Wednesday, March 11, 2015
In reading what others have gone through with topical steroid withdrawal, there seems to be a late stage where they kind of disappear. I believe it’s a time when they feel good enough that the symptoms are no longer the central focus of their lives and they just want to get on with life.
I am at that point.
I have been taking pictures of my body on a regular basis, especially the left hand to show a progression and to be honest my hands look worse than the last ones I posted. I still can’t wear a watch and just a couple weeks ago my hands were covered with giant cracks everywhere, but I *feel* better. The weird anxious feelings, the electrical jolts, the insomnia, the temperature control problems, the cold sweats, the weight loss, the mental fuzziness, are essentially gone. I feel good! The insidious itching is still there, but much less than before. My hands, feet, and, well, unmentionables, still are a problem, and I sense that it will take a very long time for the itching to go away, but I can sense slow steady improvement.
None of my rings (size 9) fit, so I bought a new cheap one wile my wife and I were visiting San Antonio (size 11) a few weeks ago that fits and it is a bit looser than it was. I am starting to see the veins on the back of my hands again that were once very prominent. I am no longer taking hydroxyzine and only occasionally take ibuprofen to help control the itch.
Another life event that has helped put a perspective on my topical steroid withdrawal is my wife’s health. She has noticed a very slowly worsening strength in her body, especially legs and hands. After months of testing and prodding, and a terrible cancer scare, it has been narrowed down to muscular dystrophy, although we still don’t know which of the 40 or so types it is. This is an incurable muscle disease that will get progressively worse. She is a trouper and takes whatever hand is dealt to her with grace and acceptance and is my greatest inspiration. I have no right to complain about anything.
We are now in YOLO (you only live once) mode. I just bought a sports car (not expensive or anything; a 2003 Toyota MR2 Spyder. She already has a 2007 Vette) and we are going on a Caribbean cruise soon. She is retired and committed her life to helping others. She is part of “NICU Helping Hands Angel Gown Project” http://www.nicuhelpinghands.org/lend-a-helping-hand/angel-gowns/ and tirelessly converts donated wedding gowns into tiny little dresses and tuxedos that babies wear when they don’t make it home from the hospital. Talk about putting our lives into perspective.
Speaking of babies, I’ve basically given up my efforts to convince Baby Pibu from manufacturing and marketing topical steroid products aimed at precious babies. To be honest, this experience has shaken my faith in humanity to the core. We live in a society driven purely by greed and profit. Money, like religion, is a drug that alters our perspective of reality and will cause otherwise good people to do despicable things.