Booze & Elders
by Clay Cherry

Ed: I just found your web page.....good job! I've had psoriasis for as long as I can remember (first broke out at age 5, now 38). ‘Course, they didn't have web pages way back then so I thought I was the only one in the whole world.

I noticed in one e-mail reply that you said you had tried booze, etc. to remedy the problem. I've tried all kinds of things with no luck.....maybe that's a next step <g>.

Here's something for your pondering on the heredity factor—we discounted it because no one on either side of my family has ever had it for as far back as anyone can remember. Then, this year, my mother broke out. I was a kid with psoriasis, so, if one of my kids breaks out, I can deal with it. But I've never been a 65 year old grandmother with a sudden onset. How can I help her deal with it?

Keep up the good work! (and keep your vacuum cleaner tuned up). -Clay Cherry

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Ed's Response:

Dear Clay: First off, don't try booze as a palliative or a remedy. Way too expensive, no matter which currency we're considering (money, emotional stability, social acceptability, etc.), and forgetting about your psoriasis (i.e., mental numbness, which is booze's only contribution to the situation) only works so long as the bottle is not empty–and meanwhile, most everything else STOPS working.

How can you help your 65 year old mother deal with this NEW problem in her life called P? Might I suggest a copy of Flake to get her grinning? Now that the commercial is over.... How is she taking it so far? Having manifested rather late in life myself (though not that late) I'm inclined to be a little callous and to suggest the prognosis might not be that important. If her psoriasis isn't major and life-threatening, her ego is probably strong enough by now to take the pummeling younger P's endure. For example, has flaking put a damper on her love life like it might have when she was twenty?

One of the emotional problems older people sometimes display is depression–maybe it's just sadness–associated with an intellectual INABILITY to EXPLAIN to themselves why they are having certain problems now. It's the what-did-I-do-to-deserve-this? syndrome. In such cases it may help to convince them they're not alone. Share your National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) literature with your mom. (You DO belong to NPF, don't you?!) Better yet, enroll her as a member and get her on their mailing list. Also, since older people often have more time to mope about their problems, encouraging them to talk it out, and being willing to LISTEN can be helpful. Since you are a psoriatic, I imagine the two of you could talk about it with as much ease as other people talk about the weather. Need something to jumpstart these conversations? Keep her abreast of what we're talking about here at FlakeHQ and on the newsgroup, too. If your mother is typically grandmotherly, I imagine she'll hear much to make her shake her head and poo-poo us kids who tend to, as my grandmother was always saying, "make mountains out of mole hills." -Ed

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