Recovery

I thought I would never recover from this flare of allergies and eczema. I would read accounts of people suffering for years, of sleeping very little because of the pain and torment of irritated, red, inflamed skin. I thought I had lost my own face. I looked unfamiliar in the mirror, scarred and swollen. I was reading Dickens’s Bleak House, where poor orphaned Esther contracts smallpox from a vagabond child she takes in, and finds, when she recovers, that she is disfigured with the pox scars.

I desperately threw my state of illness out for my friends’ regard. Many of them rallied, gave advice, much of it succinct to my case. One friend helped me sort out whether I had developed lupus, a terrifying, to me, possibility. And they prayed, which I think contributed more to my recovery than anything.

This is what I did: I stopped using my prescription medicated ointments, as they no longer seemed to have any effect. (This is common.) I switched to a homemade honey salve, which I have mentioned in previous posts. I continued with antihistamines. I also went on a low-histamine, low-salicylate diet for at least a month – which I will continue until the end of October. The diet and other reliable information is here: http://www.chronichives.com/, and I recommend the International Chronic Urticaria Society site to anyone who is dealing with allergies.

After using the honey salve for two weeks, the recommended time, I was able to renew my prescription ointments, and only because a dear friend sent the money unasked. I was also able to get good, deep, healing sleep, which one friend, from experience, said was absolutely necessary for building collagen, which is the basic unit of skin.

So this is how I am clearing up, day by day, the horrible, almost disabling eczema, angio-edema and urticaria I had developed: Hydrocortisone OTC for my face, clobetasol for the body and hands, Benadryl for an antihistamine, 25 mg 2-3 times a day, with 50 mg at night. A salve of honey, beeswax and olive oil for the two-week hiatus. A diet low in histamines and salicylates for 4-6 weeks, with gradually trying foods after that. And lots of sleep, lots of water, an attempt to keep anxiety low, and so many good and happy prayers from my friends for me that I am sure the heavens rang.

7 thoughts on “Recovery

  1. So good to hear Magdalena. You will still be in my prayers. Ella’s eczema is flaring up again so I’m going to have to track down some bees wax and try your recipe.

    Paula

    • I use the stubs of my beeswax candles, and sometimes you can find a bit of it in fabric stores, in a case, for threading needles. Use it for two weeks, then give it a break. Also, I had to go on a low-histamine diet. If she has other symptoms such as sniffly nose and irritated bladder, it might be a food allergy or even just a generalized senstivity, so the low-histamien diet might be good for a month. It doesn’t have to be forever, it seems, once the symptoms are under control. If you google how-histamien diet, there is a lot of nonsense out there, so I recommend the ICUS diet I linked.

  2. Oh, diets, we have been on so many over the years, and you know what? They have all helped and I am grateful for having the ideas given to me. I will look into this diet for one son and to pass on to others. It is wonderful if you don’t have to stay on it for more than a month or so, because in our case each diet we have been on was long term – up to 2 yrs. We now just use the principles of several of them for most of our diet.

    I made the honey ointment, but I don’t think I took enough care. I used too much beeswax and there are like little teeny hard pellets all throughout it and they fall out all over the floor as I apply it and then melt and make a mess. It really helped my psoriasis.

    I am glad to hear you are on the mend and I am so sorry you have such a battle. I am thinking of you!!!
    Joanie

    • This isn’t too bad. The hardest part for me is no tea! I could stay on it longer if I need to, but will do some re-introduction of foods, avoiding ones I know are triggers, like tomatoes and oranges.

      As for the salve, just reheat it a bit so that everything is just liquid, and then stir it while it cools. The beeswax granules will melt and resolve into the suspension.

  3. No tea!! Ouch. I drink a lot of Early Grey or P.G. Tips. I love black tea much more than coffee, although I do enjoy a steaming cup of coffee when Bruce is home in the morning and we can chat. I do like some herbal teas, but mostly use them for what is ailing me. I give Patrick his daily meds ( 4 times) with chamomile because the sugars in the juice added up to be a lot. I love the taste of it and I sweeten with stevia.

    Thanks for the help on fixing me ointment. I will do it!!! It truly is healing.
    Joanie

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