The Psoriasis Predicament
I have had psoriasis since I was 14. Essentially, I like to think of psoriasis as me being Wolverine (super fast healing) except that along with healing fast, my skin keeps growing long after the injury/irritation. This creates patches of dead skin hanging out on my body. I usually pick them off, making the patches grow back even stronger than before and spread further. It usually starts on my scalp, then after considerable amounts of stress or drinking it will slowly start showing up on my chest/abdomen.
When the condition is at its worst, I feel like I’m wearing a fat suit: I don’t want anyone to see me, I feel like everyone thinks I’m disgusting, covered in flakes and scales. It’s also incredibly uncomfortable to wear clothing, moving around in general chafes and irritates the already irritated patches. There are creams but they aren’t meant to be used long term and usually patches fade and reappear or move to another spot.
It has been a very difficult to combat the disease, and the only thing that has always worked is Enbrel, an injectable medication. I used to take Enbrel twice a week when I was younger, but eventually I stopped because my psoriasis was pretty much all gone. When I started college it gradually came back and got really bad and eventually I went back on Enbrel. The problem was that the company changed how I injected myself; now instead of a vial to mix and a needle to inject myself with it was an auto injector. Kind of like an EpiPen where I had to push it down on my leg, press a button and in that little chamber of horrors was a terrifying click accompanied with excruciating pain which I had to tolerate for the longest 15 seconds in the world.
I quickly developed a phobia of this “Sureclick Auto Injector” and Noah and I resorted to him forcefully holding me down while I kicked and screamed and cried and pleaded. It was a difficult time. For insurance reasons my dose was lowered and I got to a middle ground of auto-filled but non-auto-inject needles. This was somewhat better, but the pain of injecting was the same if not worse. I couldn’t go through with it. The crippling fear was gone, but I could not push something into me and let it flow in my veins while feeling the pain it caused me.
Luckily, my psoriasis has been gone as of late and so I haven’t had to resort to Enbrel or tanning. I have a tanning package, but only wanted to use it sparingly, you know, cause of the carcinogens and all. But this put a lot of pressure on me. As soon as I began to notice psoriasis patches in early June, I began to tan, but I realized this was only a temporary solution, and didn’t get rid of the psoriasis on my scalp.
The worst thing about this is the amount of stress and fear it instills in me. I know that if I’m stressed I’m encouraging my psoriasis and knowing that I can’t do anything to make myself not stressed makes me more scared and more stressed. It’s a scary feeling, knowing how many terrible things accompany all of it.