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More Believable than the Truth
Hi Ed: Thanks again for all your efforts to educate and comfort. Of all the psoriasis related sites I have visited, which probably reaches in to the 10's of thousands, your's is my favorite by reason of a complete depiction of life with psoriasis.
I came to see what new interviews you had conducted and remembered a situation that may fit in somewhere. I had been considering how people perceive different afflictions and wondered how the response might be different if mine were described as something other than psoriasis.
While putting together a canopy bed for a friend's 15 year old daughter I was reaching up to assemble the overhead parts and exposed a rather large lesion on my side. "Ewww, what's that?" I got as far as "Ps---" then in a flash decided to test out what I had been wondering about. The first plausible lie I could come up with was, "I was charging a car battery and blew it up."
I was amazed how much smoother the lie went over than the truth usually does. Unlike the barrage of questions and muted expression of horror and/or disgust that often follow the P word, this time the explanation was not so mysterious and was summarily accepted and forgotten.
I could take this as an encouragement to go the easy route in the future by repeating the lie but what this tells me is all of us who suffer psoriasis need to play a part in unveiling all the mystery around psoriasis and be more proactive in teaching the rest of the world the truth about psoriasis. People fear what they do not understand. -Orin
Ed’s Response: Ain’t it the truth, Orin! But undertaking the teaching role — especially if it’s adults we’re trying to inform — is often tough.
One fellow wrote to me: “I tried to tell my aunt’s lady friend, when she saw my back that is covered by lesions, that it was psoriasis and not contagious. She acted affronted because I thought she was stupid. ‘I know that,’ she said. ‘But one would think, if you looked that bad, you’d stop drinking altogether.’”
Or the elderly psoriatic woman who overheard her two cleaning women commenting about “the white stuff all over her house.” They couldn’t quite figure it out, so the psoriatic lady told them about her affliction. She was bemused the next time they came to clean to see them put on latex gloves and nose masks and wear them until they were done and ready to leave.
Or the computer programmer who had psoriasis and actually thought it was funny when his coworkers got a click-through plastic spill shield to “keep his flakes out of his keyboard.” Then, when he removed it, his boss said, in all seriousness, “Maybe it would be a good idea if you left it on.”
Point being: Sometimes people who know “a little” about psoriasis can be a whole lot more bothersome than those who know nothing at all.
Thanks for your kind words about FlakeHQ, Orin, and — as one liar to another — if you haven’t already, you might find Intrigue at 30,000 Feet amusing. -Ed