We Are Not Fortune Tellers
There is a psychic business just up the road from my house, and it catches my eye every time I pass by. I’ve never been one to believe in the powers a future teller claims to have, but it is alluring to think of knowing my future.
When you are told that you have a disease that has no cure, it is pretty normal to think or worry about what the rest of your life will look like. I know I always thought to myself, “If I know what to expect, I can somehow brace myself or be more prepared.” After years of talking with others with psoriasis, I find that there are a few common questions that we all wish we knew the answers to when we were diagnosed.
Will my skin always look like this?
Psoriasis is more than just a skin disease, but the plaques are what cause the stares, discrimination, and immediate affects. There are systemic related conditions to the disease that warrant concern, such as heart disease, uveitis, and pancreatitis, but it is easy to brush those thoughts aside if you aren’t feeling them at the time.
What I have noticed in my nearly 15 years of having this disease is that my skin has not always looked the same. There are periods of remission and periods of flares. These ups and downs are due to changes in stress, medicines, and sometimes for no reason at all.
How is this going to impact my relationships?
This was my first question. Well, I was a teenager, so it was more like, “Am I ever going to have a girlfriend?!” Every forum and group I have been a part of has this topic come up almost daily. This is a big concern for a lot of people. We can be idealistic and say that relationships are more than just physical attraction, but that aspect is important; looks are generally the spark that makes us interested in getting to know more about that other person.
It’s easy for me to be a Pollyanna about this since I am now married to a girl that I find smokin’ hot. There is part of me that wants to take my anecdotal experience and shout it to the rooftop that every psoriatic patient can and will find love! However, I also recognize that if someone was to say that when I was lonely and dealing with a difficult diagnosis, it probably wouldn’t have been helpful. What I will say is you shouldn’t give up looking for the right person if a relationship is what you want. Even if you didn’t have psoriasis, there is always an element of unknown in this area.
Will I be able to afford this disease?
A chronic disease often brings up visions of dollar signs. Office visits, medications, and lab work become commonplace when you have a lifelong condition. This is especially true nowadays when we have so much unrest and uncertainty about healthcare. I would encourage you to hope for the best, but plan for the worst.
An example of this would be a health savings plan. I always allocate for the maximum amount each year to come out of my paycheck and be put away for medical expenses. Another thing I do is to let my job searches to be limited to those that offer a comprehensive benefits package. This has become more important to me than salary amount. I know that I am going to have to use my health insurance more than the average 30-something-year-old, so I try my best to plan ahead.
The bottom line though is this: you can only plan for so much. You can’t predict the future, and honestly, you wouldn’t want to! The best thing you can do is take care of yourself and stay positive. You don’t want to get to the end of your life and look back at all the time you wasted worrying about things that never actually happened. If you must dwell on the future, dwell on the thought of a cure.