There Is Always Hope
One fine morning, like any other school day, my mom woke me up. My alarm clock was already hammering in my head, telling me that I’m going to miss my bus again if I don’t rush. When I sat down for my breakfast and started gulping down my cereal - my mom asked if I had put lotion all over my body.
My psoriasis was looking more purplish, thicker, and scalier. I was always feeling discomfort and itchy.
A very young age...
I was 5 years old when my doctor put me through a series of tests to confirm my psoriasis. I was diagnosed very young and still very naive as to how this condition was going to affect my life.
A dermatologist tried different medications and home remedies on me. There was still so much to learn. My mom taught my siblings how to apply my medicines. She did everything to save me from the possible negative impact this condition was bound to impart on my mental health and personality.
When the self-doubt made itself known
When I reached my teenage years, it was when the feeling of self-consciousness slipped in. I began to feel a lot of negativity, cruelty, and self-disdain. Ignorance is bliss, and for me, that shell of ignorance was gone, and I’ve started to see the reality.
I became quieter. My clothing choices changed to cover my plaques - a lot of long-sleeved shirts and full pants. I was afraid to go to seaside picnics or poolside gatherings. I wanted to avoid crowds and choose the most cornered spot to sit in school. I remember how people looked at me with disgust and their staring eyes.
This was a lifelong disease.
I remember asking my dermatologist “When will this disappear from my skin?” and he told me that there’s no cure. This was a lifelong disease. That day I felt something shatter and I started making excuses to avoid my scheduled visits with the doctor.
Over the years, my mom was my biggest support. She helped me improve my self-worth. She fought my battles with me. She used to encourage me and tell me to speak up to the people who would say bad comments or give me looks. I started telling them that it's not contagious.
Like every psoriasis patient, I had flare-ups and bad days. In those times I try to hide at home, but my friends and family were amazing. They helped me to discover that strength that I always thought wasn’t possible.
Support can make all the difference
It’s been 57 years now. I’ve continued to fight this disease and live my life. I lead open discussions with my dermatologist. Relief consumed me the more I learned about my condition - including the risks and treatment options. When biologics came into the picture it was proven particularly effective in keeping my psoriasis under control.
Psoriasis can affect anyone’s quality of life, but it will never take away my hope to live and help find a cure. It is well said, “When there’s a will, there’s a way”. I will and keep hoping that one day we will find a cure to this chronic disease.
There are the physical and mental burdens that psoriasis presents, but I will never give up. I will choose self-care and not suffer. We can all lean on each other for support.
Has psoriasis affected your ability to sleep well?