One Year Of Being Psoriasis Free... Kinda...
There was a point in my life where healthy skin was the minority of my body. I had more dry, flaky, inflamed plaques than I did of normal healthy skin. I fought for years to find a treatment which worked for my psoriasis. If it wasn't the insurance company I was battling, it was my own immune system which seems to always work against me. When it came to finding an effective treatment my immune system was unbothered and proved to be just as stubborn as I can be at times. I guess you can say stubbornness runs through my body.
Imagining a psoriasis free life
Up until 3 years ago, no matter the treatment, my psoriasis would refuse to cease and desist. It was as though my immune system was the last big boss on a video game and every time I tried to control it, it laughed back at me, with a deep sadistic voice I imagine saying, "Try again." I would attempt to rid of it once more only for a treatment to fail once again. At some point in my journey, I got tired of trying. Reluctantly, I settled for psoriasis in a sense. I came to terms with being nearly 90% covered and figured it would just be something I would have to deal with for the rest of my life. For me, clear skin was not a reality.
I used to sit and daydream about how much more enjoyable my life would be if I could just break free of psoriasis and the mental asylum it placed me in emotionally. I would always think about how much better my life would be if psoriasis would vanish, never to rear it's ugly head again. I used to think about all the things I was missing out on and could do if I could just be psoriasis free. I used to think if I didn't have psoriasis I could find the ability to love myself so much more. Thus far, I have lived with being covered by psoriasis more than I've had clear skin.
Starting a new biologic
In January I started a biologicTaltz, which was my third attempt at a injection. I had tried a different biologic before which only cleared me by 80% but I was content with those results. But after almost 2 years after using that particular injection, my body recalculated its operation, fought back, and new spots started to appear on my body. In regards to Taltz, I was nervous but excited about the potential results. Once I started using it, within 2 months my body had broken free from the grasp of psoriasis and I was 100% clear. (As a disclaimer I must remind you as a reader that treatments work differently for everyone and what may work for one person may not work for the next.) I felt as though I had finally defeated the big boss which plagued my life never to be haunted again.
I rushed to the mall to buy the clothes I always wanted -- spaghetti strap tops, shorts, dresses, and skirts. Last year, I bought and wore my first swimsuit since the 4th grade. I was a new woman, with a new attitude -- So I thought.
When treatment works, but your insurance coverage doesn't
Around 8 months into my psoriasis free party, the celebration came to a screeching halt. I found out I may lose my treatment due to insurance complications. My doctor and the patient assistant program people had worked it out but now 4 months later and I'm facing the same circumstances. It's a long drawn out story, but the most important fact is I am at risk of losing my medicine. Although I'm in a patient assistant program which covers the co-pay for the drug, my insurance co-pay is around $4,000, so the amount provided by the patient assistance program runs out fast for me.
It made me realize that even with my psoriasis being currently suppressed only with the help of treatment (My psoriasis will come back full force if not controlled by meds)... I am NEVER truly psoriasis free. Until there is a cure, even with the aid of an effective treatment, I will always have psoriasis because there is always a chance it can strike again reclaiming its reign in my life.
Clear or not clear- I'm more than my psoriasis
Also, I learned my self-esteem had nothing to do with my psoriasis. I don't have any active spots yet due to other reasons, my self-esteem is still damaged. Clear skin has taught me to love and have confidence in myself and that psoriasis has ZERO to do with the quality of my skin.
I would be lying if I said I wasn't worried about losing my treatment coverage. I'm terrified. But at this point, all I can do is take it day by day. Quite honestly, even with psoriasis I still have slight flares, nothing even close to how it use to be, but it happens. It pains me to know, that one day, I may have to go back to a place of 90% psoriasis covered skin... A place, I thought I had for sure escaped.
Do you like to go pswimming with psoriasis?