Here is a preview for the introduction of my planned TSW book project I’m working on. Open for comments. Those keen to be part of the interviewed, do drop me message =).
6 a.m. My eyes half-opened, fingers pressing the mute alarm button on my Blackberry. My phone showed 3 a.m the last time I checked, before falling into deep sleep after all the itch.
Checked my nails. They were bloody. Damn.
Tried sitting up. First phase of hurt kicked in on my neck and calves.
Ran my hand across my pillow, they were wet with ooze and broken skin. Some streaks of blood.
It’s “damage-assessment” time. I ran my eyes and fingers all along my body. Patches of oozes, broken skin, dried blood, skin flakes all around.
“No time for self-pity,” I said in my mind, repeated over countless times in the past few months.
I grit my teeth for the next ten minutes in the shower. Cold water hitting raw broken skin became a morning routine for me.
7.30 a.m. Reached my office. Stared at my watch and realized it is close to 9 more hours before I could get home.
5.30 p.m. Mentally exhausted, from the pain. I managed to make it through the work day without much productivity. Made a mental note to myself that I should not lose my temper on my subordinates unnecessarily. I never had a temper issue at all, when I was fine and healthy.
6.30 p.m. Reached home, had dinner. Time for another shower. Gritted teeth again for the next 10 minutes. Found a spot on the bed and sat myself comfortably. Sat like a mummy for the next few hours. Any movement hurt or broke my raw skin.
10 p.m. Getting sleepy. Panic kicked in. I feared how much I would itch and scratch when I start dozing off. I used to love sleeping. Now I feared sleeping, for the potential damage I’d do to myself and the potential pain I’ll experience.
12 midnight. A uncontrollable itch developed all over my body. Felt the intense need to scratch. Tore off some bits of skin and while it was painful, it felt good. Somehow the pain reached a threshold and the itch disappeared. Or rather, was it the pain dominating the itch, I wondered. It made me stop scratching. I dozed off, and woke multiple times, with each similar repeated experience.
6 a.m. My Blackberry rang. It is time to work.
This was the life I had, prior to understand what exactly I was experiencing – Topical Steroid Withdrawal. ……….