15 December, 2012

Update, it's winter!

It is winter here up in the north and it has been snowing. Lovely picture perfect Christmas scenes, with icy cold winds. Quite beautiful though. In my latest bid of reshaping myself, I am walking long hours a day.
I meet with some friends in bars or shops, make long circular movements around my house and the nearby city center and wear a scarf to protect my face. The last few days it was crispy cold but there was some sun and overall it was just a joy to be outside. Until I had to sit indoors somewhere :) Too hot, too dry and I can't believe why people find it comforting to sit in that type of atmosphere. Even before I developed rosacea I never liked overheated rooms. My sister can sit in her house with the central heating set to 24 degrees and still be cold and cuddle up under a blanket. Dreadful. Or actually, I'd love to be like that. Apart from the electrical bill. A friend I visited shortly said about this that a lot of people, him included, get accustomed to a certain indoor temperature and then keep cranking the thing up. I am not convinced it could ever work like that for me, it is like with awkward smells, I don't think I will ever get used to it. I am sure the smell thing is related to the flushing as well, but I can really be repelled when I am walking behind (or worse, sitting behind) someone wearing this overstated strong perfume. When someone talks to me I am often able to tell what they ate recently and I avoid rest rooms with built in air fresheners when possible. What others find 'fresh and clean' smelling, I find synthetic and almost nauseating at worst. I am sure that deep down it is a Pavlovian reaction out of fear to flush..

Luckily the exercise is helping a bit and I also cut down my food intake. I know this is going to sound really unhealthy, but I found that when I skip my breakfast and lunch, I just don't feel hungry throughout the day. I think munching on something activates the digestion or something cause I can eat all day when I start of with 'brekkie', but I have managed to keep going for the last 10 days eating only a proper plate full of gluten free pasta, kidney beans, broccoli, organic pear mouse and the odd piece of chicken in the evening. But I am not hungry and already lost over 6 kilo's, hurrah!! Who said that people taking remeron can't shed the weight? Anyway, not very earth shattering important, all this :) So I have been very social for a week and been catching up with friends and family and luckily my post mepacrine flush calmed down to a degree, approximately at the 14 day mark (just like a few years ago) and I could make the most of it after hibernating for quite some time, but I now just look forward to curling up inside again, doors locked and working. Maybe that is one of the rosacea aspects that one should appreciate: back in the old days I was too restless to just enjoy being at home. There was always something exciting to do somewhere and I was very easily bored. Now I have just gotten used to being unable to really go outside or socialize for some periods of time. But I actually enjoy those times cut off and in my own world. Doubt I would have if I had had good skin all the time. I used to be so restless and ok, admittedly I am still restless at times, but I no longer think I 'deserve' the most uplifting lifestyle. If anything, I love it when people don't bother to invite me or come over unexpected. Maybe you get in life what you need, or maybe there is some predisposition for things to happen. Although I actually think it's more to bad luck, tbh. I used to believe in pure luck and chance, but that gives quite a lot of restlessness when you are not content with the status quo, because then there are always a ton of opportunities passing you by while you were sleeping/spending time with other people or things etc. And when bad things happen to you, you intrinsically must have brought it upon yourself by not being careful or thoughtful enough. I wonder if some things aren't already predisposed, like the person you will be with in the long term, whether you'll get sick or not, have kids or not. And then right when you want to have an early night's sleep there is the news about Newtown and those poor 20 children that are massacred.. and the brave teachers who died for them. What a world we live in. Pierce Morgan went wild when discussing it on CNN with the weapon lobby guys, who of course see no connection between those ongoing weapon rampages and the legalization of weapons and maintained their usual sussing tone. What a world.. (Go Pierce!)

I traveled to a friend on the other side of the country. It was hot in the train of course and in the past Dutch trains had small ventilators above your head that you could switch on or off, and point towards your face. Brilliant! Of course with a new train company (all privatized in Holland and a bit of a mess ever since) the old trains weren't good enough anymore and the new models have no ventilation what so ever. It really kept me unflushed in the past. In some buses they still have those ventilators luckily. I was in the train last week and pondered what the world would look if everybody had rosacea. This is a returning thought and I assume that there would be ice cube vendors on every corner then, massive industrialventilators in every shopping mall, mild and comfortable indoor temperatures of 16 degrees everywhere and build in fans in every public transport. In summer the airco would be set just right and in winter they wouldn't heat everything up to a temperature that's hotter than the summer temperature which they want to lower in turn again with the airco (did anyone ever understand the logic of that by the way?). There would be no perfume odors in public toilets and every household would have at least 3 ventilators, of different sizes, so that wherever you sit down (dinner table, lounge, bedroom) there will always be a subtle light breeze cooling you down, if needed. Every public area would have massive freezers in some corner with cold packs for rental, including cotton sheet pillows to wrap around them (washed in neutral washing powder without perfumes, colorings and other chemicals). Everybody would wear hats and no one would make cowboy sounds to each other. There would be a lot of places where you can get sushi without vinegar or spices, gluten free/sugar free treats, fresh fruit salads without preservatives, fruit juices without orange or lemon juice, dairy free milkshakes that are so delicious that you won't even notice that they have no sugar in them (nor soy) and hardly any calories. There would be peanut butter that doesn't contain histamine and lollypops of flush free honey. And lots of ice cream made from organic fruits and water (they do exist by the way, I eat them all summer, apricot flavor or raspberry, blackberry or melon). And last but not least: limitless access to histamine/sugar free chocolate, that would make you lose weight when you ate it, and that acted in a complicated way as a strong anti-inflammatory. That would be a cool world. And no stressful happenings either! No embarrassing situations, friendly helpful people -we are all in the same boat after all and are making the most of it all- and clubs and disco's with lots of cold, alcohol free drinks with plenty of ice cubes and big fans keeping everybody fresh and cool. And special mirrors that block all red tones :)  :) Maybe no irritating greedy people either? Or am I really winging it now. Back to reality. I bought turmeric (curcumin longo) and probiotics in the organic shop for a whopping 60 euro -by then I felt it was too late to have second thoughts but bloody bloody how expensive- that are both supposed to lower inflammation levels. The probiotic hopefully helps the bowel as well, but it won't be the first time that I bought expensive pills that either do nothing or make matters worse. Got to keep trying however. I'll wait a week or 2 before I start taking them by the way, I want my skin to be normal again first and let the mepacrine wear off entirely, so I can start with a clean slate ' research wise' :) The vitamin D posts is almost ready. Will update soon.

And there is interesting research done by Australian scientists about the heat regulation function of people with rosacea.

Surprising enough they advice us to avoid staying in cold rooms and explain in a great way how the heat regulation works and what the 'warm room flush phenomenon' means. Check out the pdf file here. It is discussed on the Rosacea Forum here. And I made an entire blog post about this Warm Room Flush phenomenon which you can read here.

Update August 20th 2018

in general I seem to be more red in winter than in summer. Which sounds very strange to my parents and friends' ears haha. 'Weren't you always too hot?' But through forums and online groups I know more people like me, with red hot skin flushing, who have calmer skin in summer and much worse flares and general redness in winter! I think it has to do with several factors; in winter the outdoor temperature is a lot different from indoor temperatures, so when you go in and out of places, your skin deals with constant temperature fluctuations, which sets the blood vessels off to flush. Read about the warm room theory to hear more about this phenomenon. Cold weather also tends to constrict the blood vessels in the face more extremely to preserve body heat, and then when you enter a warm room, the capillaries in your skin dilate rapidly, which puts more pressure on them. Maybe that is why some people in cold and wind swept climates (think of Mongolia) have more often a ruddy reddish complexion. Once you have visible broken veins on your face, laser or IPL can remove them again, and taking vitamin C is often suggested as way to strengthen the blood vessels.

Either way, in summer I am often not as flushed and red, as long as I don't go in the sun directly and keep a breeze on my face (fan, natural breeze) and take my anti-flushing medication, my skin can be quite pale in this season actually. I do use the airconditioning however to keep indoor temperatures around 20 degrees. But even when it rises to 22 degrees Celsius for instance, I am usually fine as long as I have my fan. Whereas in winter, going into a room that is preheated to 22 degrees, means a lot of flushing, burning and red hot pain for me usually. Natural warmth seems to be different for rosacea skin than artificial heat. Indoor heat is a killer for my flushing and even above 18 degrees then is too much. Outdoor heat, well it depends if other factors are flushing me up (hormones, skin plucking, diet) but if my skin is calm already, then even 25 degrees Celsius outdoors with a fan on can be fine for me. Unless it is humid 25 degrees, then it is much too hot. Humid heat triggers my flushing whereas dry heat doesn't as much. In winter I get cold urticaria too so might perhaps just react bad to very cold temperatures I suspect and then the extreme temperature differences indoors and outdoors are horrible; stepping out in the cold, coming back into a warm room and whoooosh, I'm like a forest fire. Picture; my skin in summer versus winter:

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