A Few Photos

Over the weekend I shared a few photos of myself from the night of Eid and I was blown over by people and their reactions. Thank you all so much for the compliments and kind words. I know many are watching my recovery or may be going through something similar, looking at themselves and wondering when they will improve. I have received questions on my recovery, asking how and what I’m doing.

First of all I just wanted to make clear that what you see on the internet isn’t real. Just like the photos. Don’t get me wrong, I have loved the compliments and it’s felt wonderful, but I should definitely set the story straight before someone sees me and starts to call me a catfish. I don’t want others to be trying to achieve what I do using editing apps.

The images you saw were the result of me finally deciding to try on a full face of makeup. I sat down throughout the early hours and I had Snapchat the journey. Once I did a full face to the best of my ability, with an extra layer or two of foundation and a lot more concealer over the more raised and pink areas, I got changed and thought I’d push the boat out with something pretty. Plus I had a friend tell me they have always wondered what I look like in Asian clothes, and as it had been Eid, why not?

In terms of applying makeup, it has become so much harder. It hurts a little to apply, and I found applying eye makeup a bit of a struggle so didn’t do too much. I miss being able to have fun with shadows and liner. And my heart longed for a pair of fake eyelashes. But with time and the help of my doctor, I hope one day it’s achievable. My eyebrows have been burnt and grow a bit funny so they were proving difficult, so I just shaded them rather than trying to shape them into anything fancy. A contour was achievable on one side but not really the other. And as my skin is tough, mixing lipsticks is difficult. It might sound confusing but trying to explain the little things that made makeup a challenge isn’t easy.

Before I began to snap away, I did

break down. I got those mushy emotional tears of happiness. I looked in the mirror and I felt like I looked like the old me again (of course it would have been great to of not needed the makeup to do so). After I took the photos, I then edited them on BeautyPlus, a great app my aunt introduced me to. It edits your photos, there’s not much you can’t do on there to be honest, I corrected the image. I also adjusted the brightness, my room isn’t the best lit thing at 2/3am. The photos are also taken from the side, the side that wasn’t affected as much. This ‘good’ side suffers from scars, whereas the other side has a mix of scars, pink, burns, hard skin, raised skin and my dodgy eye.

Makeup did a great job and so did angles and an edit. But please don’t see my photos and go into despair or try to achieve something that may not be possible. It’s hard. I’ve loved the compliments but the harsh reality is it is not real. It’s been lovely, it’s been great, but I can’t keep pretend to be someone I’m not. The improvement is going along great, and I’ve began my route to have my eye fixed through procedures and surgery, so there are so many positives. I have shown myself natural and unedited on Snapchat and Instagram Live. In terms of face care it is a combination of the basics: Clean open skin, moisturiser, I was using bio oil and I wash with black soap and exfoliate as best I can.

Without makeup, with makeup, after outfit change:

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Progress (August)

Before you all get thinking I’m sat in a dark room all day every day rocking to myself, I thought I’d give you an update on my mental and physical state. You have all seen how I looked, my face was all swollen, my burns took my skin and I had my face washed with a body jet spray whilst under which left with me new skin (pink raw), which then scabbed over like any scrape would do, before the scabs fell off. My shoulder/top back was deeply burned so that had a skin graph using skin from the back of my leg. And I had splashes of burns across my arms and legs. I also had two more smaller skin graphs on my knee and my inner thigh.

Mentally:
I’m up and down, I guess I’m as normal as can be given recent events.

Physically:
Legs: The burns and skin graphs have shredded all its scabbing, leaving behind purple spots of burns, I’m wearing the pants that will prevent scars from becoming raised, and I’m still using creams because I don’t think it’s quite ready for oils. Also there are some areas that are more healed than others, e.g. Skin is a white and will hopefully return to brown to match the rest of my body. Also the back of my leg which was the donor site is purple. However all is ‘healed’ so that’s good news, just waiting for colour and preventing raised scarring from here onwards.
Arms: I have a few pink coloured scars, some white ones which I’m hoping will turn brown, and a skin graph that takes up my right shoulder and the top of my back. Some areas are raised, some are flat. It changes colour based on a number of things but right now it’s a pink colour. I’m using creams and the pressure garment to control it. No idea how a skin graph this size will eventually look. But let’s hope for the best.
Face: I have a few specs of burns on my chest, I hope they clear up or at least fade with time and treatment. My face was mainly hit on one side. The left side is developing scars around my eyes, and is closing much better now. The right side is still not brown, but I’m hoping it changes from pink to brown soon. I am developing a few scars in places like near my mouth and around the eye. My neck is a darker pink and the area is becoming raised further. I also can’t close my eye, I was told this is due to the scarring and the toughness of the skin. I’m hoping a surgeon can help and awaiting my appointment. My mouth doesn’t open as it should and yawning feels tight. But as long as the colour settles (which it really is doing!), my eye is operated on (consultation in two weeks), and I keep treating the scars, I’m hoping I’ll be back to the old me soon. (Preferably before going back to uni…)

I know I haven’t shared any photos, but my mentality behind it has been: you have all seen me at my worst, so at least let me show you when I’m looking good. For me that would be when my eye looks normal. The skin colour I can deal with, the scarring I can cover or treat. There are options for me. However, I have been taking photos all the time, so maybe one day I’ll be able to share the timeline of physical recovery.

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