Seeing Psoriasis Through the Eyes of a Child
Last updated: January 2021
So many days, I am angry with this disease. Angry about the pain it gives me and the things it has stolen from me. I have lost so much over the years and I have been humbled like never before.
There has been good too, I learned who I am, what I can tolerate, and how much pain I can physically deal with. While still living something resembling a normal life.
I've spent so much time figuring things out and for the most part, the bad has outweighed the good. Last week that changed. For the first time in the 12 years that I have had this disease, it felt like it was worth it. All of it. I am certain by now you all think I have lost my mind. Allow me to explain.
Curious kids & raising awareness
I fetch my little girl from school every day and most kids will ask me over and over what is wrong with my skin. Some of them are grossed out and others are just straight curious.
I always answer kindly and allow them to look and touch my skin. They seem to derive some pleasure from this. I encourage my daughter to ask people to question about what makes them different. I do strongly believe that honest and knowledge is key.
Talking the psoriasis talk
I am often left wondering if all this talking and explaining even helps. Never too sure, I just keep at it with the hope that one day it will change someone's day or someone’s life. You never know and hey a woman can dream.
Believe it or not, I actually enjoy advocating for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. If there are more informed people out there, there will be more acceptance. This is one of my greatest goals, for people like us to look different to fit in all the same.
Being seen for the first time
A week ago, as I was fetching my little one as per usual, nothing out of the ordinary, or so I thought. Little did I know that my heart was about to grow a little bigger, in fact not just a little, but a whole lot. A little girl who normally steers pretty clear of me came and said hello. I smiled and said hello.
She stopped and looked at my arm, which is covered in psoriasis, and asked with deep concern: “What is wrong with your skin?” There was something in the way she was looking at me that made me stop and pay special attention to her.
Not sure what it was, but curious to find out, I explained to her that my skin was sick and gave her the five-year-old version of what psoriasis is.
A light in the dark
She examined my skin carefully and looked completely bewildered. This was interesting as normally once kids have an answer, they make the necessary gross noises and move along. Not this little one and not today.
She was transfixed and kept switching between looking at my skin and straight into my eyes. I waited quietly to see what happens next. About the fifth time she had looked back and forth, she looked down and her arm and looked at a spot on her arm.
Her little finger pointing gently and looked up at me and uttered words that would change me forever. “Look, we are the same”. Beaming the biggest smile I had ever seen, she continued to say “look, look we have the same spots”.
Not feeling so alone
At that moment, every single struggle I had ever been through was worth it. She has a type of dermatitis, I am not sure what it is, I do not think it is psoriasis, could be contact dermatitis or eczema.
Right then and there it did not matter. At that moment I was able to give her the gift of not feeling alone. It was one of the best days of my life. Needless to say, we are now skin buddies, her and me.
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