I Was Beating To A Different Drum

I have had psoriasis for over 50 years and psoriatic arthritis for 25 years. I often think back to childhood memories I think those early years helped mold me into the person I am today. I was totally covered in psoriasis for the first 40 years of my life and didn’t have a clue who to turn to. The crazy part of this is that I have always had a dermatologist.

I thought of this story and had to laugh to myself. I know I was in grade school at the time. I was newly diagnosed with psoriasis and didn’t understand this disease at all. I was 80 to 90 percent covered in scales but still had to go to school.

I remember climbing on this big yellow school bus every morning. It was painful because my legs were so cracked and dry. My bigger cousins would help me on the bus. I hated getting on the bus because every eye was on me and my skin. Remember 40 years ago, little girls wore dresses to school.

Little drummer boy

One year we had a new student that rode my bus. He would sit in the front seat of the bus and always saved me a seat. I’m not sure why he saved me a seat, but thinking back on this he probably felt sorry for me. He had this little kid drum and when I sat down he would start beating on those drums. I felt special because everybody on the bus thought it was cute that he was beating drums for me.

One day my psoriasis was hurting, swelling, bleeding and cracking very bad. I was hurting all over. When I got on the bus I yelled at my little drummer boy to just stop!! I remember this day so well because my parents were called to the school and I was admitted to the hospital for weeks. I had become dehydrated and had infections. Today this is known as cellulitis. We didn’t have a name for it back in the sixties.

I felt very bad that I treated him that way, but all I can say is that I was on a different beat. I had to get my psoriasis under control. I know that my condition had a lot to do with how I reacted that day. Everybody on the bus was shocked, they couldn’t believe it. I was normally quiet and did not say a word. Even today at my age in my journey of being a psoriasis patient, I often think about this kid and wonder if he grew up playing music for sick people? I couldn’t even make a person who has psoriasis know how miserable I was on that bus.

Drum beats echoing

I look back and I realize today that our immune system is what keeps us from getting germs or any infections. It also keeps bacteria at bay. I am of course many years away from that little girl who would climb the steps to the big yellow school bus with psoriasis waiting to see what music the little drummer would beat with his wooden sticks.

In my closing, everything just stopped at that moment; the drummer boy; the other children on the bus and the bus driver. It was as if every eye was on me. Everyone knew on that day I was on a different drum beat. It was my own beat and rhythm and was in tune with what was happening to my body. I was so relieved I got the medical treatment that I needed.

Sometimes whether we are young or not we have to beat to our own drum beat. I’ve learned many years later, we can take control over things in our lives and if we don’t like something we can change it. I am my own best supporter and I try and take care of myself while educating others.

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