My 5-Year Eczema Story: Finding the Cure (Part 2)

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I began researching about eczema and discovered about GAPS diet and leaky gut since if you ask for medical opinion, they will only say that it is incurable and you the only remedy for managing is the steroid cream (the cream is very expensive!  I ended up spending around 3,000 php/month).  (see part 1 if you haven't) I also sought help from a friend who is into alternative medicine but most of the food suggestions were inaccessible or expensive like organic duck eggs.  I bought natto and prebiotics and resorted to making vegetable juice for months.  It’s funny how times of difficulty could push us to learn things.  Before this, I have never made anything in the kitchen.  Unfortunately, my effort was not as fruitful since I later discovered through my bowels that I having a difficult time digesting raw vegetables.  I was also suggested to have sunlight from 11-2 pm but it also didn’t work and just burned my skin. 

After washing the blender often, I also discovered that I was allergic to all dish washing soaps and laundry detergent.  It caused my hands to have various slash wounds out of nowhere.  I only used Perla soap or gloves to wash the dishes.  My family was in disbelief as they have never heard of such.  But, I pushed on and the hand wounds disappeared one by one.  I also shifted my soap to baby soap and used baby shampoo which eased the eczema in my body.

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Lower Body Update 2 (Warning! It's a bit disgusting)

The eczema issues just kept on as time went on… To mellow it a bit, I used everything I’ve researched on the internet (mostly earthclinic.com), Apple Cider Vinegar Spray, Epsom Salt with Apple Cider Vinegar Baths (this made me very dehydrated and I felt my eyes drying but this also toned down the ooze because it kept my skin dry), Honey (external application), Virgin Coconut Oil (I believe the 2 Table Spoons a day made me fat so I applied after half a year, I applied this externally) and sometimes Extra Virgin Olive Oil (1 Teaspoon).  Because of these remedies and mummy-style cling wrap, I became capable of sleeping. 


Photos (Click at your own risk)
 Because I was so hopeless, I documented by photo my eczema from August 2014 until May 2015 and kept a diary of what I eat so if I do conquer it I can inspire others like me.  (The photos I’ve decided to post are when they are dry after my Epsom baths so it’s less disgusting)  During these months, I questioned a lot of things like Why Me?  I felt ashamed that I used to tell Ex to eat healthy and I’m the one who is ill.  He drinks coke every day.  And, most of the time eats hotdog, Maggi and rice for lunch.  I believe I ate a well-balanced meal - same as my family who don't have eczema!  I began to back track the things I’ve done and the things I could have done better.  And, at some point, I realized that stress is one of the main cause of my eczema so I spent most of my time reflecting about life, my existence etc.  It just hit me that all my fears are just illusions of my mind.  Everything is a matter of perspective.  (It is this that motivated me with photography.  Check out my IG as my visual memoirs if you have time)    I could no longer afford to be angry or irritated so I had to reexamine every argument I could remember (most of it were petty arguments between Ex and I).   Throughout the process, you know I couldn’t find one argument where I did not misunderstand his good intentions.  I think that one of the biggest lessons I got... with understanding and empathy to sense warmth in ever living being, it is difficult to trigger my negative vibe and therefore, I was no longer emotionally triggering my eczema.  I know people say that we could not live on the past and past is past.  I get that.  But, during those times, I also realized that as long as we are alive... life goes on regardless of how we want it to... So even if I can't go back to the past, it made me feel that I want to survive so I can go on and pay them forward. 

After months of staying away with sugar, I actually felt good.  I no longer had pessimism and mood swings.  You can do your own research on gut bacteria and its effects on the brain and behavior.   This experience has thought me that even the little lest things should not be taken lightly.  In fact, it is these little buggers (and maybe cancer) that are almost invincible.  Sometimes, we humans think too much of ourselves.  (I know I once have)  Yet, we are just temporary like everything else...  we don't even own our bodies.  But, I’d like to think our soul will live on when we die so perhaps our purpose is to gain wisdom that goes along with our soul.  Otherwise, what's the point of living?

On October 11, 2014 early morning, I was rushed to the ER for diarrhea.  Since 12 am, I had 20 watery stools and 2 vomits.  My skin turned pale and I felt inflated.  I was nauseous and had heart palpitations of 70 heartbeats in a minute.  I was given 2 bottles of 100ml cipoflaxin as lactate since they found bacteria in my stool test.  I also had an electrolyte imbalance.  I had ultra low sodium and potassium so I was given iv supplements of sodium and potassium.  I felt that my Apple Cider intake and Epsom slat baths contributed to it so I stopped from this point. 

After my recovery, I began to change my diet to chicken bone broth soup with cheap vegetables from the market like Saluyot, Bitter Gourd Leaves with onions, garlic, tumeric and ginger.  I began taking Centrum Multivitamins and Fish Oil together with my probiotics (any brand I can get from Ebay).  I also ate banana almost every day.  I also tried making sauerkraut and had been successful only once.   On some day, I have kimchi (if I managed to buy some).   My bowel movement became regular from this diet so I continued this for a year or so with cheating whenever I went out for food blogging or with family.  Although I had maps of eczema still at this point, I was already raging with positivism that I think nobody could tell anymore.  I also noticed that my skin is responding to sunlight.

On January, 2015, I went to a beach trip at Grande Island Resort and had an acupuncture session with Dr. Philip Niño Tan-Gatue.  The beach I’m certain helped.  While, the acupuncture prevented it from spreading.

It was a slow recovery.  By some miracle, on June 2015 (before I began my review school year) my eczema healed.  There were only visible bruises but I already wore regular clothes because I'm always for comfort.  My friends would joke that I was battered and I just laughed it off.  I was so proud and happy with the bruises after all I’ve been through. 

By my graduation (on January 2016), most of my scars have lighten up.  I can now eat regularly.  I can sneak in a couple of sugary foods.  I am no longer allergic to anything again.  However, if I get exposed to stress (like my recent bar review) or detergents whenever I am in a hurry to clean up the dishes, my hands get slash wounds and the bruises get darker.  I always take that sign to slow down.  I couldn’t avoid getting slash wounds on my left hand for the past few months and I kept on getting flu from sitting down too much so a  month before my exam, I bought Alive Multivitamins and Spirulina which I took together with my regular Fish Oil and Probiotic. They helped me prevent having a flu but the slash wounds wouldn't go.  Lucky for me, there was none on my right hand which was my writing hand for the exam. 

So that sums up my 5-year episode with my eczema.  I’m not fully healed from this auto-immune disease but I’m pretty sure I can be!  And, since eczema is common... I hope my realizations and discoveries help you guys too!

My 5-Year Eczema , Red Skin Syndrome and Topical Steroid Withdrawal Syndrome Story (Part 1)

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I’ve decided to make my eczema story into two parts.  According to my sister who is a
doctor, eczema is a very common skin disease that only I make a deal of.  But, my
experience has been a physical, emotional and psychological roller coaster.  And, this is a my story has no reference to the medical approach okay?

I am a Chinese woman residing in Manila who is as of time of writing (December 5, 2016) 29 years old.  Since childhood, I have loved eating sweets, junk food (especially Oreo), ice cream and micro-waved popcorn.  I could finish a gallon on my own.  And, I ate micro-waved popcorn almost every single day.  Since childhood I also had sinusitis.  I couldn’t stand the smell of perfume or weird smells like our ancestral home in Ilocos Sur laden with dried Tobacco.  Whenever, the air-conditioning was strong, my sinusitis is also triggered.  Therefore, you can say that I always have a bunch of tissue paper with me.  When I entered into law school in 2009 and at the same time had some online business, I had difficulty handling stress.  I often had fever, flu or vertigo with blurred vision.  I also had chronic constipation since childhood.

Around October 2011, I had a mosquito bite around my left lower front leg.  It was irritatingly itchy so I scratched it and it bled.  My Ex back then saw it and told me I shouldn’t scratch it so he bought “Katinko” and alcohol to clean it.  To my surprise, it flared and burned in both pain and itch and I cried.  A few days later, it grew into bigger in a circular form.  And, a few more days it multiplied into four.

My mom saw it and suggested that I visit a dermatologist who diagnosed it as Discoid Eczema.  She even got a photo and marked the spot on a picture of a human body - my medical record.  She suggested that I used a hydrocortisone (steroid) cream.  I used it for a week and like magic the small coin-like wounds disappeared.

At around April 2012, we went to the Manila Ocean Park and the fish spa triggered the four eczema wounds to be back.  It was bigger and oozing even more.  I applied the cream and it healed slowly but it made dark coin bruises that won’t go away.  My aunt noticed it and that's when I realized it doesn't go away... (Not until 3 years after!)

Around June 2012, I noticed that whenever I had mosquito bites (which was often), they would transform into discoid eczema and it scared me.  So Ex and I paid the dermatologist another visit (She added more spots on my medical record) and took it lightly saying I just have to wear pants to avoid them and just apply the cream whenever I have it.  At this time, I have yet to expect what will happen next.  In fact, all I remember was Ex and I having fun on the way back.

I took some time off from school and my flu lessened a bit.  and I didn’t have any Discoid Eczema during that time because I  began to working out and lost a lot of weight.

Early 2013, I got back to school.  And, I noticed that I am no longer having any flu but the Discoid Eczema keeps on popping out in different areas which I’m certain were out of mosquitoes’ reach.  I had some on my lower back, butt, face (near the eye) and many more.  I kept on putting some cream on and whenever I do it disappears in one spot and pops out in another new spot.  Thus, I ended up having a lot of bruised spots all over my body.  It also prevented me from exercising because the sweat made the eczema itch.

On June 2013, I had a Discoid Eczema on my right arm which transfored everything the ooze touches into an eczema forming a flaking red oozing reptile-like skin map from my right arm to my elbow and into my lower arm.  It disappeared after the magical cream.  It was also this time that our maltese Lychee got pregnant and I failed to deliver the puppy and it died.  It really got me down.  It led me to making a decision of a lifetime and gave her to Ex.

By January 2014, I discovered I had shrimp allergies that triggered my eczema.

On March 2014, I went on a foodtrip to Baguio.  The big map eczema on my right arm reappeared and I could no longer stop it with cream.  It just kept on getting bigger faster and oozing more violently.  (Medically, they refer to this as the Red Skin Syndrome [RSS] or Topical Steroid Withdrawal Syndrome [TSW]) This is when I noticed that I became allergic to almost everything!  I couldn’t have all crustaceans, grills, fried, sashimi, caffeine, sugar, milk, nuts and night shades plants containing solanaceae/saponins (potatoes, tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers, eggplant, cucumber, pimentos, paprika, and cayenne peppers).  As soon as I returned home, I stopped eating rice (having same reaction as with sugar) and shifted to boiled egg instead because it was easy to cook and it made me full.  I later found out through applying the egg white on my skin that I was also allergic to egg too so I ate our usual home viands without rice.  I just listened to my bodies reaction on which to eat or not to eat.  (I'm still doing that until now)


eczema
 
On June 2014, thinking it was just stress, I went to a hotel in Tagaytay for an overnight stay.  I swam in the swimming pool and as soon as I got home I had eczema (in all size and shapes) all over my body.  It was oozing and spreading, flaring and itching like wildfire.  I could no longer sleep because I was always oozing and itching.  My bed is covered in skin flakes, yellow crusty scales and blood… During those sleepless nights, I began to realize how much I’ve taken things for granted.  I’ve began to appreciate what it like to have a good night sleep or having a healthy body. 

At the same time, I was so afraid.  I felt like a monster.  I couldn’t understand why it was happening to me.  I don’t have asthma like my father and sister and no one in our family ever had eczema.  I felt like my body was betraying me.  The stress from the fear and sleepless nights made it even worse.

My family was forcing me to go back to the dermatologist (I didn’t because I knew like the previous 3 times she would only suggest the cream and draw more spots on my medical record) or they’ll call the psych ward thinking I’ve gone psychotic.  Perhaps, it was true.  I could no longer focus.  I was agitated or frustrated.  I had lost hope in life and in myself.  I refused to go out with the family.  But, since I was paying for my classes, I forced myself to attend.  I had to cling wrap myself like a mummy and wear long sleeves and pants even during summer!  And, it smells so bad (like rotten eggs) so I had to sit on the corner of the classroom all the time away from everyone.  At home, I had to stay secluded too because they couldn’t stand the smell.  And, I couldn’t go near my 6 dogs either because I’m allergic to them.  At this point, my decision to give up Lychee who usually slept by my bed side was confirmed to be right. 

End of Part 1... See Part 2

Dutch Pinay DJ Sheryl Lynn Launches Her Career in the Philippines

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Manila is fast becoming one of the coolest cities of vibrant night life.  There are more and more awesome and new clubs popping out.  This is the kind of club scene that's perfect for Half-Filipina and Dutch DJ Sheryl Lynn to show case her hits.

dj sheryl lynn
Coming from Netherlands, the number one DJ country and being married to Andy Callister who is a DJ and producer for over 20 years, has inspired her to enter into the DJ industry.  It was an easy transition for her since she has always been exposed to music.  She was a dancer and singer since childhood.  And, her parents are both music lovers.

dj sheryl lynn
She held her launch party at the House Manila at Remington Hotel.

dj sheryl lynn
Every one was amazed at how natural she was at spinning.

Check her out by watching the video

dj sheryl lynn
Her colorful life of being a beauty queen (Ms. Netherlands 2006 and Mrs. Globe 2013 in the United States), model, host and philanthropist is reflected in her interpretive music.  As a philantropist, she established the Sheryl Lynn Foundation in 2007 which has helped over hundreds of children including the Yolanda victims.

dj sheryl lynn
Along with her hits, some of the wonderful collection of fashion icon Cherry Samuya Veric was modeled.

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It was a great collaboration where visual art and musical art compliment each other.


Cherry Samuya VericCherry Samuya Veric
Both are vibrant and creative.

Cherry Samuya Veric
Cherry Samuya Veric's Collection

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The fashion show ended but the party went on.

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Some danced to the music...

house manila remington hotel
while others enjoyed their drinks as their listened to the beats.

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DJ Sheryl Lynn is so energetic.  She also performed a quick dance...

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 before continuing along with her spinning as the night went on.

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Cherry Samuya Veric's Collection
Get to know more about DJ Sheryl Lynn by watching her interview.


Congratulations to DJ Sheryl Lynn! It was an amazing night.  Cheers to her success.

Star Cinema Paskong Pasasalamat 2016 with Star Music Artists and Stars of MMFF 2016

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Christmas is early with Star Cinema Paskong Pasasalamat 2016 held at SM Mall of Asia Music Hall.

star cinema paskong pasasalamat 2016
First to perform is Pinoy Boy Band Super Star Allen Cecilio.

star cinema paskong pasasalamat 2016jamie riviera
Next is Jamie Riviera who sang from her Christmas Album "My Christmas Gift".  She also showed her support by convincing the crowd to watch Star Cinemas upcoming movies The Super Parental Guards and Vince and Kath and James.

Watch her christmas single

alexa ilacad
Alexa Ilacad features songs from her new album To the Moon and Back "Pakipot Suplado" which is also available in ITunes and Spotify.


alexa ilacad


ylona garcia
Then, Ylona Garcia sings from her album My Name is Ylona Garcia the song "Dahan Dahan Dahan Lang"


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inigo pascualinigo pascual
The crowd went wild when Iñigo Pascual performed songs from his self-titled album.

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He made the fans crazy as he went and into the crowd and allowed them to take selfies with him  while he sang.


 

charice pempengco
Charice Pempengco sings from her album Catharsis.



the super parental guardian
And soon, every cheered as they saw Vice Ganda with Awra and Onyok coming from the back stage.


the super parental guardian
They did the Ang Kulit Dance for TV Patrol.  And, they invited everyone to watch The Super Parental Guardians Opening on November 30, 2016.


juan karlos labajo
Vice and the kids retreated to give the stage to JK Labajo


julia baretto
Next, is Julia Barreto singing Love Yourself...


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and Ronnie AlonteJK Labajo, Julia Barreto and Ronnie Alonte are the main cast of Star Creatives upcoming drama series A Love to Last.

zeus collinszeus collins
 Zeus Collins heats up the stage with his singing and dance moves in Closer and Five More Hours




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zeus collins
 
vince and kath and james

vince and kath and james
Then, Star Cinema presents it's MMFF 2016 entry Vince and Kath and James casting Ronnie Alonte, Julia Baretto and Joshua Garcia.

julia baretto
 Julia Baretto tells a little detail about her character as Kath

ronnie alonte joshua garcia


joshua garciaronnie alonte
Placards of Joshlia can be visibly seen from the audience.  But, there are Ronlia too.


ronnie alonte joshua garica julia baretto jk
Jk has a role too.


ronnie alonte joshua garica julia baretto
Vince and Kath and James casts Ronnie Alonte, Julia Baretto and Joshua Garcia at the back stage.
the super parental guardian


the super parental guardians
One game for the fans before The Super Parental Guardians casts returns.

the super parental guardians
Vice Ganda performs...




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the super parental guardians
joined by Onyok and Awra.






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awra
After inviting the fans once again, the show ended with a shower of gifts.