A Day in The Life: From One Psoriatic to Another
Our skin is our largest organ. While it may be easy to take its durability and appearance for granted, those with psoriasis cannot always do so. That is because those with psoriasis produce new skin cells too quickly, leading inflamed areas of skin to develop.
Psoriasis means the steady sensation of painful skin, managing public and private symptoms, and struggling with insecurities.
A look at everyday life with psoriatic disease.
Psoriasis affects daily life in many ways. Symptoms often make daily tasks difficult. Visible symptoms and stigma may affect how you dress and act. They may also affect school, work, and relationships.
So what does daily life look like? I'm proud to provide some insight into my own daily life as someone who lives with psoriatic disease.
Let's start the day
Every day, I start work at 1:00 PM. I start getting ready two hours before work. First I get my creams, lotions, and lounging clothes ready. Second, I start the water for the shower and check to make sure I have a towel for my body and hair.
Third I step into the shower gingerly while holding the hand railings that were installed for my safety. Now it's time to check the temperature of the water again. I require more than one check because inflammation in my body makes the temperature feel hotter or colder than reality.
Dressing the part of a chef
I am a professional chef who works for a very busy resort in the Midwest region of the United States. Do you know that tall white chef's hat? It's called a toque (think croak like a frog).
These hats give us chefs an executive look, but unfortunately, they are also very hot. Did you know the toque actually serves the purpose of keeping hair back from the food as well as sweat from pouring down your face? While they are warm, they do serve this purpose.
My company provides my chef's coat. I wear black slacks and non-slip black shoes. For most chefs, this is standard. Did you know that most professional chefs' clothes are long sleeves to protect the arms? They are usually made out of heavy, thick Cotton.
It almost feels like a denim material. The coat where I work is short-sleeved, with mesh sides. Then I wear a very lightweight shirt underneath the chef's jacket. When you cook like I do the temperatures are really warm.
The extra layers of clothes make for sweating and sometimes chaffing. Not an ideal situation for someone who lives with psoriasis.
Inflamed swelling joints
I work in a resort with a waterpark. The temperature of the two restaurants is 84% and 64% humidity at all times.
Next add in 4 fryers, a flat top grill, and another flat top grill. This creates a very hot sticky environment.
My psoriasis just loves this ideal temperature. It eliminates inflammation as I move about. I make so many different types of foods that stretching, reaching, bending, and squatting down are all normal things in a day that I do. I usually cook for 200 to 300 customers a day.
Some of the coolers have to be restocked. That means I may need to lift up to 180 pounds of food in a day. When this happens, it puts a strain on my swollen joints. There are nights that I go home in such pain that walking up the steps to my back door is so painful that I need assistance or sometimes crawl in.
Closing up shop
After eight hours of cooking, it's time to clean up the restaurant for the night. It starts by bending over to turn off the equipment. When I am done with that then it's time to wrap all of the food up and put it away.
All the food has to be dated and stored overnight. That means all four fryers must be cleaned. Bending, lifting, and scrubbing. My favorite time of the night is when I am all finished. My restaurant is clean, shiny, and ready for the next day.
Now I go home and try to rest my body. My feet are swollen and tired. I use ice and heat on my ankles and knees. My day is long but I get to make people happy with my cooking.
Smiling customers make me happy. So tomorrow I will get up and do the same things over again.
Share why it is Pso hard!
There is quiet acceptance when we find a connection with someone else. This is especially true for those who live with psoriasis. Your story could provide validation and support to someone who desperately needs it.
Living with psoriasis day in and day out can feel lonely and isolating. While we know telling our stories can improve our health, the change it can make for a reader can be just as strong. We encourage you to share.
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