My worst flare-up experiences – Part 3
Accommodation Struggles- November 2015 – July 2016
2015 was a good year to start with. I moved into a house share with two other ladies and we did things together such as watch TV, order Chinese every now and then and just chat about life.
I was also blessed with my working life. I found a new job which paid a lot more money, was only a 10 minute walk away from home so avoided transport costs. I felt that this was perfect and thanked God. However, things began to spiral down.
In October 2015, a wall in my bedroom turned dark and mouldy. So I asked my mum for a second opinion. She said that it was definitely damp and to call the landlord ASAP who brought a dehumidifier but no further action was taken. The following month the landlord announced that the house was up for sale for personal reasons. I did not want to move house and was very annoyed. I had only been there for 6 months and was enjoying being around the corner from work. Although the timing was inconvenient, my relationship with the other ladies in the house had broken down following disagreements. Apart from ‘hi’ they would not talk to me at all. No more friendly chats, watching TV or ordering Chinese. So I decided I had to move house regardless. I enjoyed working locally and wanted to avoid travel costs so only searched for places within a mile of where I lived which greatly limited my options. I felt low and that life was unfair. So unfortunately, my accommodation search ended up dragging into 2016.
I had an eczema flare up over Christmas which became infected so I was back on antibiotics. Then one evening despite the dehumidifier damp came through the wall and it was soaking wet where my bed was. I woke up one night and my hair was damp and was itching like mad. Shortly after that I developed eczema on my scalp and huge flakes just kept falling out. I became ill with a fever and was off work.
Life at home was very cold, damp with a bad atmosphere and had not yet found somewhere else to live. My mum came to visit when I was unwell and the first thing she said was ‘pack your bags; you are going to stay with me’. I ended up staying with my mum for 2 months. I appreciated the move but my commute to work turned from a 10 minute walk to a 30 mile drive each way! This resulted in me feeling isolated from my life back in London, especially the church.
Just before moving in with my mum, I was prescribed a tar shampoo from my GP and also steroid tablet called Prednisone . I took the Prednisone tablet for 5 five days and my skin became smooth. Then 2 weeks later, everything just went crazy. My skin flaked from head to toe. This was very embarrassing and created a mess. They were flakes everywhere. All over my mum’s house, in my car, basically everywhere I went. I had to be so ca reful when taking off my clothes and had to v acuum and/or sweep every day. It was probably for the best that I was staying at my mum’s during this time. I did find somewhere to live which only lasted 2 months (another eczema related story which I will blog about in future)
The flaking stopped by the time I moved house, but eczema spread from my legs to my hands, arms, neck and around the chest area. I lost around 2 stone in weight (to date I don’t know why this happened as I did not diet or exercise. I had several blood tests and everything was clear). I also began losing my hair, which I believe was the after effect of eczema and continuous flaking. I had locks at this time which took 4 years to grow to shoulder length. Eczema stopped my hair growth and the locks just started to fall off one by one. It came to a point where I was completely bald at the back. I could not tie my hair to hide this so I cut my hair in July 2016 and have only since experienced very mild flakes in the winter.
I was on the waiting list to see a dermatologist since Christmas 2015 but did not have an appointment until April 2016. This was pretty unhelpful because the dermatologist did not see the eczema at the worst state. I was put back on the waiting list for UVB light treatment and went for a follow-up appointment in July 2016. Things had improved by then: I no longer needed light treatment and had another follow up in 6 months’ time.
Below I’ve copied in some pictures prior to this season and after. You will easily see the change in skin complexion and weight. Due to being very distressed and having low self-esteem I do not take any photos of myself from January 2016 to May 2016.