Monday, November 4, 2013

November 3 - A Relapse?

Well, I have been steadily improving until a few days ago, but I am going through what I am hoping is my first and last relapse. It's not that bad, I think it has set me back about a month, but work is again difficult and the hopes of making it to a Texas Tech home game is not looking good. The itching... OMG the itching... I think only fellow TSW warriors know what it is like. It is impossible for me to resist and sometimes find myself doing it my sleep. This time it is my legs and forearms and the result from scratching is a return of the irritation and redness. A few weeks ago I was so happy to return to my real bed, sleeping with a real wife, but last night I was back on the downstairs couch watching The Science Channel. Sigh.

I was taking a lot of ibuprofen to control itching, but when I told my GP that he told me to stop and had my blood tested. So, I tried hydroxyzine to control the itching and it was really helping. It is not effective anymore for more than an hour or two, and the doc has said I cannot take more than one 25 mg pill every four hours. Since my blood tests were normal, hopefully a combination of hydroxyzine and ibuprofen combined will help control the itching without OD'ing on either. As I type this, however, I have taken both and I am a mess.

One drug that works and has continued to do so is Ambien (zolpidem) for sleep. I can personally attest that it's reputation for sleep-walking is well deserved, but that seems to have calmed down. From what I understand, it's not really sleep-walking, but rather its amnesia. For example, when my wife's sister came to visit, she arrived after I had taken an Ambien and gone to bed. Apparently I came down to greet her, made myself some hot chocolate, then went to bed and I don't remember any of it. My wife tells me though that I was acting perfectly normal.

I am trying to maintain a positive attitude. Knowing that relapses are certain, having one is a milestone and simply a pothole on the road to recovery.


  1. Hi Dave,

    I stumbled across your blog and thought I would pass mine along to you in case you want to learn about how moisturizer withdrawal can be quite beneficial during tsw. I'm about the same age as you. Please do yourself a favor and review my blog when you have time. Especially the comments from other people who have tried tsw without moisturizing. My blog is relatively new and I don’t have a lot of comments yet, but after reading my blog I think you will know a much better way to go. Please feel free to link my blog to yours too.

    The comments from a poster named "jsan" on the thread titled "Itsan - A Hand Holdng Forum?" are pretty interesting. Good luck!

    Also, be sure to review the Skin of Rose blog on the recent Japanese conference if you haven’t already. Highly informative!


  2. Dan, thank you so much for stopping by! I really appreciate it. I read your blog and also found the thread on the ITSAN forum where I believe your posts were deleted. Moisturizer withdrawal makes perfect sense to me and I want to give it a shot. After taking a bath the other night, I tried going without Vaseline, and I must say it was miserable. The dryness was one thing, but the itching. OMG. I gave in and put some on, which provided relief. So, I can’t go quite cold turkey, but I plan on systematically reducing the moisturizing. I am starting month 5 and the itching right now is by far the biggest problem. Things are changing, and I will hopefully improve enough that the moisturizers can be reduced even more than I already have.

    I have not posted lately at all on the ITSAN forum, but might about this subject.

    Again, thanks for stopping by and posting!

  3. Hi Dave, please post on my blog if you wouldn't mind. We have a few people there with loads of experience in both tsw and MW. All of us are doing significantly better than most all others doing tsw. I'm sure we can help guide you in this in a way you will find to be much better. I need people like you to post there so others can learn from your experience. Jsan has been through tsw three times. She knows more about tsw than anyone I have seen, and she knows all the right things too. I'm at 5 months and almost healed. Thanks!