What’s Up.

So, I’ve been M.I.A. for a while.

What up, you ask.

Part busy business. Part preparation.

First, the business: Sorta the same as usual. Just deadlines and cases galore, which is a blessing for your own business but bad for blog business! 🙂 The good news is that we are finally getting internet at home so I can do more blogging without taking any time from work!!!

Second, the preparation:  And, I’m going to cry as I write this.

I have been holding this news back for a while for whatever reason. I have rosacea. I have had it since 2009. Prior to 2009, I had beautiful skin. The type of skin people would walk up to and compliment me on. I was proud of my skin. It had blemishes here and there but nothing that couldn’t be cured with some O-T-C pimple cream.  My skin was magnificent – glowing, soft and mark-free.

The start of it all. I developed it while I was going through my engagement party. I was planning this fiasco while living away from home and dealing with the stresses of a full-time-big-firm-many-hours-of-the-night job, family obligations, requirements, etc.  The night was a MESS!

Anyways, a few days before the formal day – while handling EVERYTHING – I developed debilitating stomach cramps, severe tooth pain (wherein I was taking 10 Advil/day to deal with the pain – approved by my Dentist), a skin rash and fatigue. My skin felt like paper.

Since that day, my skin never got better. It was peeling and I was told to put hydrocortisone on it.  I had all the symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis.  It worked until I realized my face became red.  I have all the symptoms of steroid induced rosacea.

My skin looks horrible.

I have tried almost everything.  Antibiotics from the dermatologist and topical creams.  I know that it will take approximately 6 months for things like this to work but I cannot fathom taking antibiotics for 6 months.  I took it for three and felt really unlike myself.  I was tired and moody.  I just did not like how I was reacting to it.

So, I took a natural approach.  I researched the vitamins that usually help with symptoms and underlying causes of rosacea.  I took the following pills everyday:

–  Flax Oil (if not flax oil, fish oil)
–  Prenatal Vitamins
–  Primrose Oil
–  Pycnogenol
beta-Carotene
–  B-12
–  Betaine HCL

And, nothing.

I started a rosacea log.  I documented everything I ate and then for morning, afternoon and night documented the condition of my face.  The one thing I realized was that when I stopped taking all my vitamins, my face improved.

I have spent countless nights crying about it, and hours explaining to people (family and friends) who ask what’s wrong with my face.

I’m absolutely fed up with having this issue and wish more than anything to be rid of it.  I have to say that I have more of an issue with this than my weight.  My weight is within my control.  Rosacea is not.

I really do not want to go back to the dermatologist again because most dermatologists have the same procedure of prescribing medication.   I do notice that I have developed some stomach issues (excess gas after every meal, intolerance to dairy which started in 2009, etc.)  since the start of this and want to explore how that may relate or cause flare-ups with regards to my face.

So, after considerable research, in an attempt to give my stomach a break and to start anew, I’m doing a cleanse.  A juice cleanse.  For the next seven days, I will be juicing my way to health.  I have done this before and I usually get a good reduction in my face.  But, the difference now from every other time is that I will really scrutinize what I put into my body upon breaking the fast.

Why did I go into this long story to tell you I’m going on a cleanse?

1.  Because I didn’t want you think this was at all about losing weight.  I’m not fasting (nor recommend it) for losing weight.  I know at the end, I will gain it all back and that’s okay so long as I can see how my face/stomach reacts.

2.  I’m not the only one suffering from this problem.  In fact, about 13 million people in the world do.  If the fast and my future eating efforts help slow down the progress of this for me, maybe it will help someone else.

During the upcoming days, I will explain how I plan to break the fast and how I will change my eating habits to help me realize what my triggers are.

If nothing seems to be helping, I plan to go to a GI doctor to see if I have SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth).

I must say that the one person that has helped me through it all is my Binks.  I would be slumped away in serious depression if it wasn’t for him.  To be loved and desired when the word “attractive” isn’t even if you vocabulary anymore is a testament to the wonderfulness and strength of Binks.  He has helped and consoled every step of the way. I couldn’t be where I am without him.

So, that my friend is what’s up.

Do you suffer from rosacea?  Have you done a cleanse before?  A juice cleanse?  Have skin issues? Who is someone in your life that offers you strength when you feel weak – other than God, of course?  Any suggestions on how I should break the fast?  Raw foods? Gluten-free?

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38 Comments

Filed under Health, Life

38 responses to “What’s Up.

  1. I am so interested in your findings. Part of my motivation was to see skin improvement when I went raw in January> I have adult acne at times and I refuse to use harsh medical treatment. Unfortunately, no one single natural remedy has done the trick to cure it or take it all away so it causes me some angst as well. Looks like we both took a mini bloggie break around the same time!

  2. so sorry to hear this news. i can’t imagine how tough it must be and i’m sorry to hear you’re suffering 😦 it sounds like you’ve put a lot of thought and research into what will best help you and i hope you find something that works! if you ever need anything, let me know!!! love you friend! you’re beautiful inside and out- never forget it!

  3. Woman I feel for you. I almost cried reading this. I do not have rosacea but I did have a case of severe hives a couple of years ago. It depressed me to no end (especially because I have always been proud of my soft, smooth skin as well). I took dozens of allergy tests, dozens of allergy meds, steroids, light therapy, acupuncture, yoga, everything. The more stressed I got, the more the hives flared up. But by some stroke of luck and God’s grace, my hives became more controllable. I credit it to a wonderful allergist, acupuncture, and also periods of eliminating preservatives from my diet (so I would only eat whole, unaltered foods). Never done a juice cleanse, but eliminating junk is sort of a cleanse anyway. At my lowest point, my sweet ex-boyfriend still loved me, and I am forever grateful for that. My mom is also a saving grace as she also suffers from a lot of allergies (but not as severe as mine were). I wish you the best and hope you feel better soon! Good luck.

  4. *hugs* I’m sorry that you are going through this. I’m interested to see how this turns out for you. Keep your chin up!

  5. I tried to plan a wedding inanother state while working full time. In the end, we ended up eloping. Best. Decision. Ever.

    I would ease my way back into food. I would stay away from the most common food allergies. Wheat, dairy, eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, fish and shellfish. Also some people are sensitive to nightshades…? Don’t know it’s necessary to stay away from those.

    Then maybe add foods slowly to see if there’s a reaction? I would love to do a fast with you but I don’t have a juicer. Only a blender… would that work?

    • My wedding went much smoother but by then, damage was done.

      I don’t think using a blender will work the same. The juice fast/cleanse allows your stomach to take a break because it separates the fiber-y pulp part from the juice, which is easier for your stomach to handle than the full on fruit, which is what you would have if you blended. Hope that helps!

  6. Sweet friend, I have tears in my eyes for you! I can relate to this, and I’m so sorry you’re going through this. I’m glad you have Binks. I feel the same way about Billy. I’m going to email you! I have more to say… 🙂

  7. I do not have rosacea but my skin was not always cooperative with me and I know how that hurt how I felt about myself. (hugs) I hope the juice fast helps and you are able to figure this out. I’m so sorry to read that you are going through this!

  8. I am sending you a huge hug right now. I’m so sorry that you have to go through this! Skin problems are the worst, and I’ve had my bouts of them through the years with the ebbs and flows of stress from school, work, life, etc. Cleansing is actually such a rewarding process, I know it probably doesn’t seem like it right now and believe me if someone told me that when I was in the middle of struggling with skin issues I would probably want to slap them. Typically when I cleanse I go gluten free and dairy free. For the most part I don’t really eat meat anyway, so I keep fish in my diet because it’s such a great source of omegas and lean protein. I also use a product called MediClear Plus. It’s amazing. Seriously. I was totally skeptical of it at first, but now I’m obsessed. It has amazing anti-inflammatory properties that most store-bought cleanse systems leave out. I also use Sibu soap and morning face cream that is essentially pure omega-7 sea buckthorn. LOVE LOVE LOVE IT. Okay, I’m on like information overload right now but I hope it gives you a few ideas to get started. I’m totally in solidarity with you girl! You can do this! Thanks for being so vulnerable and sharing your heart!

  9. I would love to do a juice cleanse (I too have weird skin issues all of a sudden, WTF) but am too poor to afford a juicer at the moment. I have gone raw before and noticed a significant improvement in how I felt physically in terms of gas, bloating, etc. I don’t have any advice for you necessarily but hope you can find something that works for you 🙂

  10. My heart goes out to you. I’m so sorry you are going through – you are brave to be writing about it and sharing your experience. Good luck with your cleanse. When you’re ready to return to whole foods, send me a note. I’ll have a batch of strawberry shortcake scones (sans dairy, perhaps?) for you to try. Keep your chin up.

  11. 😦 I’m sorry to hear about your skin, that just looks painful. I hope this cleanse treats you well and it clears up so you can go back to your normal way of being. And friends and family asking whats wrong? That’s kinda rude but I would want it come from them as opposed to strangers. Hugs girlfriend!!

  12. hi Susan, I was looking at your falafel recipe today…am thinking about making it this evening…and I noticed this post.

    I’m so sorry you’re going through this. I wish I had some good advice to give you but sadly, I don’t know anything about rosecea or what would be the best way to break the fast.

    One thing you might do is consider alternative medicine…specifically acupuncture. Now I don’t know if an acupuncturist can even treat rosecea, but you could certainly call one to find out.

    Me, my husband, and my mom and dad have all been to an acupuncturist. It doesn’t hurt, and for us, it’s worked.

    My father had to literally carry my mom into the acupuncturist’s office because her back was in such bad shape that she couldn’t walk. After that one session, we was able to walk out of the office on her own.

    After one session, my husband hasn’t had flare-ups with herniated disks in his back.

    I had horrible migraines and after one session, the migraines disappeared for years.

    Anyway, I don’t know whether acupuncture would work for you, nor do I know if an acupuncturist could treat the disease, but you might consider consulting with one to find out. Just make sure he/she is licensed and went to an accredited school.

    I hope you find the answer, and my heart goes out to you as you’re trying to deal with this. Take care, sheila

  13. OliePants, oh girlie! I’ve missed you and your wonderfully creative writing. Thanks for being so open with your readers…you continue to inspire me to be completely out there on my blog. I wish I had some miracle cure for your skin, it makes me sad that I can’t help. ;( That’s my extra grumpy face because that’s what I am when I can’t help a friend.

  14. I’m sorry 😦 I’m curious to see how everything works out. Hope you feel better!

  15. I’m so sorry friend. I don’t have rosacea but I have been in a similar situation. You gotta do whats right for you. I hope the cleanse goes well and keep us posted. Hugs!
    LC

  16. I knew a girl in high school that had it- the poor thing would get so miserable when it popped up because it was just so uncomfortable…

    I hope the cleanse helps- good luck, my friend!

  17. Thanks so much for sharing what you’re going through. I don’t have rosacea, but I had a crazy thing happen with my skin in 2009…I went to mexico and as soon as I went in the sun, my face pigment went all crazy (dark patches). It’s still a disaster, and I’ve spent thousands of dollars trying to fix it without being too “medical”—and it’s so tempting to go the antibiotic route, but it isn’t worth it in the long run. It’s a bandaid approach to a deeper problem. I’m so with you—the worst thing in the world is to have your face messed up, the thing that everyone sees first when they look at you.
    I know exactly how you feel. The exploration to find the cause or cure the cause so the symptoms go away can be a long road. I want to give up many times, and I know it’s worth it to keep trying with the nutritional approach. I look forward to reading your updates, and I’m close to juice cleansing myself to see if I can bump myself to the next level of healing (I’ve done three days a few times since my skin-catastrophe).
    I’m so glad you have love and support that you need. I get that from my man and from my mom, and it’s still hard to deal with a jacked up face, but unconditional love is comforting.

  18. I’ve never had “nice” skin, but I’ve never had a dermatological issue before. I do however, have oral problems with my jaw, etc. and I know the feeling of being fed up to tears about something it seems like you can’t control. Or something it seems like costs way too much to handle to fix.

    So I’m sending sympathetic vibes your way! I hope you are able to see positive results from something soon!

  19. awww hunny I am so sorry! I hope the cleanse starts working wonders right away!!! Keep me posted! I’ll be thinking about you!

    I have very sensitive skin so I get read and blotchy so easily. Lately I have had all these weird skin issues that I need to go see the dermatologist for… I’m just kind of slacking and blogging instead of going to the doctor. I’m in full avoidance mode!

  20. I’m sorry about your skin 😦 I know how it feels to have bad skin. I had bad acne all the way up until college and I just hated being around people. I’ve tried everything and finally found some natural products that made it somewhat ok. I pray that you’ll find something to make you feel confident again. I really tend to lean on my mom when I’m feeling blah because she always knows what to say. Since joining this blog community, I feel like blog friends really help as well. Knowing you’re not alone makes everything better!

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  22. Be strong! I have read that whey can help with skin redness. From what I’ve read it tastes bad, but people really like the results. Hang in there. It’s frustrating when we treat our bodies right and our bodies do not cooperate.

  23. im so sorry to hear about your struggles. this definitely sounds like a frustrating problem. i think you’re taking the right approach though…trying new things, new eats, etc. just to see how your body reacts. im sure you’ll find something will work for you! we’re definitely all different in how we respond to antibiotics and other drugs, but you’ll find you’re solution soon enough. you’re still beautiful!

  24. I am so sorry!! I hope the cleanse works for you!! Even though I don’t have rocesea, my son has eczema and we have tried everything and it has been so frustrating! His is on his face and everyone comments what is wrong with him etc. We finally were able to get the right kind of steriod that has knocked it out. And we are still eliminating certain foods from his diet. Have you ever considered going to a holistic nutritionist?

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  26. So sorry to hear of your suffering friend 😦 Take comfort in knowing that you have a wonderful partner to go through this with! Good luck with your cleanse, I hope that it helps to bring you some answers! 🙂

  27. I am so sorry you are going through this. I have never done a cleanse/juice fast, so cannot help there, but I did want to mention my experience with skin problems. I always had redness, which a dermatologist qualified as “mild rosacea” while another said it was just normal. I did not want to go on any medication so I just dealt with it with lots of makeup. Fast forward a few years later – I was having a lot of digestive issues, along with joint pains (which I had always had intermittently) and chronic sinus problems. I ended up doing an elimination diet and food allergy testing and the combined result of all of that is that I eat a gluten-free, dairy-free, chicken-egg-free, refined-sugar-free diet with no coffee and very moderate natural sugars, and my skin has never been better. I still get a bit of hormonal acne, but the mild redness in my skin is gone. I also eat a nearly vegan diet (with some fish and occasional chicken) and a lot of raw foods, so I am sure all those veggies help 🙂 Good luck with your cleanse.

  28. Oh Susan, I’m so sorry to hear about the anguish you’ve experienced regarding this! My mom-in-law has rosacea and it has been difficult for her to deal with at times. She has learned lots of make up tricks to help conceal it, but to be honesty, she is such a special lady that I never thought anything was ‘wrong’ with her face in the first place. I guess it just never occurred to me that it was really different. Anyway, she’s fabulous and you’re a special lady too! And I just LOVE what you wrote about Binks in that last paragraph! How wonderful that you have him to remind you of how beautiful you are!

  29. Thanks for sharing 🙂
    I don’t have rosacea, but lots of members of my family have it with very very fair pale Irish skin. I’m so interested in your journey to finding a solution and I wish you nothing but the very best.
    You are beautiful. End of story.

  30. This is crazy timing because I have been out of my mind with frustrating at my eczema. I realize it’s totally different than what you are going through but in a way I can relate because no matter what I do, it isn’t going away.

    After doing yet another cleanse where I ate nothing that could possible be labeled an allergen, I have been seeing an accupuncturist. It’s been about 4 weeks and I am finally seeing some relief. The accupuncturist said it’s a virus and that it will take 3 months total to get rid of it. It makes sense to me…it’s just really, really expensive. And of course insurance doesn’t cover it.

    Anyway, I thought I’d throw that out there because maybe an accupuncturist can help you too! I’m sorry my friend. I’m thinking of you and hoping you find a cure ASAP.

  31. PS – In general, my skin looks best when I avoid dairy, soy, sugar, gluten, and nuts. Yes, I am hungry all the time. Yes, it’s SO hard to find things to eat, but I do feel SO much better when I avoid these foods. And the accupunturist claims he can help me eat these things at some point?? Who knows…

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  33. Much love to you my dearest… I’m getting to this post late but I hope your cleanse is doing you well. I am sending you all the biggest hugs I have! xoxo

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  36. Jen

    I can relate to your situation entirely! Have you investigated the affects of gluten sensitivity?

    About a year ago I started getting this rash all over my face that wouldnt go away and would flare up from time to time. My dermo was perscribing me all sorts of topical creams that actually seemed to make it worse. I ended up changing doctors, who diagonsed me with perioral dermatitis, a cousin to rosacea. It was heart breaking news. Despite the meds, I was convinced that the flare ups were being triggered by something!!!

    Despite what I had been diagosed with, I started exploring changes in soaps, foods, etc. etc. A friend of mine told me to cut gluten out of my diet for a month and see what happens, its known to cause dermititis to those who are sensitive. I am so happy I listened to her. Its been a tough journey, but I think i have found the culpret. I have not been diagnosed with any type of gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, but if avoiding gluten is keeping me clear, im going to go with it.

    Good luck!

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