Something happened after I got Eczema Herpeticum, in exactly this order:
- I started to feel really sorry for myself. You can see it in a couple of my videos.
- It scared the shit out of me, especially when I found out that it could reoccur.
- It made me mad!
This obviously didn't happen within a 24 hour period. It was a process that occurred over months.
Feeling sorry isn't really Step 1 of this process because I had already been doing that for quite some time, pretty successfully on my own. I focused in on my eczema like a sniper. I mean really. It was rare that someone would come up to me and point to my eczema out and announce it to a crowd like I was a sideshow. In fact, this never happened. Not in my adult life anyway. Maybe it happened when I was a kid, but it's been a long time since then. Focusing all my energy and attention on my eczema was all me, all the time. And as a result, I led everyone around me by example, and helped them focus on my eczema issues, even when they weren't.
Having Eczema Herpeticum was the start of a big change for me. It scared me that I was more likely to have it again, after having it once. That August in 2010 when I first had it, I cried. And cried. And cried. The day I went to the hospital for the 3rd time, I whispered to my husband, "I'm sorry but I can't live like this. I can't be ugly and disgusting. I'm so sad." I did get better, as you know. The EH did clear up in a couple of weeks.
And when it did clear up my sadness turned into anger. Why was I stressed and itchy and ashamed and hopeless while nice-skinned people around me had the nerve to wear shorts and short sleeves?! Damn them! Damn me and my eczema! Knowing that stress was a huge trigger for my eczema and desperately wanting to prevent an EH recurrence, I made a pact to take charge for good.
I am happy to say that I have not had a recurrence of EH. I have not ever taken the prescription of Valtrex given to me nor have I needed to. I have also weaned myself off those topical steroids prescribed to me by every doctor. 80% of my eczema has cleared up. And if you remember, I described having a bodysuit of eczema covering me.
Yes, I could have just got lucky with all of this. Or maybe the change in my lifestyle, self-perception and attitude is really a huge factor in clearing up my eczema.
All I know is that I feel better and I do things now that I would have never tried 2 years ago. And I love it!