How My Skin Condition Devastated Me – Part II

June 10, 2020 by  
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This is the second in a series of articles by Johnny Palmer of AbsRightNow.com. He talks about how his skin condition turned his life into bouts of depression, nothingness and how he has used this unfortunate illness to his advantage and how it has changed the way he lives for the better.

 

At the end of my last article I mentioned about how I was feeling from my ever-worsening skin condition. I had sailed from job to job, often leaving or not showing up to work because of the horrible feeling that comes along with feeling like some sort of freak.

Now that I think about it, people are generally nice, and I doubt that many people would have thought this if they passed me by, but we are always far more critical of ourselves than others are of us, and in a way this can be very self destructing.

I left off where I was spending the bulk of my time in my bedroom & loafing around the house living with my mother and family. My mother said that one day I was supposed to be hanging out washing but she said I was standing at the washing line staring out over the houses in the valley and on the hill on the other side of where we lived.

At the time, I wasn’t sure what was causing my chronic skin problem, but seeing as I had suffered “eczema” for most of my life, I just presumed that like most other sufferers, I would either outgrow it or be stuck with it for life.

I remember reading J.P Morgan’s autobiography and discovering he had suffered from a chronic skin condition also – rosacea. His condition however became a source of strength for him as he grew older – he was far too powerful to let it effect him and it seemed as though he was over-confident and dared people to look at him and comment. He too hated being photographed and went great lengths to stop it – I still hate being photographed to this day.

Back to my bedroom, I would pour over pages of the internet trying to find out what had helped other sufferers to cure their skin condition or at least to be able to control it to some degree, but most of what I tried had zero to near zero effect on reducing itching, redness, dryness and the unsightly bloody mess it left, and then the large unexplainable rashes on my arms, chest, neck and face.

It seemed that all I could find were “magic bullets”.

I ordered creams from strange corners of the world, visited different doctors in my town and some from out of town numerous times. I swapped doctors many times, often seeking out specialists who would prescribe dangerously high levels of cortisone (steroid) containing creams, which would solve the problem momentarily, but never for long.

Most of the creams available on prescription are not suitable at all for sensitive skin, so 90% of them I couldn’t use anyway, and the ones I could use were so high in cortisone that they thin the level of your skin down if you use them too much.

I remember reading somewhere that it is best to not use any creams, moisturizers or other bodily soaps or liquids, so I completely abandoned everything.

This lead to pure hell.

Without using the steroid cream to heal old wounds, I would end up waking in the night to discover I had scratched my skin raw until it was oozing liquid or bleeding, then not be able to get back to sleep because of the itch. When I finally did get to sleep after a chronic episode of scratching, I would often sleep up to 12 hours to let my body try to heal the damage, and because I didn’t want to go anywhere.

Often it was just at night that it happened, but sometimes it would just happen – I would get itchy as hell. I wanted to start doing Karate but as soon as I got even slightly warm I would get an attack, let alone dripping with sweat. The worst thing about it was that I couldn’t go out and stay with friends, go away on holidays or stay away from home because then others would know what I did, and it would either scare them silly or I would be a real freak. Having massive red patches on your face and all over your body isn’t fun when you are surrounded by your friends who all have perfect skin and look amazing – even sporting severe hangovers.

I just can’t describe how much I wanted to be normal.

How My Skin Condition Devastated Me ImageHangovers were something I ended up getting familiar with – sometimes I would drink so much I would pass out and wake up not having scratched at all. I actually thought that this had cured me, just drinking so much that I passed out, but often the scratching just got intensified if I drank.

The nights after the drinking were the worst.

I couldn’t get to sleep because I had been up all day, and there must be something in the drink that my body can’t handle, because Mondays were always spent in bed, even my friends and family asked me why I stayed in my room for a few days after drinking and never really came out.

Back to trying to find a cure.

The amount of diets, detoxes, herbs, pills, creams, therapy, doctors visits, specialist consultations and other “professional” help that I sought would blow your mind.

Most 18 year olds spend their cash on chicks, cars and booze.

Yes I had a car and brought booze – but the majority of my pay check always went to whatever it was I was trying to help rid my disease at the time.

Here are a few things I tried:

  • Prescription creams – $34 for doctor visit + prescription costs
  • TCM (traditional chinese medicine) – over $100 per week
  • Accupuncture – $45 per session
  • Organ/blood stimulation – $65 per session
  • Dermatologists – $95 per session + prescription costs
  • Allergy tests – $35 every time (there are a LOT of different tests)
  • Special bedding/detergent – not a major cost
  • Creams from “interesting” countries – up to $79 per container

I can’t remember all of the things I tried, but these are a few – it seemed that every time I asked somebody if they could help, no matter what their profession they smiled $)  and said “yes of course we can help”.

I learned never to ask a salesman if you need what he is selling.

 

After a few years of trying different approaches to fixing my skin condition, I gave up the fight.

I came extremely close to departing permanently, and to some people it may seem stupid to think about passing on through just because of a skin problem.

Until you have a bright red rash, disfigured skin, your face being a combination of red/yellow and white patches and your entire body covered in a rash that would look at home on somebody who has just crashed their road bike on a highway – you don’t know what you are talking about.

I would lie to people and say I was in a skateboarding accident, I ran through a rose patch or something equally stupid, I just couldn’t tell people I had a skin condition – it was like I didn’t want anyone to know for some reason, even though they could obviously see if I saw them on a regular basis my skin was always a mess.

It was around this time that I started drugs.

To be continued … the next part of this series will be up soon.

Johnny Palmer is now a writer, trainer and athlete. He blogs over at absrightnow.com and teaches you exactly how to get abs without any trashy fad diets, supplements or ab machines. He gives free information and is a trusted source on the internet, his gives out the exactly the best way to lose belly fat and has written a review on what he believes to be the best weight loss product.

 
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