Vicki Layton had a perfect life, but an alarmingly normal skin condition destroyed her fortune in a moment's eye.
A 41-year-old woman from Brisbane lived an active life, working full-time as a nurse, practicing daily, watching close friends at weekends and even playing a competitive volleyball.
"I worked very hard, I had very high standards for myself, my job and my future achievements," Viki told news.com.au.
Her life seemed to be fulfilled until one morning of 2010 when she woke up to a strange rash that stretched across her belly.
This little red rash would cost Vicki up to $ 50,000 in treatments, for she has been fighting for nearly a decade against painful pain, sleepless nights and mutilated loneliness.
"I'll never forget that morning"
The day Vicky first discovered that it was a rash, a moment that is impossible to forget.
"I was in the morning shift, so I woke up around 4:30," she said.
Drawing to dress after a morning coffee, Vicki suddenly spotted a "rash red rash" over her belly.
She thought that the day before she was outside, trimmed the trees and cut the lawn, so she put it on a simple allergic reaction to something in her garden.
"I removed the door to work, not thinking about anything more," she said.
"I had no idea how much my life would change."
LIFE SPIRALED AWAY
In the days that followed, Vicky was becoming more and more worried because her extremely severe rash spread from her abdomen to her legs and over her arm.
"I tried every cream and the solution I found, but there was nothing I could do to make myself comfortable," she said.
As the mysterious condition of the skin spread rapidly over the body of Vicky, it soon began to affect her daily routine, from sleep and exercise to social life.
Vicki was not able to concentrate on anything else about her because of painful itching and pain.
"I could not find clothes that would no longer irritate my skin," she said.
"My life began to move away."
HITTING ROCK BOTTOM
Despite the fact that every diary, internet trick and miraculous cream were trying, Vicki was getting worse every day.
The rash expanded even further – he took his chest and face – and he became infected and burned.
Finally, after 12 months of self-treatment, she was hospitalized after a friend found her demolished on the floor of her home, completely confused and so high that she was so high that she was "in delirium".
Vicky was taken to the hospital, where the astonished doctors discovered that her damaged skin broke the bones on the heels and the key bone, which resulted in severe bone infection.
"I did not understand the situation that I had until I seriously felt bad," she said.
After recovering from his terrible temptation, Vicki was diagnosed with eczema.
Setting the diagnosis made Vicki even more determined than ever to get rid of eczema and "finally find relief."
She tried steroids, light therapy three times a week, lotions, pills, child and radical treatments, all of which did not ease her painful symptoms.
Vicki was even lying in tubs filled with bleach or potassium, some of which were troublesome.
"I still wake up in panic, struggling to catch my breath after I re-lived those days in my dreams," she said.
It is estimated that Vicki spent more than $ 50,000 on treatments just to get rid of agony throughout the day.
"I feel like a fool I spend so much money … but when you've been suffering for so long, it's hard not to believe that you finally found a cure," she said.
SLEEP WS IMPOSSIBLE
As one of the most important biological functions that keeps us alive, sleeping soon became impossible for Vicki.
Her skin was so crude, separated, stinging and sick, that she could not lie on her back for about three years.
"Or I slept sitting crossed legs on the floor with my head on a coffee table, or I tried sleeping in a bathtub," Vicky said.
IZOLIRANA IZ SVETA
Inexperienced to see the light at the end of the tunnel, Vicki retreated into herself, avoiding friends and family, and preferring to isolate her from a sharp, condemned world outside.
"My face and body were always raw and payable, so I got out of the world," she said.
"I did not have friends or lives outside my home, where I lived alone."
And her mental health worsened, and the longing she felt for a human relationship was almost unbearable.
She believed that her dreams about marriage, the possession of children and the observation of her career were "now lost."
"I was so preoccupied with my disease, there was little time for anything except an attempt to breathe through itchiness and theft of sleep," she said.
At one point, Vicina's symptoms became so fierce, she told her sister "she just wanted to die".
"For so long, I prayed to get rid of itching, but I felt like my prayers were never answered," she said.
Finally, after 10 years of silence, Vicky finally got access to a new form of eczema drugs that could alleviate her unbearable itching and allow her to sleep strongly every night.
She managed to return to daily shifts – she had to receive because of her exhaustion – and found a support group with whom she shared her story.
After ten years of shadow life, Vicky began to visit Australia to support eczema, where she soon met "other people who also thought they were alone."
"For the first time I had someone to hear me … now we have each other and we are strong together," she said.
Eczema Support Australia's Managing Director Melanie Funk says Vicky's story is "sadly known to people with eczema".
"For too long, they suffer physical and emotional trauma because they reject the condition, seek a miraculous remedy or simply have no one to turn to," said Melanie.
Vicki still has eczema throughout the body and works daily to prevent her condition from becoming a serious infection.
"My goal is to be good enough to sleep all night, and then to work five days a week," she said.
"It sounds like a good life for me."
While the daily battle for Vicki, she finally found happiness and love.
Vicki met and fell in love with Michael, and the couple married in September last year.
"We have a great connection," she said.
"Although he is always there to support me, I find myself not putting him in the role of carer.
"This is my illness … and it is important that it is more possible to focus on other aspects of my life and the lives that we are building together."
She said that eczema was a condition that everyone heard, many did not understand how serious it could be.
"For many, this disease is lifelong and exhausting, and like every other chronic illness, patients need support," she said.
WHERE TO GET HELP:
If you are concerned about your or other mental health, the best place to get help is your general practitioner or a local mental health provider. However, if you or someone else is in danger or threaten others, immediately call the police at number 111.
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