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Fifty Years of Perfect Health — then P
from Linda T.

This skin crap erupted on me six years ago starting on my palms.  The pain was horrific — then nails fell off and are filled with exudate.  The rest of this body from head to foot has erupted and I have taken every med out there on the market.  Am now taking one Enbrel shot per week and folic acid, fish oil, beta carotene vitamins daily.  I had fifty years of excellent health, something most people can't say.  I have seen the best dermatologist in this state for treatment, too.  So, I have accepted this disability and continue to go to work daily with panty liners in place and, when the day's over, I go home, feed the dogs and bird, then undress, lie under the covers and scratch.  That's my story and I have no choice but to deal with it.  Accepting it after 50 years of perfect health was the hard part.  I have to work for the health insurance that pays for the Enbrel, the million dollar drug, as it was called by the dermatologist I saw.  Now I know the meaning of "the heartbreak of psoriasis."  -Linda T.

*****

Ed’s Response:  You’ve told a familiar story in concise and effective language, Linda.  I, too, began to flake later in life and I’m always oscillating between being grateful for all those flake-free years and wondering what I did to bring it on after I’d grown used to living with near-normal skin.  It’s natural for people in our circumstance to wonder what’s worse: growing up with a chronic condition like P, or getting it after growing up without it.  In my contemplations I’ve decided nothing could be worse than being a teenager and young adult with severe P and I’ve decided I was spared something awful.

I’m curious, if the Enbrel isn’t working well for you, has your doc suggested any other biologic?  Enbrel disappointed me, but my skin cleared beautifully on Raptiva — regrettably, my P-arthritis turned frantic the year I was on Raptiva and drove me to switch to Humira.  The Humira has, after making some dose adjustments, worked well for both skin and joints. 

Let us know how things go.  -Ed

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