My worst flare up experiences
Part 2: University struggles November 2011 – February 2012
I was my final semester at university. During this time, I was working part-time at a call centre twice a week. My university days dropped from three days a week to twice a week. I was completing two modules one of which being a massive group work project and a dissertation which took up a lot of time. So my remaining weekday was pretty much occupied completing university work. I was very busy during this period. I don’t recall meeting up with any friends, even on my birthday (as it fell on a university day)
The eczema flare up started in November. Again, the eczema became weepy and infected and was back on the same antibiotics, flucloxacillin. Things were so bad that I couldn’t wear tight trousers and could only wear loose clothing. I had to wear shoes with a slight heel to avoid the skin around my ankles from cracking and I could not wear boots or any flat shoes. I could barely walk due to pain and even struggled to drive. I remember the pain and agony I went through just to put my foot on the clutch and change gears.
Due to the discomfort and stress, I did not go to work fo r about two weeks. However, I had deadlines to meet at university. My dissertation was almost due for submission and I had to take part in the group project so that I would not affect the other group member’s final grades. I became so fed up of university life. I just wanted to the semester to be over, graduate, leave my current job and finally land in my dream job.
Other than the stress of work and university, I also had a number of other challenges in my life. I had a major fall out with a family member prior to the flare up and my Nan (dad’s mother) had passed away three days before my final exam in December. Despite this, I still sat the exam and passed with a first. I pushed myself because if I deferred submitting assignments or taking exams I would have to wait until the following summer to do resits. It had taken a lot for me to get this far in my studies and I refused to wait another year. I believe that the combination of all of these stressful factors triggered the eczema flare up. The more stressed out and anxious I became, the longer the eczema flare up continued. I look back and still cannot believe that I pushed myself so far. It made me realised how dedicated and determined I am.
The flare up and infection did clear up around Christmas time, once university was over. In January 2012 I started to use wet wraps bandages along with steroid cream. I cannot remember if it was the wet wrap bandages alone or whether it was the combination of both the steroid cream and the wet wrap bandages which settled things down. In the end, I was just relieved that a stressful time in my life had passed, I graduated with a first and the eczema was manageable and back in control.
Below is a picture of me at my graduation ceremony: