Sunday, August 9, 2009

No Lip Balm Experiment - Day 40

Today my lips feels pretty normal. I trimmed the right side a little because the crust was getting really big and had pretty much peeled completely anyway. The skin underneath has already started to dry and become white. The new crusts does not seem to be so thick.

Since the start of the experiment my right side has peeled three times, my left side two times.

I have been using borage oil for the past three weeks, both eating it and applying the oil topically. According to some people this worked for them. I have not noticed any difference so far though.

Has anything happened since the start?

* When I started this experiment my lower lip hardened into several part. Now my lips harden into two whole parts, left and right.

* The middle of my lip used to split, but for the last days it has remained in one piece.

* The peeling seems to have slowed down but it is hard to really tell. Maybe it is because my lip hardens into two big crust, and it takes longer for them to peel completely.

I really don't know where this is going. I will probably continue the experiment for one more peel but after that I don't know. It takes quite some energy to live with this and still stay in a good mood. The key is not do think about it so much, just observe.

Volunteer Work
Two week ago I really stretched my comfort zone by being a volunteer at the Stockholm Pride Festival. I had planned this for several month but I thought about dropping out every day since my lips got worse again (june 1). But I finally went through with it. Being a volunteer at this festival means social interaction with many people everyday. This year I was a "journalist" writing articles, meeting many people almost all the time every day, doing interviews, attending seminars etc. I was absolutely terrified the day before the festival started, I felt sick and dead tired. But somehow I managed to get through almost the whole week before I got a really bad cold. This is what I learned during those days:

* People don't really care about your lips. It's possible to interact with people even when your lips look bad. If you don't care, they don't care. Beside, everyone are busy with their own issues.

* Things get a lot easier if you talk about your condition, instead of trying to hide it. Before I started my volunteer week I emailed everybody in my work group telling them about my EC. It felt strange to email to people I had never met before and a little bit paranoid, but I also felt relieved. Now everybody knew about it and I did not have to explain my condition to everyone I worked with. During the week some of my fellow volunteers told me I did the right thing sending that email.

* Get busy. The more time you spend interacting with people and concentrating on tasks at hand the more your awareness about your lips will tune out. As an example, I could do three interviews in a row and completely forget about my lips. So stop thinking and just immerse yourself in whatever you are doing.

Here is a picture of me from one of the articles I wrote.

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