Loving the Skin I'm In

Posted by Candace Cable in Life After Paralysis on May 20, 2015 # Health

When my fingers brush along my body, it's skin that my fingers slide over, skin that feels and doesn't feel, alive, leaving me with a shaky love/exasperated relationship with it, that fascinates and irritates me. This relationship has all the appreciation, liberation, confusion, ire, compromise, duality, cherishing and edginess any relationship has. My skin is distinctly different from my toes to my nose, ranging from thin, flaky parchment to cherub cheek soft. But the skin covering my legs and the structure underneath is the most baffling.

My emotional filled attachment to my skin really began when I became a card-carrying member of “Club SCI” 40 years ago. Prior to my spinal cord

injury my skin connection had no emotional attachment. My skin was an overcoat of an accessory, covering the gushy, slimy, grimy Candy guts, veins and bones, a resilient, silky, lovely pale shade of chestnut that suited me. It was nothing to me, I took no pains to protect it or favor it.

During my seemingly endless six-month hospital reconstruction of my body following my accident, my indifference changed to scientific examination, amplified when the awareness of fingers upon the skin of my legs, unequivocally disappeared. Then fear of my skin was slammed into my being with movies staring the dreaded pressure wound, not ever healing, freaking me out!

Freaking fear turned me into an over protective narcissist, exhibiting excessive interest in my skin, endlessly poking, prodding and fixating on this arranged marriage of the skin I am in. Never without a mirror, I checked my gluteus maximum that now is a gluteus minimum at daily scheduled intervals. Oh and my legs, augh! Bruises, scrapes and blood would appear out of thin air, rendering me timid and nervous, always in reactionary mode.

Well I couldn't live in such fear of my rear, so I became proactive. I studied my skin, the Epidermis, the Dermis and Subcutaneous Tissue, with zest and zeal of an academic pursuit. I discovered food, drink, creams, gels, bandages that empowered me to “nourished” my skin and became a partner in this relationship, love bloomed. Knowledge is power, right? I have some skin relationship empowerment actions that have worked for me, maybe they'll work for you, too. Oh, and if you have some for me, please share in the comments.

Here I go, human and animal bodies use oxygen 24/7, oxygen causes oxidation and oxidation destroys all in its path, we can't get away from this fact. Try this experiment, cut an apple in half, set on the counter and over time the cuts turn brown, that's oxidation and decay. A squirt of lemon juice on the cut apple will slow down oxidation. Lemon juice has vitamin C, an antioxidant, that's anti-oxidation, cool huh! Our bodies, our minds and yes, our skin recover from oxidation, decay with antioxidants.

One more matter, what are nutrient antioxidants and non-nutrient antioxidants? Nutrient antioxidants are recognized by the US recommended daily allowances (RDA), they are vitamins A, E, C and minerals copper, selenium, zinc. The non-nutrient antioxidants aren't recognized RDA's but are becoming real difference makers in healing, they're, Omega 3 fats and phytochemicals. Here is a list of all the vitamin and mineral RDA's for referencing.

Avocado is abundant in vitamin E. Mangoes have vitamin A and C as do pumpkin, apricots, carrots, spinach, parsley, most leafy green vegetables like chard, kale and collard greens, romaine lettuce. Almonds and Brazil nuts have vitamin E and selenium. Wheat Germ, walnuts, salmon and sardines are good source of omega 3 oils. And acerolas cherries supple vitamin C as do guava, oranges, blackcurrants, kiwi fruit, broccoli, pomegranate and

strawberries. Baked potatoes with the skin, lean meats and nuts have copper. Beef and most nuts are a good source of zinc.

Non-nutrient antioxidants aren't listed in the RDA's list, but scientific studies prove they are reversing the oxidation process. Lycopene is in cooked tomatoes, reversatal in red grapes and red wine and anthocyanins in cherries, blackberries, blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, plums, peaches and eggplant and polyphenol rich foods, green and black teas, sesame seeds, dark chocolate, olive oil, garlic and onions. To get all of the nutrients make an intention to eat each color of the rainbow, each day.

And then there's water, skin healing, hydrating water. Our bodies are 70%, brains 70 to 85%, bones 10 to 15%, lungs 90%, blood 83% water and every

system and all cells of our bodies depend on water to function. Water transports nutrients through our bodies, waste that gets trapped under our skin, out of our bodies and drinking it has to become a conscious habit for us to get enough of the wet stuff.

All healthy relationships take continued attention and care and it's my intention to do just that. By heeding what I eat and drink I can speed up the healing and slow down the processes that affect my skin with the reduced circulation as the result of my spinal cord injury. Learning to love and pamper this skin I'm with the building nutrients, promises a luscious skin and a long life together.

Blessings to All, In Joy, Candace


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