Psoriasis Pain Hurts the Soul

Friends, have I ever told you how much I've struggled with psoriasis? Psoriasis has truly been the most difficult part of my journey, emotionally speaking. Psoriatic arthritis continues to give me pain, but the hurt from psoriasis goes so much deeper than physical discomfort. This pain hurts the soul.

Difficult to move, but impossible to stay still

When psoriasis attacked my body, it didn’t assault slowly. It was like a full military siege, starting at my scalp and then working its way around my ears, over my neck, and then down my back. It crept into every space on my body, making it difficult for me to move, but impossible to stay still.

Every motion was agony. Each waft of wind created an unwanted sensation on my skin.

My co-workers saw me as an eyesore. That’s what my manager told me when he called me into his office. I’m sure he meant that they saw my skin as an eyesore, but I will always remember that he said they saw me as an eyesore. I saw myself as an eyesore.

My quality of life was on the line

Dr. Mikell, my dermatologist in 2003, told me that there was a new treatment for psoriasis. The good news is that it would also help my psoriatic arthritis. The bad news. It was an injection. Yikes! I had always been very afraid of needles.

Still, I didn’t feel I had a choice. My quality of life was on the line. I went for it. I would be injecting myself with Enbrel twice a week for the foreseeable future.

I had been told not to expect results for about six weeks, but I started noticing results almost immediately. The first week, I could have sworn my skin looked better and I could definitely tell that my joints felt better. After two weeks, I could see a noticeable difference in my skin. At four weeks, I was almost completely clear. The only psoriasis that remained was a tricky patch of inverse psoriasis here and there.

A saving grace

This was the miracle I had been waiting for. My daughter was a toddler then, and life was finally easier for the two of us. Until then, I had bathed Nora in the kitchen sink because the psoriasis on my back was too thick to allow me to bend over a bathtub.

She was such a happy little girl when she got her first bath in the bathtub. She must have felt like she was in a swimming pool!

This biologic allowed me to wear a short-sleeve shirt in public without worrying that I might offend someone with my skin. I was able to buy sheets for my bed, knowing that I would be able to get more than a few uses out of them before I had to throw them away because they were covered with medication and bloodstains. Best of all, when I swept my floor, I no longer had a full dustpan of flakes from my own skin, collected in just one day.

I have been on a biologic for my psoriasis for more than 18 years now, and have had to switch medications to adjust to changes in my body. Although you wouldn't look at me now and know that I have psoriasis, I will never forget how it felt living with painful, visible, and unsightly plaques.

For me, biologics have been life-changing, and possibly life-saving.

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