Picture This

When people hear the word psoriasis they think oh, she has a skin disease. Yes, I do but also have scales, itch and the pain. But what they don’t realize is that along with the psoriasis I have developed psoriatic arthritis which is an autoimmune disease that is attacking my body, especially the joints and the skin. This has cause me great pain, stiffness and swelling in my joints.

I’m sharing this story to let you know that my body is having a war with itself. Did you know that all those who have psoriasis don’t get psoriatic arthritis? I am one of the lucky ones who have both. I started out with plaque psoriasis and then along came psoriatic arthritis 25 years later.

Picture a balanced life

One day I am hoping for a cure. When I have the aches and pains from this disease I try to find a balance. I don’t have the luxury of not working or staying in bed all day. I have to deal with the pain and find balance in my day. Sometimes I meditate to find peace. I find this to be an excellent way to not think about what I may be going through each and every day. My medications for psoriatic arthritis are very expensive. I am happy to say I have insurance that helps me with my medications.

I have had plaque psoriasis my whole life. At one point it was all over my face for years. I was at the point where I did not want to take pictures. This started for me in first grade. My favorite name is school was “spotted face”. I was six years old.

I hated when it was picture day my whole life. I didn’t ever want to see any of those school pictures. I didn’t want my school pictures to come back because I knew I would have a “spotted face”.

I remember one year walking in the classroom and my pictures were on the desk. They were just out there in the open for people to see. Oh, my God, no!! As I walk in the classroom I heard kids whispering about my psoriasis. I was very sad and angry at that moment. When I looked at my pictures, it was worse in the picture than actually looking at me in person. I grabbed my pictures and I saw that my plaque psoriasis was bad that year. I remember thinking I will never take another picture in my life.

I went to a counselor at my school for help, I felt hopeless. She talked to me and told me it was okay. She told me that people are cruel no matter what that I needed to hold your head up high and be proud. That was a changing moment for me.

Changing the picture

Those of us with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis can’t picture a lot. We can’t picture that psoriatic arthritis not only affects us but those in our circle too, friends, colleagues, relationships, school mates, and household as well. Picture that we are always in pain and tired. I am.

Can you picture being criticized for having psoriasis? I have been; many times. Can you picture that someone telling you that it’s your fault for having this disease? A disease that has no cure.

I am learning to deal with all the negativity and drama that is seen by people. In my journey and life of living with psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis I want to picture a more confident me, a happier me and a healthy me. Can you picture that?

I want to live a great life with this disease. Yes, at the end of the day. I will not picture what people say about me or how they act toward me. Instead, I picture myself to be the best at living with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

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