Hello, fellow psoriasis brothers and sisters! My name is Tiffany and I am an NYC native currently living in Union City, NJ. I was first diagnosed with psoriasis at the age of NINE. I had it on my scalp… mainly along my hairline and the back of my ears. I will never forget the burning and stinging of the liquid drops that I had to use…my mom would blow on the area immediately after putting the drops on my scalp. Not exactly what you would call a fond memory.
As I got older more plaques began to come out….and what really made it come out at its worst was when my brother was sent overseas to fight for our country. At my absolute worst…my body was close to 80% covered in psoriasis. It hurt to do anything. I didn’t swim in a pool, jump in a lake or ocean…I didn’t wear shorts or sleeveless shirts for YEARS. I was so uncomfortable in every aspect of the word. Physically…mentally…emotionally. I was lucky enough to have a loving family and an amazing boyfriend who were always there for me whenever I needed them. But I reached my breaking point. The kind words and gestures just weren’t enough.
I felt that although I was alive…I wasn’t really living. I’m sure many of you can identify with me on that.
Psoriasis controlled every aspect of my life. At this point, I tried creams, lotions, drops, methotrexate, UV-light…nothing was helping…until I won the insurance battle and got my hands on biologic medication. It truly changed my life for the better. I got my life back. I began wearing shorts and pretty dresses and sleeveless tank tops. My confidence soared. And then…reality hit. I got sick and had strep throat….and when I tell you the psoriasis came back with a vengeance….it was no joke. And I was devastated! I had gotten so used to being almost 100% clear and to see so much of it come back…and then it took my body longer for it to clear…it broke my heart and my spirits.
But it taught me a valuable lesson. These medications as amazing as they are….they aren’t the “end-all-be-all.” There’s is NO CURE. We are going to go through ups and downs…peaks and valleys…periods of being clear and then periods of being a flaring nightmare. It comes with the territory.
But I cannot express to you all enough to not let psoriasis completely define who you are. YOU define psoriasis. Not the other way around.
I’ll be 30 later this year…and I still have my moments of weakness and insecurity and “why me.” But as I’ve gotten older I’ve learned to accept what comes along with this disease. I’ve learned to appreciate and value things more…little things that no one gives a FIRST thought to, let alone a second one. I’ve learned that the people who accept you are truly the only people you’ll ever need in life. I’ve learned that having the right dermatologist is KEY to containing psoriasis. And just because they’re a dermatologist doesn’t always mean they specialize in psoriasis. So make sure you find one who best suits YOUR specific needs.
Most importantly I’ve learned that I am not alone in this. I am one of the MILLIONS suffering from psoriasis. The Pstruggle is real! And if this post gives just one person a little bit of hope… or at least made you feel that they aren’t alone… then this is worth it to me.
Fight the good fight and never give up! Until we find a cure…we have to be united. Never be ashamed of who you are and what you suffer from. We are Psoriasis Pstrong!!!