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This Is No Bull

This Is No Bull

Do you remember your first real flare? I think I do. I was about 8 years old. I had only had psoriasis for about 2 years at that time. My doctors had put me on some smelly tar topical steroid cream that was slightly helping but it was such a challenging duty putting this cream all over my body every day twice a day which seemed like forever.

I remember one of my chores was to go and get the mail from the mailbox. I grew up on a farm, so I had to walk across a field with was about a quarter of a mile. On my journey, I had to climb over a barbwire fence to get to the other side because we had cows. This was a daily chore that I had to have done by 4 o’clock each day.

What happens next I couldn’t have prepared myself for! There was no protection between me the cows for a short distance to get to the other side of the fence. All of a sudden this cow comes charging at me.  It had very big horns and I thought to myself; this must be the bull, not the cow. I had on a red shirt and I had always heard that bulls will chase you if they see red. I just ran like crazy getting to the other side of the fence, cutting my leg in the meantime.

Seeing red

I was scared to death. My parents took me to the doctor because of the cut. The next couple of days my psoriasis went haywire. It just started flaking all over the place. My whole bed was covered in scales. It was one horrible site. I was shedding so bad that when I got up in the morning, you could seeing the outline of my body. My skin was sore, cracked and bleeding and I didn’t understand what was happening to me. I was so scared.

I had no clue of what was going on. I ended up being admitted to the hospital. They had no clue why I was feeling like my skin was on fire and didn’t have a treatment plan. This was around 1965 and they didn’t have a clue what to do for me. They were using all sorts of creams to ease the burning, but couldn’t figure out why my skin was falling off in sheets. Being a little girl, all I could do was cry. I had been going from doctor to doctor and trying a multitude of ineffective treatments, so I was used to not getting help.

I remember my sisters, (Sylvia and Carolyn), going out of their way to touch my skin often and to let me know that they were not bothered by how I looked or the flakes falling off. Even at a young age, I felt self-conscious about my appearance. My emotions would be up and down and I cried a lot.  I had low self-esteem and was even a little sad. My sisters always told me how much they love me, but they could not protect me from the cruelty of this world.

I was allowed to go home in a day or so from the hospital. They felt my skin was no longer angry at me. It took me years to realize that stress played a part in what was going on with my psoriasis.  I do remember now that when I do have a psoriasis flare, there was bound to be something going on in my life at that time.

Don’t just run from the bulls

When I look back and see myself laying on the other side of that fence, looking at my busted leg bleeding and hearing the loud thumping of my heartbeat, I’ve come to realize that how we react to a situation is the outcome we get.

I had to learn through trial and error the hard way. Yes, it was many years ago, but I always go back to this situation because it’s life experiences that are the greatest teacher. The reason I say this is because I remember the 8 year old girl running for her life from the bull.

I had heard all my life about bulls and seeing red. Can I tell you that bulls have no sight for color? Educate yourself, so you can educate others. When I saw the bull, I assumed because I had on a red shirt that he was going to run me over and this is no bull.

Over the years I have been an active advocate for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, speaking up and out about this disease.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.