GIMME MY DAMN STEROIDS!

With exam stress and hayfever and the rest, my eczema/asthma/hayfever- that troublesome trio- have been acting up and, quite frankly, it hurt to… well, move. I’m not going to formulate a longwinded rant here because within my almost 16 years on this planet, I’ve had a lot of time to complain.

I went to my GP the other day after waiting for weeks to see them about my tedious sore throat and cough or whatever it was, and now that it had gone, like, ages ago, I went to talk about my eczema and my spontaneous flare ups. Flare ups that just happen. There’s no warning, no trigger, no anything. I just wake up and then BOOM! flare up.

So for some odd reason (Maybe I was feeling a bit too optimistic; my moods have been fluctuating to extremes lately…) I thought the doctor could actually HELP me. Boy, was I wrong. And boy, was I stupid.

I got there, after being mocked by a couple of boys on account of my lack of fashion sense (my mum later told me I looked like I had just gotten out of bed…Thanks mum.) and saw the doctor. My clothes choice must’ve screamed immature because his voice moved up a little in pitch (throwing in a little music revision) and he made lots of eye contact and I honestly felt like a kid.

It obviously didn’t bother me that much because I went right ahead and told him the problem like a mature young adult and not a shy toddler in a teenagers body, clinging to their mummy because they don’t want to talk. I swear, eczema must be considered an easy and hard disease or disorder for doctors. Hard because no one really knows what the hell causes it in the first place, and what the hell you have to do to make it stop. Easy because you don’t have to do much.

“Moisturise when it’s itchy.” Thanks Sherlock! Why do doctors, parent and pretty much everyone without eczema assume the itching magically disappears if you put a little cream on it. If that were the case, I’d go to school looking as oily as a Christmas turkey! This is sort of turning into a rant. I guess I haven’t gotten it all out of my system.

So I got the doctor to prescribe me more cream and some antihistamines that I didn’t even request and can’t, and probably won’t, use, said thank you, got the creams and antihistamines, used them, then scratched some more. My life is pretty cyclical.

In my life, there have been only three treatments that have ever work for me: this chinese remedy thingymajigimnotreallysurewhatitactuallywas, UV radiation photo therapy also known as light treatment, and steroids. Since I’m sure the store that sold the chinese remedy thingymajigimnotreallysurewhatitactuallywas has closed or whatever actually happened and I’m not very keen on photo therapy and have only had it once (not one time, just many over some time period), I’m cool with just sticking to the steroids. I’ve managed to receive topical corticosteroids creams/ointments a couple of times and I don’t use a lot anyway so they last, but for some reason no doctor will prescribe me the tablets which, actually, really make a difference. Sure it’s wise to keep taking steroids because of one reason or the other but I’m sure if I use them, I won’t have to use the steroid creams for a while. Plus, it’s not like I’m going to grow anymore.

I guess I’m a little annoyed at how doctors don’t even care about eczema sufferers. They either think they’ve got it worked out (Cream! Use cream and then, abracadabra you’re cured!!) or maybe they’ve just given up on me. After all, they said I’d outgrow it nine years ago and… here I am! If they can’t do anything or just can’t be bothered, they could just slip me some damn steroids and problem solve… temporarily… but hey- I’d take it over not solved at all!

I must sound like a drug addict… Maybe I am.

~EpicCupcake signing out.

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Being Atopic- I’m Highly Sensitive

Not that kind of sensitive…

A kind of serious topic today. Not serious serious but not jokey either.

Today, for once, I looked up something other than personality disorders on health websites.Today I looked up atopic eczema and asthma. Quite some time ago, I had to do this first aid course in school during my P.E. lessons, since being in year 10 (or 11- can’t remember) and not being a P.E. GCSE student, there wasn’t much to do during that time. I felt kind of ashamed that, being the only one in that lesson with asthma, I hardly knew much about it. Same with eczema, though it’s more severe than my asthma so naturally I know more about it.

So, after doing two pieces of homework (yawn) I opened Google and started doing some research. A word I can across often was the word ‘atopic’. I knew what it meant but I didn’t have a solid definition. I found out it meant sensitive to allergens and indeed sensitive I was… and am… currently… I find it ironic that I’m both physically sensitive and emotionally sensitive…

Reading through the page on eczema (and by ‘reading through’ I mean watching a video and quickly skim reading) I didn’t learn much. Most of the stuff I had read or heard before. Still, I learnt a bit about how corticosteroids work and why they can increase blood pressure.

With asthma, I found out that the airway walls swell up due to some trigger which, surprisingly, can be stress or anxiety as well as allergens like dust. When I was learning about renal failure, transplants and dialysis in biology, I had some difficulty breathing which could have actually been caused by the fact that renal failure terrifies me. Not to mention I’m only a couple of months away from my final exams and have a whole truckload of knowledge that I must cram into my head before that time. Yikes…

But going back to eczema, I read about a list of complications that arise with people who are atopic- mainly behavioural problems. The first thing talked about was bullying and I can’t imagine someone bullying someone because they have eczema. Personally, I had never been bullied for that reason. Probably because my eczema affected discrete areas like the back of my knees or the inside of my elbow which were covered by my tights and jump etc. Though, in primary school, sometimes random children asked why I scratched so much and that did annoy me.

Though I kind of agree that eczema can affect you psychologically. Having severe eczema means you can’t do certain things that others can. I couldn’t swim in the ocean because my skin would start to burn, I couldn’t use any cream that isn’t prescribed, there are a lot of make up I can’t wear, I can’t have pets (I had rabbits and a hamster though. But, with my allergies, it was hard and I had to take extreme measures or else. I currently have no pets.), I can’t use bath soap or those cute little bath bombs or gels or whatever (I can’t even use Simple Soap!), I can’t eat certain foods and I can develop allergies randomly to things I’ve never been allergic to. Fish have always been against me. When I was younger, there were a couple of fish I couldn’t eat, but I could still eat stuff like sardines and tuna which I love, but I as I found fish that I didn’t react to, days later I would react to them and it’s horrible. Now I avoid all fish. Just being around cooked fish triggers my eczema. I will never be able to eat sushi with actual fish. It saddens me so… *sob*

The website also said something about sleep disturbance. I can certainly vouch for that. Earlier on this week, I had one of those nights where I think endlessly about something and whether I’m awake or asleep I’m not entirely sure. And then when I ‘wake up’ at about 3am in the morning, I realise I’m covered in rashes and that I had been scratching the entire night. It’s horrible really. That night I was thinking about Peripetie and how Schoenberg removed clarinets from the piece because they somehow caused controversy. That’s not true, of course, but for some reason that was all I could think about. Then for about half an hour or even up to an hour, I had to sit upright because it actually hurt to lie down. Eventually I gave into the pain and fell asleep, but I was grumpy in the morning. Like, really grumpy.

The next morning, I decide to take a slightly stronger antihistamine called chlorophenamine which I had taken regularly once and made me even more irritable than usual. I was already irritable after not getting any sleep that day and the medicine only made it worse.

Self-confidence was the last thing the website talked about and even though generally I have little confidence, if any at all, I’m not entirely sure how that could be cause by having eczema. Still, being atopic means that I’ve had to depend on my parents a lot and I am a very dependent person, though I don’t like to admit it. I can’t even imagine going to uni. I don’t want to go to a uni too far from London- too far from my parents. Even having eczema for 15 years, I’m not confident enough to manage it on my own. And it’s not like I can just have a lie-in every time I have a bad flare up. Eczema complicates my life, though not so much. I can’t even image how many new complications will arise by the time I’m living away from home. I don’t even want to think about it.

Well, I’ve kind of rambled here, but I wanted to talked about eczema and asthma and being atopic and stuff. It’s not something I talk about with other people. I’ve always thought it would just bother those who aren’t suffering from the same thing, or something just as serious.

~EpicCupcake signing out.

My Rants: Deadly Cream

Deadly Cream

As I’m sure you probably don’t know, I have a not so rare skin condition called eczema and so I have special creams to treat it and prescribed moisturisers to use (I only use prescribed creams because I have ultra sensitive skin)

I don’t think many people know that much about eczema or the creams prescribed for it so I not surprised that I get this all the time:

 

**A-san: Hey does anyone have cream I can use?

Me: I have cream.

A-san: Okay thank- *hesitates* Wait…

Me: What?

A-san: Is it okay if I use it?

Me: …What do you mean?

A-san: Will it… do anything to me? Since I don’t have eczema…

Me: …No…

A-san: Actually, It’s okay; I’ll ask someone else! But thanks anyway! *Walk away*

Me: …

 

I’m sorry, but if my cream was dangerous, why would it be prescribed for someone with sensitive skin? (Another time this situation happened the **Ano hito-san told me “I have sensitive skin so I probably shouldn’t use it…” …?) I understand there are some creams that aren’t suitable for… er …non-eczema sufferers, but having this disorder for my whole life, how would I not know which creams are suitable and which are not??? Come on people, I’m not stupid! It’s just a simple moisturiser, not some kind of deadly, killer cream…

…Why am I ranting about cream?

I’ll finish this post on this final note. Most people that have had diagnosed disorders for most of their lives would know a lot about them. More than you’d think.

My fellow eczema sufferers, can you relate?

**A-san → Ano hito → あの人 → That person (Japanese)

 

~EpicCupcake signing out.