A dress, shorts, trousers, tshirt, a nice top, a jumper….there is no escape from my skin. Why worry about my bum or muffin top when my hands are out, my feet are on show, my elbows can’t be hidden all the time. Why bother buying dresses when I put them on and then sit next to my mirror crying until I force myself to get a grip. Put some trousers on.
I keep sitting down to write a post and staring at the screen, not because there is nothing to say but because there is so much. I didn’t know where to start.
The right information and the path I needed to follow has been available and obvious to me for a while. If only I hadn’t fought so hard against it. I talked about ‘drug free’ and ‘the natural route’ but simultaneously I made excuses about why this route was so hard, impossible even, to follow.
So let’s start with the excuses.
My desire to lead a ‘normal’ life:
‘Why shouldn’t I be able to do everything I enjoy just because I have psoriasis?’
‘Why shouldn’t I go out drinking with my friends?’
‘Why can’t I eat what I like?’
Fear of failure:
‘What if I change my lifestyle, my diet, even my hobbies….and my psoriasis still doesn’t clear?’
Fear of change:
‘What if my new lifestyle isolates me from the people I am closest to?’
‘What if I realise I have less in common with my friends because of my healthier lifestyle?’
‘What if my friends think I’m not as fun as I used to be?’
I look at the list of excuses and now I see I was afraid, and I felt sorry for myself.
So now I’ve got the ‘it’s not fairs’ and the fear out on the page I’m ready to share the beginning of my journey. The natural route. It has been scary, but it’s getting less so; and I don’t feel sorry for myself anymore.
When I began this blog I wanted it to be helpful, a way to reach out and offer support and I also wanted it to be an outlet. There are times when these goals have made it hard to write and publish a post. I want to be honest but not depressing. I don’t want to feel sorry for myself or complain, but sometimes I do and I’ve realised that needs to be OK too.
So, 2015 is going to be the year:
Blog posts do not remain as drafts!
Both the highs and the lows will be shared.
I’m happy to begin the year with a high. After struggling for a long time to find the right diet and routine for my body (and most importantly sticking to it!) I’ve done it. I haven’t woken up scratching in a month. Happy New Year everyone!
An example of how well I’m doing. My most noticeable psoriasis patch clear
On my way home for Christmas. I keep picturing the faces of all the people I love the most. The two weeks I get to spend with them are dreamlike in their imagined perfection.
And then, in the remotest corner of my mind, a tiny persistent worry. That my psoriasis will flare up again.
I’m just coming out the other side of the big ‘post detox’ flare up of 2014 so it’s understandable that I’m worried. I think the key thing about controlling psoriasis flare ups is routine. If you’ve found a routine that works, even a small ‘cheat’ or change is quickly noticeable.
So, I know why I’ve got that little niggle. These next few weeks signal a stray from my carefully designed routine. Different sleep patterns, food, exercise, levels of stress, levels of any emotion for that matter.
As with any worry it’s better when it’s voiced (and for me when it’s written down).
On my way home for Christmas, I cannot wait.
I spend large amounts of my spare time hypothesising and making mental lists. These can range from ‘What would you do if..?’ questions to, ‘My top five breakfast foods to eat for dinner’. On my walk to work today I did two top fives; the first being ‘My top five most annoying places to have psoriasis’ and the second, ‘The top five places I would like my psoriasis to clear’. These started as one until I was forced to concede to vanity over comfort, cue second list.
Top Five Most Annoying Places To Have Psoriasis.
5. Elbows – whilst not the worst place to have psoriasis this one still deserves a position in the top five. I have personal grievances with the elbows because it was the location of my first patch. Also, bending and straightening become issues here, clothes rub if you’re trying to cover up, and if not covered they’re the hardest areas to stop yourself scratching because of their convenient location.
4. Feet – I think this is a temperature issue for me. Feet seem to be the body part which change temperature the most. Hot psoriasis burns and itches, cold psoriasis flakes and itches.
3. Butt crack – hmmm, this one is annoying for a reason probably not anticipated. I like to be able to picture, at all times, how my skin looks. This is almost impossible to do with the butt crack without a mirror and the danger of popping a vertebrae.
2. Hands – an inverse of the butt crack. You can’t escape the hands. I like to know how my psoriasis looks but I also like to forget at times that I have it at all, not easy with the hands fluttering around as inescapable reminders.
1. Scalp – Your every movement produces a snowdrift of flaking skin and you have the constant sensation that you don’t have enough skin to cover your head because it feels so tight. It’s itchy on an unimaginable level and impossible not to touch. Add to that the mixture of relief, panic, disgust and fear of baldness as huge clumps of hair come out attached to skin and we have a clear winner.
And now, for my vanity only:
The Top Five Places I Would Like My Psoriasis To Clear
I completed the cleanse. The very next day I woke up with tonsillitis.
I know cleanses bring up old illnesses and trigger weak points, for me this has been my throat since I was very young. It was a bout of tonsillitis which brought on my first flare up, the streptococcal virus is a common trigger for psoriasis. Cleanses allow your body the energy to focus on weak areas that are usually left dormant when most energy is being used for the digestive process. Whatever the reason, after the most difficult cleanse I have ever done I got tonsillitis and am now in the middle of the biggest flare up I have had in 7 years.
Let’s look at positives before the irony of the situation sends me into a fit of hysterical laughter and gut wrenching sobs permeated with howls of ‘It’s not fair’ and ‘Why meeeeee?’ and my eventual incarceration for the safety of myself and the general public.
Positive Number 1: I have a sense of humour. Sometimes all you can do is laugh. Even if it is a very small, wry one.
Positive Number 2: I know much more than I did before. In terms of controlling a flare up I have so much more knowledge than I did the last time it was like this. General knowledge and most importantly, what works for me.
Positive Number 3: I can handle the stares, and know they are much fewer than your mind will imagine. In the first few years after being diagnosed I avoided, as much as possible, putting myself in situations with anyone I didn’t know. I was depressed. My psoriasis controlled my life. Now, when people look (and often they aren’t subtle) it doesn’t hurt me like it used to. I accept it as curiosity or ignorance and try to find the positives from any situation.
I don’t want my list of positives to fool anyone, least of all me. I’m finding it hard. Sometimes the laughter does stick in my throat as a sob. But I’m dealing with it. I’m controlling my diet, I’m exercising, I’m doing yoga, I’m meditating. I’m trying not to give it too much space in my thoughts, and most importantly I’m trying not to take it all so seriously. Every night I tape on my white cotton gloves to stop me scratching in my sleep and I have a little laugh to myself, because that, at least, is pretty funny.
I made it! 14 days of juices and smoothies, 1 salt water flush and 3 olive oil liver flushes.
How do I feel? A bit under the weather actually.
My skin? Definitely less itchy, but appearance wise it’s much the same.
I feel a bit underwhelmed if I’m honest. I had expected better, more visible results. I’m starting to feel that these big cleanses actually bring up more than they remove….
I feel good. My skin is flat. It’s not itching. I feel like I’m on the brink of it clearing up. I’m actually scared to start eating full meals again. I did not think in a million years that thought would enter my head. I’m so hungry. I miss food so much.
But it’s clear that digestion and diet are the answer….it’s just about finding a regime that works for me.
Liver flush number 3
I said I would never do one again. But three liver flushes was the aim for the two weeks and so here I am again. I thought, if I can get to day 12 I can do 3 flushes.
I’m hungry. I can’t even face another smoothie today. It’s no fats and I never want to see or smell another pear or apple again as long as I live.
The end is in sight, and I’m feeling proud of myself. Hopefully this will carry me through the next 2 days.
Today has been a good day! Hooray!
I had energy! I exercised! I went out for the day and I wasn’t in a detox cleanse bubble where communication is virtually impossible.
4 days to go. My skin isn’t itchy but it’s no better. My coach assures me the cleanse is working on my digestion. I know It’s all linked but it would make it easier if the first results were external ones.