A frustrated man walks away from a trash can while tossing medication into the trashcan behind his shoulder.

The Failing of Yet Another Treatment

There are many things that are frustrating about managing life with psoriasis. As much as you try to track symptoms and treat flares - full condition management is impossible. This condition is too inconsistent and loves to keep us on our itchy toes.

Since I received my COVID-19 shots, my psoriasis has been flaring - and flaring badly. It must be the antibodies and autoimmune response, my body seems to have turned against me. Months later, I find myself still in this flare unsure if it was because of the vaccine or if my treatment is failing.

After 17 years of living with psoriasis, I would bet it is the latter.

The infuriating treatment journey

It is the very thing I find most frustrating about psoriasis treatments. The hope of trying a new treatment, the "is it working?" journey, and then ultimately coming to the conclusion of failure.

I find myself currently on my seventh treatment. Two of them have not been biologics while the other five have been. To say that I am not looking forward to having yet another discussion with my rheumatologist about potentially switching to another treatment is a big understatement.

However, since I play a very pivotal part in my own health and treatment, I am not going to sit idly by as my psoriasis gets worse.

Setting realistic expectations

I started Otezla back in April of 2021. Previous to starting Otezla, I was on an IV infusion of Remicade. My rheumatologist really wanted me to be on this. I was not a fan of the idea of going to sit at a hospital to take the treatment, especially given the fact that the pandemic was in full swing.

To make matters worse, I saw absolutely no signs of improvement in my psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis symptoms. My rheumatologist was insistent about keeping me on - in her opinion - anything given by IV infusion would work far better than anything that comes out of a syringe.

I could understand her logic but if it wasn’t working, it made no sense for me to be on it. However, I did go the six months. I knew I had to give myself a realistic timeframe to track improvements - or in my case, lack of improvements.

The decision to switch treatments

Each time I went in for the infusion, I would proceed to tell her it was not working. I would tell her we needed to start thinking about switching to another treatment. It was like I was talking to the wall. She did not want to discuss it.

Do you know what finally made her start discussing it? I had to put my foot down and tell her that I would not be to get another infusion. She could write the prescription, set the appointment and then do with it what she pleased because I would not be there.

It was pitiful that it took me being that direct with her. However, it got the end result I wanted, which was to get off a medication that was not helping my psoriasis symptoms.

You are your own best advocate

It took me many years to learn to fight for myself and my health. Before then I would just sit and accept whatever the doctor suggested. Those days are long over. I am the one that lives with psoriasis. She does not. All she knows is what she has learned.

I am not saying I know everything about psoriasis but I want a collaborative effort when it comes to treating it. I deserve that and quite frankly, so do each of you. I did take joy in looking at her face when she saw me at the next appointment. She was stunned to see that Otezla was working for me.

I know we are all different and what works for one may not work for another. However, I do believe we all know our bodies and should advocate and understand our treatment options. I encourage you to find your voice and speak up. You are your own best advocate.

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

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