Sisters Share: Psoriasis & Other Autoimmune Conditions
I've lived with psoriasis since the age of 5. I was lonely, confused, and misunderstood for most of my life. These were formative years. Growing up, I wondered whether my siblings would develop psoriasis. Alas, they never would.
Will my siblings develop psoriasis?
I remember looking intently at their faces, arm, and legs, but to no avail, no psoriasis. Everyone told me this was a hereditary illness, but our parents didn't have it either. Even as I got older, learned more, and understood its genetic connection, I never shared this disease.
We grew up. The reality of plaque psoriasis was mine and mine alone. It would be years later when I found out that my sisters and I did indeed have something in common - autoimmune diseases. Psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and Lupus and the autoimmune response connected the three of us.
We conversate about our pain
Each condition affects us differently. One of the things we know all too well is the impact of inflammation. I experience inflamed pain in my legs, back, and arms. They each experience pain in different parts of their bodies. We share stories about how we cope.
Sometimes, we learn from one another. When one sister has a particularly challenging day, it's a comfort to receive support and compassion from an understanding sibling. It's an honor to serve as a listening ear and a privilege to be on the receiving end of one.
Yes, there are differences.
Just because we live with autoimmune diseases does not mean they are the same. Plainly put, we have different symptoms, different medications, and experience a different quality of life. And like most sisters, we have different opinions, feelings, and approaches.
Having siblings share the autoimmune disease link has more advantages than disadvantages. We all understand the pain, the juggling of the condition with daily life, and the importance of treatment.
A family connection
All of us are one year apart in age. We share the same birthday month. It doesn't surprise me that we all share an autoimmune disease. By sharing our story, we offer support and inspiration. Our upbringing, values, and obstacles have made us who we are.
Whether you and your sibling share the same autoimmune disease with you or any type of illness, I encourage you to look at the bright side and be thankful for your connection. You will always have something to talk about because there is no one who quite gets it like someone who has been there from the beginning.
What are you grateful for in your psoriasis experience? (Select all that apply)
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