My Genetic Trail of Psoriasis
When I was first diagnosed with psoriasis, it rocked my whole world. I had never heard the word before, let alone any indication of what it meant. At the time, I had no idea how I even contracted it. I did not know how it would soon consume my life and be something I would have to live with forever.
I was so scared of what the future held for me. I did not know anyone else who had psoriasis. My mom, a nurse, kept telling me I was misdiagnosed. Though, that is incorrect. Psoriasis is genetic on my father's side. Sad to say, but it's the only thing my father ever gave me.
Where did my psoriasis come from?
My mother and father divorced when I was 2. At the time, he was not diagnosed with psoriasis, nor did he have symptoms. She had no way of knowing that her daughter would develop this chronic condition. My father was not in my life until after I was diagnosed with psoriasis and went searching for answers.
I, of course, started with my mother. No one on her side of the family had psoriasis. Learning from the doctor that psoriasis can be genetic sent me on a search for my father. You cannot imagine the fear I dealt with daily. I wanted answers, and maybe he had them for me. But what if he didn't? I would not know until I found him.
That search for answers started another part of my psoriasis journey.
Starting my search for answers...
It took a while to find my Dad. My mom was bitter. She wouldn't tell me anything about where he might be. This was long before social media was used to find people. Lucky for me, my uncle was a bounty hunter and connected to people who could help me in my search. They were able to find a possible address.
I didn't just show up, although I desperately wanted to. I didn't know what he would say, so I was scared. My next best option was to write a letter. It took about two weeks, but he answered my letter to my surprise. When I tell you that was the most challenging letter I have ever written, I am not kidding.
It turned out that he had been searching for me too.
The genetic answer I've been looking for
It didn't take long until my Dad and I finally met, face to face. He has psoriasis—his brother, my uncle, and their father too. He confirmed that many people in his family, people I've never met, also live with psoriasis. Later down the line, my uncle's daughter would also develop psoriasis.
When she developed it, I was years into my journey with psoriasis. She came to me when she found out so I could answer any questions she had that she had forgotten to ask the doctor.
I wish I could say that my father and I have been together since then. Sadly it has been an on-again-off-again kind of relationship. Long story there, and it has nothing to do with psoriasis.
I am grateful that I finally had answers to tell any new doctor. Psoriasis is a journey for sure. It's filled with mountains and valleys. The search for answers was my mountains. If you don't have the necessary answers, I implore you to search for them and never give up. The answers are out there somewhere.
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