Friday, August 23, 2013

Am I Winning?

"You know, school is starting soon. You should probably... Start taking your cream again."

What? No no no no no. How could my dad be saying this to me? 

I strongly objected to his idea. No way could I possibly start using steroids again after all my hard work. It's already going on almost 2 months!!

My dad was worried about me, I knew that.  How would I go to school when some days I can hardly walk or have the energy to do anything? What if my skin got worse and got an infection? 

So I agreed with my dad that I would go to the doctor. I was scared out of my mind. I've read so many stories of the dreaded experience of people going to ignorant dermatologists who didn't believe in steroid addiction. I was even more terrified because I didn't want my dad to side with the doctor. But I was hoping that since I was going to a family doctor instead of a dermatologist, they would be more understanding. Boy, was I wrong.  

The next day, I took a bath before I got ready to go to the doctor. When I got out, my skin felt like it was burning.  I knew burning was the most common symptom of TSW, but my skin was hurting so badly. I tried to put my cream on and put my clothes on. I was getting late for my appointment, and all I through on was a tshirt and some sweats. By the time I got into the car, I realized I needed a sweater. My skin hurt so much and I hated the way the air felt on me. I was also cold since I still had trouble regulating my body temperature. Not to mention, I was having my time of the month, which really sucked. And then I became overwhelmed. I bursted into tears in the car.  

When we got to the doctor's office, I was still crying uncontrollably. I didn't know what was wrong with me. I never cry in public, but I was probably just so stressed out. The ladies at the front desk looked astonished. By the time I calmed down, my skin was still hurting and I was freezing cold. I I overheard the ladies talking to my dad, saying that the doctor would be late and probably wouldn't arrive till a half hour. I begged my mom to let me into the car where it was warmer. The ladies were questioning my parents what was wrong with me and telling them that the heat would aggravate my skin more. My mom told them that I really did feel cold, so they took us to a room that was warmer. They then began to take my temperature. 98 degrees, normal. One of the ladies told me they had to take blood from me. 

"You're not afraid of shots, are you?" She asked and laughed. I felt like i was bring treated like a little baby. I guess it made sense since I came in looking like an emotional wreck. 

She held my arm and looked at it. "We have a patient whose skin looks like yours. It's much worse."

I really felt like she was telling me that I was in no position to cry right now. Which really made me upset because I was in so much pain right now and she would never know. She would just think of me as some over dramatic teenager that probably goes crying to her mommy if she got the littlest cut. 

So anyway, the doctor arrived an hour late. I was hoping that this was all going to be worth the wait. When he walked in, he was all jolly. He asked me the usual questions a doctor asks a patient with eczema. You know what I mean. If you've gone to many dermatologists, you've probably gotten tired of the same old questions and memorized the same replies you always make. 

I clearly told him that I have quit using topical steroids for almost two months, and that I don't want to take them again. He examined my body, and despite all of that, he started talking to my parents about prescribing me some steroid cream and ORAL STEROIDS. He also said he'd prescribe me some antibiotics. 

I was getting angry that he wasn't listening to what I said. Before I could even speak, my dad told him that oral steroids was probably what I needed since my whole body was inflamed. 

I couldn't believe it, he was winning my dad over!!!!! I was getting so mad that the tears were coming back up. I tried to hold them in, but I was just so upset that my dad was listening to this guy. 

My mom saw me crying and told me gently, "You can speak up, Erena." 

So I told the doctor again, "I don't want to use steroids." 

The doctor laughed and said, "You're skin won't get better unless you take it. Take the oral steroids today and tomorrow you'll feel muuuch better!"

I was terrified by this guy's enthusiasm in his voice. I watched as he wrote down the three prescriptions and handed them to my dad. I immediately left the room with my mom and rushed to the car, I didn't want to see anyone's face right now. 

"It's okay, you don't have to take the steroids, Erena. You're working so hard, I know you can do it" my mom said. 

"Thank you so much for supporting me Mommy."

Once my dad arrived to the car, I told him right away, "Okay, I might take the antibiotics. but I'm not taking the steroids."

He began to argue back, "what are you going to do with your skin like this?? Who knows how long this is going to go on!!?"

"She's already made up her mind and nothing will make her change. Go ahead and buy the steroids, but she won't use them," said my mom. 

At that moment, I was so happy. My mom truly was amazing. 

My dad drove to Walgreens to drop off my prescription. When he came back , I was surprised to see that all he got were the antibiotics. For sure, I thought he'd buy the steroids anyway, thinking that I might change my mind. But he didn't. I guess he's starting to realize that I'm not giving up. 

So I guess you can say I won? 


  1. Hi Erena! It's MT from the forum :) I'm so glad that in the end your dad listened to you. My dad was also really skeptical at first, and it took a lot of convincing for him to finally believe me about tsw. Now after I've healed some and he's seen real progress, he believes and supports me 100%. So let time take care of things and he'll come around eventually! After all, I'm sure that he's in a lot of pain watching you suffer and just wants you to be happy and healthy as soon as possible. Hang in there!

    1. Hi!!!!! It seems we have quite a lot in common, huh? Lol. My dad is the most stubborn person I know. Whenever he's wrong about something, you can show him hundreds of books and articles proving he's wrong and he still won't admit it! I'm so glad your dad is convinced, and I hope my dad will soon be too!

  2. Hi Erena! Your post really touched me, to stand up to your dad and doctor took great strength. I'm sorry you had such a horrible time.
    Hang in there, I know what you're going through. We just have to stay strong and remember that there is light at the end of the tunnel even if we can't see it yet.

    1. I'm so glad someone out there who enjoys reading my blog! Sometimes when I read over the posts, I wonder if I come across as a whiny person lol.

  3. That sounds so stressful. Your mum is awesome for supporting you.

    1. Don't know what I'd do without her! I have her full support!