Connecting With Others About Psoriasis
Last updated: September 2021
I was wandering through my local grocery store, picking out some fresh vegetables when I noticed a man looking at me. You know that look that someone gives you when it's like they know you from somewhere but they are not sure? As they try to figure it out, they do not realize that they are staring? Yeah, that look.
The psoriasis connection
As approached him, I smiled (under my mask mind you, which in itself is rather amusing). He stepped in front of me and said "Have you not found anything that works?" You guys, I got such a fright. At first, I was like, what on earth is he going on about?
See this is what happens when you wear your psoriasis out all the time. You forget it is there. I know that seems a strange concept, but you really do.
Skin to skin
It took me a few moments to realize that he was talking about my skin. I giggled and said awkwardly “oh, my skin – no not really”. He quickly added that he also had psoriasis and as if he needed to prove it to me, showed me a huge spot on his leg.
His wife joined in the conversation and there in the middle of the aisle we stood and had what might be one of the most meaningful conversations of my life. It humbled me so, to realize that the look that he was giving me, was him building up the courage to talk to me.
As he saw we had the same skin. He confirmed this for me, by saying that he was not sure what to say so he stepped in front of me and said the first thing that came out.
Connection in similar struggles
Over the years that I have had psoriasis, I have made many new friends. We started with a connection over the same struggle initially and then realized that we actually just got on as humans too.
I was quickly reminded how much easier it is to connect to people when we have something in common and that sharing our experiences and knowledge gained along the way can be truly beneficial. This is why community, even just online community is so important to me. It is also the reason I will always be a patient advocate.
We both went through our treatments and shared advice on what we could use. I invited him to some online communities. I was able to give him an option to ask his doctor about which was a cheaper topical steroid than the one he was using.
As we have so few choices out here, it was nice to be able to share what I find super effective. We shared the frustration of weather being our greatest trigger and how we both found that our summer remission was yet to arrive.
Before we said our goodbyes, his wife thanked me for stopping and talking to them. That made the world seem a little less lonely for them both to know that there are people in their area going through the same thing.
This was a full-circle moment for me, this moment made all the funny looks and whispers over the years worth it. This moment served as my heart's food. Being in that moment made the world a little less lonely for someone going through the same experiences.
Are you recently diagnosed with psoriasis?