have a tendency to get carried away with historical facts.
I often find myself on the floor in an upright foetal position in a constant scratching frenzy and wondering, is this what it would feel like to have fleas!? :S I even sometimes find my Cat staring at me in a judgemental manner and you know you’ve always hit a low point in life when you get judged by any animal! It’s an awkward moment for both parties involved but I think you’ll find, whilst following my blog, that my life very much revolves around awkward moments! They do make great stories as you get older though and if there is one thing I have taken from living with eczema and having to deal with the dip in self-confidence, the not wanting to go out, the sleepless nights, the agonising pain and the continuous dry red skin, it would be to just not take life so seriously. 🙂 A sense of humour is imperative when coping with eczema and so for my first entry on this page I will leave you with this… It is a saying that my nan used to say to me when I’d embarrass myself one way or another, I feel it relates perfectly to this: “If we don’t laugh at ourselves we’d just cry, and where exactly is the fun in that” 😀