Thursday, April 30, 2015

this skin i'm in

i'm going to be completely honest with you here- I do not struggle with my weight. never have, and i have a feeling that i never will.

am I bragging?

no.

do you know why? cause I don't have weight issues- I have a million other issues. and the biggest one is my skin. I hate my skin. almost always have. and i fear that i always will.

not my skin colour. do not get me wrong. I am yellow and I am proud! although if you saw me in action these days- you would just think that I was white. Mrs. Watson is kind of the perfect name for me.

but I digress. I hate my skin and I have for as long as I have been of the age where you are supposed to hate things about yourself.

when I was sixteen I discovered I had psoriasis. psoriasis is an UGLY skin disorder where your skin simply grows too fast and builds up and forms scales and dry patches. like, I am totally the flakiest person you have probably ever met. like, literally. there's a blog that I read on a occasion and he calls his fellow psoriasis sufferers 'flakers'. weird and gross and kind of funny.

psoriasis is "thought to be an immune system problem. triggers include infections, stress, and cold." this is from an article on the handy-dandy interweb that i found many weeks ago. before now, I had never thought that my skin was related to my immune system.

so, back in October, i got strep throat. and then i had a reaction to the penicillin i was taking. and my body EXPLODED into a sea of red bumps that would not, could not go away. and then chris' job/position/responsibilities/days/hours all changed. and then it was mia's birthday/the holidays/chris' birthday/our anniversary. and then it was my birthday. and then i got strep throat AGAIN. and then the bumps really wouldn't and couldn't go away. and then our little J turned 2. and then she turned into the spawn of satan. just kidding. that was a terrible thing to say. but she got REALLY HARD to be around. but at least she was sleeping through the night. and then she decided that sleeping through the night was for chumps. so she STOPPED sleeping through the nights. and then it was tax season so i was happily getting out of the house more, but seeing my husband a bit less. and then chris' schedule got a bit crazy. and then i thought he was cheating on me. (and for the record- He is NOT.) but by this point I WAS SERIOUSLY CRAZY. and it didn't help that i also looked crazy. crazy on the inside and out.

i went to see doctors often. i went to the dermatologist twice, maybe thrice, and all to no avail. i felt so very hopeless. and sad. and tired. and UGLY. the only place i didn't have psoriasis were the soles of my feet and the palms of my hands. i even had it on my eyelids. MY EYELIDS. for pete's sake. i think i hated it on my scalp the most because that translated to me having the worst case of dandruff known to man. with my hair being as black as my heart was turning, the white flakes were impossible to hide. cue lots of head bands and hats and embarrassment.

i read lots of different articles on the internet and tried lots of 'natural' remedies. i was taking Epsom salt baths (which i think did help!), drinking organic apple cider vinegar, and pouring it on my head. i was rubbing bag balm (ointment to soothe cows' udders) all over my body, which did nothing to soothe me and my disintegrating self-image (because that crap makes you smell like a frickin cow's udders.) my precious friend Christie, who has Crohn's disease, gave me lots of practical advice on how to reduce my stress level (cause remember that doesn't help psoriasis, or anyone for the matter.) i started doing yoga and listening to meditation music. she isn't a crazy new age hippie- she was encouraging me to focus on the Lord and the Word and my health and sanity. all things that i needed to do.

the major turning point was when i texted a sweet friend of mine who is an acupuncturist. in my utter desperation, i asked if she worked with psoriasis patients. she said no (which was great cause i hate needles.) but she worked with a Chinese herbal doctor who did. i told my friend i would set up an appointment soon, and she told me to stop eating dairy, shellfish, fried foods, and spicy foods. what kind of a friend would tell another friend something so rude and so hurtful? it's like she wanted me to die or something.

so i met the Chinese doctor and she gave me some insanely disgusting herbs that i had to drink twice a day for two and a half weeks. she would have given me more, but i didn't want to keep paying a ton for the herbs (cause of course, our insurance only covers western medicine and doctors. you know- the stuff that didn't work for me even a little bit.) she gave me some advice when i walked out of her office with my magic bag of herbs: eat organic vegetables. that's it. i was thinking this woman was a sadist and definitely wanted me to die. but I absolutely understood that there must be things that i was eating that were holding me back from getting better. so, i took half of her advice. i started eating vegetables. not organic ones, cause we aren't independently wealthy. but i stopped eating everything else. for a time.

that's not why i am skinny. well, a bit. I lost about 5-6 pounds after getting strep throat the first time. and since i started this insane food-restriction plan, i have only lost 1-2 pounds. i am at my ninth-grade weight though. which is weird. and just makes me want to listen to sarah mc laughlin and the notorious b.i.g.

so i was a vegan, gluten-free, caffeine-free-ish, spicy-free, fried food-less, joyless monster for a few weeks. it was pretty awful. i have heard people say that they feel more energized and healthier after cutting out all the crap from their diets. i call major B.S. on that. i felt like crap, i was tired all the time, i needed to snack constantly, and i was ready to prostitute myself for some Mc Donalds french fries and a Starbucks latte.

i started my 'cleanse' on February 17. the only good thing about starting from scratch was that once i ate an offending food, it was clear right away. i wasn't SUPERSTRICT with my diet (as in i ate veggie burgers, which sometimes contain gluten to hold all those weird veggies together. and i chose to eat gluten for the sake of eating something that reminded me of a hamburger and a simpler time when i wasn't such a high maintenance picky eater!) in the last two months, i have very slowly phased most foods back into my diet, and in limited quantities (just to be safe!!!). the happiness has also returned to my life and eating regimen. some of my weight has returned. and best of all, most of the bumps have disappeared! but in their wake is a landscape of new, white skin, littered all over my not-white body. i kind of look like a cheetah. and that's not a good or sexy thing. but, i will take cheetah over the disaster that i used to be, any day of the week. and twice on sundays.

so. the super shallow part of me has not been blogging, or doing much of anything besides keeping the kids alive, because i have been very wrapped up, in my skin- literally, figuratively, emotionally, spiritually. but it feels so good to be on the mend- emotionally, spiritually, physically, and mentally.

3 comments:

Elisa said...

I adore you. You're right, this crap is hard. If we're all in one piece and one color and haven't lost our minds at the end of this, it will be a miracle. At least if we fall apart, we can do it together! But I'd rather see you on the mend, and I'm glad you are. xoxo

Shannon said...

I'm so sorry things got so bad. I had no idea. Don't stress about the cheetah of it all...they're pretty awesome cats!

Edward Ham said...

9th grade weight?! I barely got back to my university weight til about a month ago!