arm15

Exposed – what I’ve been hiding for 3 years

There’s something I’ve been keeping from you. Something I’ve been hiding in every picture and video I’ve posted on FatFighterTV since 2009. Three years ago, I mentioned I was having surgery for endometriosis. But what I didn’t share is the nightmare I’ve been living since. Notice any similarities in the pictures above? Long sleeves. No matter the season. No matter the temperature. No matter the occasion.

A couple of weeks after my surgery, a few  itchy spots appeared on my back. Then my stomach. My legs. And mostly my arms. What is this? Stop itching! Go away!

Then more spots. Until it turned into this. An itchy, scabby, fluid-filled, ugly mess throughout my body. A biopsy showed it was a skin disease called lichen planus. Doctors think I either had a reaction to the anesthesia or my body was just stressed from the surgery – it was my fifth one for endo. Either way, it would take 18 months to run its course. 18 months of itching and scratching and trying everything under the sun to try to make it stop. 18 months later, it mostly did. With the exception of a few flare ups, the itching is pretty much gone. But the scars are not. And I hate them and how they make me feel. Ugly.

I wore long sleeves every chance I could. FFTV videos in a hot kitchen – check. TV appearances – yup. Modeling shoots outside in July – I covered up even though the heat was unbearable. And the list goes on – from speaking at conferences in the summer to getting my picture taken with friends – I covered up.

About a year and a half ago, I got brave and started baring my arms and legs in public. I could feel the stares – at the gym, the park, the grocery store. Stop looking at my arms. I know they’re hideous. Don’t worry – it’s not contagious.

Suddenly someone used to being in the spotlight wanted to hide from the world. I crawled deeper and deeper into a dark hole. I lost my confidence. Completely. And all but stopped making videos. All but stopped doing the things I love.

Finally a few months ago, I found the strength to start therapy. I’m doing much better, but I still have my moments of anxiety and tears, like right now as I’m writing this.

Medication is helping the scars to slowly fade. And they don’t consume me the way they once did. I’m working on feeling confident enough to get back to my passion of making videos. Back to feeling good about myself. But for now, I’m just glad I’m getting better.

24 Comments

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