Welcome to the AWE One-on-One Topical Steroid Withdrawal
3-Month Personalised Coaching Programme
A Huge Gaping Need
Our Observations in the Support Group
In the last four years that we have been running the Eczema & Allergies – Go Natural Health Champions Support Group, I have had the chance to spend countless hours with TSW warriors and their families to raise and work on specific issues or aspects of TSW that I feel that they should be fully aware of before embarking on, or during their journey in Withdrawing from their Addiction to Topical Steroids to help them make their healing journey more comfortable and bearable, or to help them persevere without giving up, when these issues have been addressed. Most of these issues are not medical issues.
Simple Glossary of Acronyms
TSA : Topical Steroid Addiction, the state where you find yourself addicted to steroid creams, and without the creams, will experience the rashes flaring out of control
TSW : Topical Steroid Withdrawal, the period in which you decide to stop the use of the steroid creams that your skin is addicted to, where the flares grow a lot worse before eventually getting better, and then healing comes
Lost, Clueless and Helpless
Many have come forward in desperation to seek help, because as a family, they were heart broken as they witnessed their loved one suffer with worsening Steroid-Induced Eczema, and they were unaware and therefore unprepared for the many facets of TSW that awaited them.
Without this knowledge and a clear understanding of what to expect in the coming months / years in TSW, many TSW warriors face roadblocks and are not only lost and helpless when finding themselves in knotty situations, but often the lack of knowledge makes them want to give up when they have actually already made a lot of progress.
It’s Lonely. No one understands.
TSW is also an extremely lonely journey even if the Warrior is surrounded by family members who love them, because there are so many things that eczema / TSW warriors go through that we feel others without eczema will never understand, all of which I have personally struggled with for 3 decades –
Lacking Motivation and Tenacity
On our own, without having someone to be accountable to, it is easy to wallow, and all too often, we are wondering if we are on the right track, and if we should throw in the towel and give up. How do we find enough motivation and strength to do what we ought to that will move us towards healing with less inflammation?
And now. We are told that TSW will be worse than the regular, genuine eczema that we used to have. We wonder if we will have the tenacity to finish this long journey and emerge from the tunnel, healed.
The Loving Family Makes Things Worse?
Without a proper understanding of what TSW is, it is often the loving family that makes things much more difficult for the TSW warrior, stemming from love and a partial understanding and misconceptions from their previous knowledge of eczema. However, what we are facing is NOT eczema! And this incomplete knowledge from the family, no matter how supportive, coupled with the lack of knowledge on the Warrior’s part, forces the Warrior into a hopeless corner because he is not able to make proper replies to his family’s constant questions as to whether he is on the right track. This added stress has been observed to worsen the flares.
In unfortunate cases, because of the lack of understanding and support, we have also witnessed divorces and families breaking apart as tension mounts among the Caregivers, especially in families where the TSW warrior is a baby or a child, and this rising tension is often seen among Baby’s primary caregivers, all of whom love Baby dearly, and only want the best for Baby in their varying opinions on how to care for Baby:
- Between Baby’s daddy and mommy, and
- Between Baby’s mommy and grandma(s).
Finally, we are now able to offer a structured solution to all these problems we have observed painfully over the years.
Who is Your Coach?
I am Grace Ng, Founder of Eczema & Allergies – Go Natural Health Champions Support Group and Away With Eczema AWE. You will find my TSW story in more detail in “Our Story” but it suffices to say here that I have played both roles, as a
- TSW Warrior who was absolutely clueless and struggled my way through to the end of the dark, horrific and lonely tunnel, back then from 2008 to 2011, without a support group, and without any knowledge on TSA or TSW.
- I also was Caregiver to Percy, my younger son who was given a miracle nappy cream and I used it unwittingly for more than a year on Percy, before stopping it cold turkey when I found out in utter shock and anger that the miracle cream that I had depended on to clear his rashes was a potent steroid cream. He went into TSW shortly after and oozed from his waist down for 6.5 months with large expanses of painful, open wounds on his small body.
In the last 4 years after I had healed from TSW, I have spent hundreds of hours with hundreds of families and warriors in TSW, and have held their hands and prayed and cried, when words just did not suffice. Most of these warriors came with their families to my little shop in Singapore where we would spend 3-4 hours together, and others I counselled on the internet, mostly through Facebook messaging or on email.
I have learnt through my own experience and have observed so many things in these brave and courageous warriors’ lives, and now know the pitfalls that can stumble a TSW warrior in his already arduous journey, and some of these pitfalls may have nothing to do with the rash at all! I have seen warriors give up and return to steroids, and learnt how we can avoid those moments where one gives up, only to realise that it will set one’s hard work in Withdrawal back by weeks and months and regret in tears later because at the end of the day, as eczema veteran patients, we all silently know that using stronger and stronger steroid creams just isn’t sustainable.
I have been through what you are about to go through, and am honest, non-judgmental and motivating, and I promise you that you will feel safe and supported as we take this difficult journey together.
The Journey We Will Take
The AWE TSW Personalised Coaching Programme is designed to help meet this need by guiding the Warrior through 3 segments of the Coaching Programme:
Segment 1: The Learning & Crafting
This Segment will last 2 sessions, each 1-hour long, and will
- Provide a crash course on what to expect and how to care for the TSW warrior and his family in his TSW journey
- Have the Warrior take a Personality Quiz so that the Coach is able to understand how to motivate and comfort the Warrior in difficult situations that arise in the TSW journey
- Allow the Coach to understand the unique situation that the TSW warrior finds himself in where the following aspects of life are concerned:
- Health wise: History of Steroid Use, Estimated Timeline of TSW & Other Health Concerns
- Management of TSW & Recommendations towards Healing
- Internally : What you are currently doing to
- Repair your leaky gut,
- Heal the adrenals etc
- Externally : What your current regimes are for
- Moisturising: Creams, Balms, Compresses and Washes
- Wound Management
- Other eczema clothing
- Personal, Emotional and Social aspects
- Family Situation
- Marital Relationship (if any)
- Nuclear Family
- Inter-generational Extended Family of the Warrior,
- Work / School Situation that the TSW warrior is in
- Financial Situation that the Warrior / his family is in
- Internally : What you are currently doing to
Once we have a good understanding of all the aspects above, we will work together with the family on:
- Crafting a Tailor-Made TSW Battle Plan together, that addresses all the facets of life listed above that also takes into consideration the pitfalls and blind spots that we have observed over the years that we have helped and counseled families in TSW and will raise in the hope that your family will avoid these pitfalls
Segment 2 : The Hand-Holding
This Segment of 30-minute Follow-Up Sessions will:
- Regularly follow the TSW warrior up once in every 2 weeks to hand-hold the warrior and will
- Comprise these much-needed elements that I have observed from the journeys of the veteran Warriors who would have done a lot better if they had someone:
- Who can walk alongside and hand-hold the Warrior on this journey,
- Who allows the Warrior to ask questions whenever the need arises on this trying journey
- Whom the Warrior can be accountable to as this will motivate the Warrior to continue to take positive steps towards healing because they have a sense that they will “need to see their Coach or call their Coach in a few days” and so had better sleep early, or eat more cleanly etc
- Who can be a non-judgemental friend, tutor and coach for the TSW warrior
- Until he heals or
- Until he feels that he is ready to be independent for the rest of the journey. The duration of the Coaching Programme is entirely up to the Warrior and his family.
- Also be “remedial” tuition sessions whenever it is clear to the Coach that the Warrior or his family is unclear about certain aspects of TSW, and need some revising because this lack of understanding impedes the healing progress on various levels, perhaps even emotionally or mentally.
Segment 3 : The Close
This will be the Final Session of the Coaching Programme, and will take one hour.
- It is the End of Programme Evaluation and Planning and it is meant to
- Wrap up the entire Coaching journey together
- Observe and celebrate the progress made by the Warrior and his family
- Make plans together for the next lap of the journey that the Warrior will walk independently towards sustainable healing.
Who is This Coaching Programme For?
The AWE TSW Game Plan Personalised Coaching Programme is meant for
- Warriors still on steroids
- Who think they may be addicted to Topical Steroids, and
- Would like to consider Withdrawing from the steroid creams they realise they have come to depend on to “calm the flares” and
- Warriors who have already embarked on TSW and
- Would like to be as fully prepared as they can be for the challenges ahead in their TSW journey
- Would like their spouse / family to be able to come alongside them and understand their decision so that they can fully support them in the difficult journey out of Topical Steroid Addiction, into healing.
We encourage the Warrior’s Spouse, both parents (in the case of the TSW warrior being a baby or child) or the whole family to attend the first two sessions of the Coaching, because in these 2 x 1-hour sessions, crucial knowledge on TSW will be taught. Having learned this together, the whole family can then be able to provide full support for the TSW warrior. Please find more details in the schedule below.
Coaching Schedule and Agenda
We insist on the first two Sessions being an hour-long each, and these first two Sessions should preferably be attended by the TSW Warrior and his
- Spouse, AND / OR
- Other adults in the same household who will be playing an important role in the Warrior’s healing journey or who should have a clear understanding of the Warrior’s journey so his journey will be as comfortable as possible, receiving full support from his family.
This does not apply to families where the Warrior is a baby or young child who would be adversely affected by having to sit through sessions like this. In this case, please make child care arrangements for your child so that you are able to fully concentrate and focus on the essential information shared.
For adult Warriors whose spouse or family members do not wish to attend the , please feel free to let us know and we will try to see how help you speak with your spouse or family members. However, as we would like to create harmony within the family as much as possible, we will not engage in arguments with the Warrior’s family members and will stop the conversation as we deem fit, so as not to frustrate or anger the family members.
All 30-minute Follow-Up sessions should be attended by
- The TSW Warrior alone or with his spouse (if your spouse is willing and available to attend)
- At least One parent in the case of the TSW Warrior being a baby or child
Should there be a need, the Coach will request for the attendance of a particular family member(s) so that the Warrior is able to receive greater support from the family as he continues his journey towards healing. However, if this is not possible, the Coach will write to the family in the hope to achieve the same result.
The Warrior and his Spouse and / or family should attend the Final Session of the Coaching Programme. This is to review the progress that the Warrior has made in his journey, and celebrate the little victories he has won after all the hard work he has put in, and encourage him to walk on towards healing that is sustainable, which will come only after the Coaching Programme has ended.
– What we are NOT and what we are
What The Programme IS NOT Designed to Accomplish
This Coaching Programme is not designed to help the TSW heal within the 3 month duration of the Programme and the Warrior and his family should not expect healing from TSW within the time frame of the Coaching Programme.
The Programme also does not endeavor to give medical advice to the Warrior and the Warrior should consult his medical professional for all issues related to his health, including his decision to stop the use of topical and / or oral steroids.
All sharing and education in the Programme is based on the Coach’s own TSW experience as a
- TSW Warrior from her TSW journey that lasted 3 years and as a
- Caregiver for her son who was 1.5 years old when he started TSW
as well as observations made over the last 4 years from counselling and helping hundreds of TSW families worldwide.
Should the Coach sense that a dedicated Medical Practitioner is needed to help the Warrior in various health issues that are evident in the TSW journey, the Coach will NOT pretend to be a doctor, but WILL help make some recommendations of supportive practitioners (GP, Naturopath or TCM physician) who are well-versed in TSW, but it is entirely up to the Warrior and his family whether he would like to see one.
What The Coaching Programme IS Designed To Do
The Programme is designed to
- Educate and prepare the Warrior and his family on what to expect in the arduous but rewarding journey of TSW
- Set reasonable expectations of the TSW journey for the Warrior and his family so that as a family, he is able to walk this difficult journey together with the maximum amount of understanding and support from his family, something that will go a long way for the TSW Warrior’s difficult journey
- Hand-hold the Warrior in his TSW journey so that he can take his journey with more confidence, and without feeling that he is alone in this difficult journey.
- Provide accountability, hand-holding and therefore motivation during the long and difficult TSW journey.
Most Frequently-Asked Questions
Q1 : Why should I have this Personal Coaching Programme when AWE already offers educational eBooks, videos, online lessons (also on TSW!!!), web seminars and Live Support Calls?
A1 : Good question! There are a few reasons why I believe some Warriors would prefer to have a Personal, One-to-One TSW Coaching Programme vs the general AWE Membership Programme that seeks to educate, inform and support you in your journey.
- It’s Personal. One-to-One.
- In the AWE education programme with our eBooks, videos, online lessons, web seminars and live support calls, everything is done without considering your unique health condition, family and work situations, and other aspects of your life that affects your healing journey.
- I cannot write an article or make a video and expect that it will apply to everyone because it will not.
- There is no way I would be able to do anything personal with a video or online lesson because that is a vehicle designed to provide general education for all TSW warriors in our community.
- It Gives You Undivided Attention and Confidentiality
- Some Warriors are more shy than others and really are not comfortable sharing their personal health matters or struggles in their marriage or extended family that adversely affect their healing, but are still plagued by them and struggle alone in our AWE Forums, and it is prudent not to discuss knotty family matters in the public space of the AWE Forum, to protect the family members we are discussing about.
- A Personal Coaching Programme would be able to address all these issues in confidence, and we can work together in privacy as you take each step of the journey towards healing.
- It’s ALL in One Place
- I do offer loads of educational information in our Forum, eBooks etc but that’s what it is. This information is scattered EVERYWHERE.
- It’s hard to compile all of it and make sense out of what you should do with the information you see for the situation you are in. Warriors often wonder,
- Does this teaching apply to me?
- Perhaps /I could try that too, but will it be good for me?
- Will doing this achieve the same result as what was taught in the webinar?
- It Holds You Accountable and Keeps You Motivated
- General advice and information you read online will not hold you accountable or motivate you.
- Sitting down with a Personal Coach hopefully will drive essential, really important truths on TSA and TSW into the Warrior and his family. If there is a need, the whole family can come in for a Follow Up Session to revise certain parts of the knowledge on TSW.
- Often, I find that the knowledge that was painstakingly shared in the Support Group in our Facebook Group Forum or even in our Public Talks in Singapore may not be understood or internalized by the Warriors and their families, and therefore is quickly forgotten when problems arise, and the information crucial to decisions affecting your healing are not available to the Warrior in his understanding or memory.
For these reasons, some Warriors may require this Personal Coaching Programme and we are glad to finally be able to offer it. Space is definitely limited though and we will close this Coaching Programme when the slots have been filled up.
Q2 : Why do I need to take a personality quiz in Session 1?
A2 : Honestly, it is impossible to get to know you well in the first Session, especially when your family is around. Therefore, a quick Personality Quiz helps me to find out if you are an introvert or extrovert, whether you think or feel when it comes to issues and people. This Personality Quiz will not be used to label you or assume things about you, but I need it so that I can understand you better, and can build a better relationship with you from the beginning. I feel that this also helps me know how to motivate you, how to encourage you when times are hard, and how to coax you back into action when you need a little nudge in your healing journey.
Q3 : Are there any special circumstances in which you will not work with a TSW Warrior?
A3 : YES! Unfortunately I may have to turn down, or cancel some Coaching Programmes, such as but not limited to the following circumstances:
- Language Barrier
If you do not speak English (or Mandarin) very well, I am afraid I will not be able to give you the level of Coaching and sharing that I hope to provide and therefore will not be able to conduct the Coaching Programme with you. I cannot read Mandarin fluently, and am only able to speak fluent Mandarin (and write some Mandarin) with you and your family if this is your preferred language. I am afraid I will have to turn down Coaching requests in all other languages.
- Inappropriate Behaviour
If you display any inappropriate behaviour during a Coaching Session, whether on Skype, over the telephone or in person, I will have to cancel our agreement. Inappropriate behaviour includes and is not limited to nudity, abusive behaviour and attitude, and intoxication. I understand you may be angry with the situation you are in, or with some people who may have hurt you, but I will only be able to tolerate foul language to a certain point. I will speak with you about this, and we will try to hold our Sessions after you have calmed down. However, if this is not possible, and little work can be achieved in a Session, then I may have to cancel our Coaching Programme. Also, if you are held up and will be late, please inform me beforehand. If habitual lateness is observed, I will have to address it with you.
Q4 : Do you have fixed hours for when the Coaching Sessions must be held?
A4 : No. I try my best to work with each Warrior’s schedule and with my own. I typically do not work on Sundays. If you reside in another time zone, we will try to set a time when it is healthy for both of our adrenal glands to have the Coaching Sessions done. J Mostly, I prefer the Coaching Sessions to happen on weekdays, between 11am to 5pm, Singapore time (GMT+8).
Q5 : Can I email you? When can I expect your reply?
A5 : Yes! However, please give me 24 hours to 72 hours to make my reply to you. If you are using instant messaging to ask me something, please note that the “Read” status of your message does not mean I will be able to reply the message immediately. I will want to ensure that my reply is factually accurate before I make my reply to you so it may take time for me to get back to you. As far as possible, I will try not to use my mobile phone to make replies unless it is an urgent situation. Also, I may choose to take the question in our next Follow-Up Session so that I can properly go through the issue in concern.
Q6 : Why are you charging for this service?
A6 : Thank you for this very valid question. I have been giving advice and support to TSW warriors and caregivers without charge in the last few years and people have asked why I am suddenly charging for this. It may seem like I am putting a price on help and compassion. To be honest, this is something I have been struggling with too. Like you, I don’t believe in charging for this cause.
Let me first clarify that if anyone approaches me for advice or support, I will never turn you away. If you tell me that you cannot or will not pay me, I will still answer your TSA/TSW questions from the bottom of my heart, I want each and every person to get well and my heart breaks for every TSW warrior and caregiver,
But this Coaching Programme goes one step further. Do you remember having a 1-to-1, personal tuition teacher? The tutor sits down with you patiently and guides you on how to do well. He or she follows up with you regularly and draws up a plan for you so that you can score your A grade! And he or she is always there to answer your questions so you know you are on the right track. This is the main value-add of the Coaching Programme. And we remunerate our tutors for their time, effort, care and concern for us.
Let us continue to walk together in this journey of healing. I am still and always here for you.
How is it Done?
At present, the Sessions in this Personal Coaching Programme will be conducted in 3 modes,
- I prefer this over the use of the Telephone because I would like to look at the Warrior and his family if possible, so we all know who we are talking to and spending time with and this helps to build a relationship of transparency and trust between the Warrior, his family, and the Coach.
- This is great for all TSW Warriors residing
- Outside of Singapore, and also
- In Singapore but are not able to step out your house for the Coaching Sessions.
- At a suitable location agreed by both Warrior and Coach in Singapore
- Visiting Warriors from beyond Singapore are most welcome to meet Grace in person for some Sessions! Please let me know in advance so I can move my schedule around.
Over the Telephone
- This Mode is only for Warriors residing in Singapore as each session will take 30 minutes, 1 hour or slightly longer and I do not wish to Coach over IDD calls.
- For those in Singapore: This is a good option for the shorter, 30-min Follow-Up sessions but do remember to put your mobile phone on the “speaker mode” so you are not affected by the phone call as many eczema and TSW warriors including myself report phone calls worsening the rash.
As we presently only have one Coach, please bear with us as we try to fit your Coaching Sessions into our schedule. We have plans to train more Coaches in time to come and look forward to the day when more Coaches are able to offer this personalized hand-holding service to the suffering TSW community.
The Personal Coach in this Coaching Programme is not a medical doctor and has received no medical training. This Coaching Programme is not designed to and does not provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment or services to you or to any other individual. Through this Coaching Programme, Away With Eczema provides general information for educational purposes only. Away With Eczema and the Coach are not liable or responsible for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any other information, services or product you obtain through this site.
Although we take efforts to keep the information in our Coaching Programme updated, we cannot guarantee that the information shared in the Programme reflects the most up-to-date research. Therefore the information in the Programme should not be considered current, complete or exhaustive, nor should you rely on such information to recommend a course of treatment for you or any other individual. Reliance on any information provided in the Programme is solely at your own risk.