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Dry Skin

Monday, April 25, 2011

Back when I was 27, I was at a weekend retreat with a friend who had minor skin break-outs, the kind I was starting to get. This was just under 1 year after I think I contracted Lyme disease, babesiosis and Bartonella. I had already started having disruptions in my menstrual cycle, including what I later identified as Lyme disease flares.

This friend looked at what I was washing my face with. It had some kind of anti-acne special ingredient. She told me to get rid of it. All the stuff for acne is based on drying out the skin. For people who are older than 19 or 20, the cause of acne usually isn’t oily skin. It’s some kind of inflammation under the skin. She told me to switch to products for sensitive or dry skin, didn’t matter what brand.

I tested her advice, committing only to one bottle of something or other. She was right. I still had break-outs on my face, but they didn’t get as inflamed (as in red and big). Plus, the rest of my skin wasn’t dry and tight all the time. It was great advice (thanks Kate) that I later expanded on as I got sicker and my skin got drier.

By the time I got diagnosed with the tick-borne trio, my skin was a dry mess. As I took tons of antibiotics, I developed more wrinkles and thin skin. It seemed like either the illnesses or the treatments were aging me.

I thought about what my friend had said. She told me more moisture is better because when the skin is dry, it is more easily damaged and prone to inflammation. So I started to moisturize my skin more. In the end, I settled on using almond oil (from Weleda) every morning, with another moisturizer containing SPF 15 on top.

The results are noticeable. I’ve reversed the weathered look my face had this time last year. I don’t look younger than my chronological age, but I don’t look older anymore.

The other factor that made a big difference was when I started medication to bring up my blood pressure (fluodrocortisone). With more oxygen reaching the skin all over my body, my skin doesn’t seem as thin and translucent.

I still hope that once my hormones are fully on track, that I can go back to looking young for my age…like I did until I was 32 (and like all the women on the Italian side of my family). I’m taking a blood sugar stabilizer (metformin) to combat insulin resistance, reinforced by a low-carb diet. When my body reacts normally to insulin for a while, it should have a cascading effect on my reproductive hormones. To support this process, I’m also taking maca to help my body find the right balance for my entire endocrine system.

Coiling

Since I got a night sweat last night, I’m going to hold steady on the Babesia coiling times. I’ve also reached 5 minutes on Bartonella, so I will hold steady on that, until I get through the next Lyme treatment. After that, I’ll start coiling additional body parts. Interestingly, no heart symptoms tonight.

  • Bartonella, abdomen, 5 minutes
  • Babesia, chest, 2 minutes 30 seconds; liver, 1 minute 30 seconds
  • Candida, abdomen, 10 minutes

I’m rethinking the Candida as well. I think I need to start adding in other body parts. I’m not sure when I’ll start that.

Detox

Monday is yoga. Today my favorite teacher had us do a slightly different series. I meant to ask beforehand about doing some specific detoxifying poses but didn’t have the chance. Then by a happy coincidence, we did a lot of abdominal twists. I learned a new pose that I can’t find a picture of: wide legged squat, arms in the top half of eagle pose. Then you wiggle to settle into it. It made me want to laugh, even as I felt many muscles stretching or tensing to keep me in the position.

At one point, we did something that required the right shoulder to relax. I couldn’t get my right shoulder out of the knot it was in, haunching forward while my left shoulder and back were straight. Later on, we did a high lunge and raised our torsos to do a twist, except that I didn’t. My right hip wanted to give out. I couldn’t put any pressure on it for a few minutes. I think this yoga class is pointing out that things are still stiff and sore on the right side of my body. I’ve been noticing for the rest of the day that the right side is a little more tense and tender.

Once again, I got an intense headache when I did a seated forward bend. It starts as soon as I relax into the pose. It was right at the end of the practice before shivasana. When I was lying down in shivasana, my head was fine, but when I sat up, the pain came back with a vengeance. It took an hour or so for it to go away.

The daily rundown:

  • homeopathic support
  • kombucha
  • colestid
  • skin brushing
  • yoga
  • BioMat
  • castor oil pack on liver

I’m taking colestid tonight because I have a killer headache. I never think of it when the headache starts, like at 7pm tonight. Instead I’m taking it before bed so the headache doesn’t keep me up.

Body

I think I’m herxing from the babesia and the bartonella treatments. Severe headache on the top of my head and in the back going down my neck into my shoulders. Eye pain and light and sound sensitivity. A swollen lymph node on the left side of my back. Musculoskeletal pain in my lower back. A night sweat (shirt changer) last night. Interrupted and shortened sleep. Wandering and racing thoughts (afternoon and evening). Achy joints. Bone pain in my jaw and face. Itchiness.

By some amazing turn of events, I wasn’t too tired this morning, even with the lack of sleep. Each day I’m continuing to make a little dent in my pile of urgent matters and list of things I need and want to do during the moments I have energy and concentration.

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