Mail (May, 1998)

Prescrips Too Expensive
from Kelly G.

Ed: Hi. My name is Kelly G. and I've had P for 11 years now. I've enjoyed your web page and thought I might drop you a line. I have yet to meet anyone in my area that has P as bad as I do. From reading your web pages, it's nice to know I'm not as big of a minority as I once thought. It's also nice to know I'm not the only one who has tried everything under the sun at one time or another and not much ever helps.

I do have a question for you and I would appreciate some sort of a reply. I have this stuff over 75-80% of my body, but itching isn't as big a problem as the pain I experience. I don't suffer from the pustular type at all, its just LARGE patches that are incredibly thick and sore, I keep myself drowned in Vaseline but even that stuff doesn't do much good. Part of my problem is money. I can't afford these costly new meds my derm wants to put me on. So I have to do what I can. I've forked out a lot of cash in the past.

If anyone else suffers from pain, I would like to know. Thanks. -Kelly G. (that's Mr. not Ms)

P.S. If anyone ever wants a pound of flesh from me, I'm going to offer them my vacuum cleaner bag.

*****

Ed's Response: Kelly, pain is definitely a part of the P game plan. There's pain from lesions cracking, pain from thick skin that needs to bend but won't, pain brought on by infection and abrasion and peeling flakes a little too exuberantly. And, of course, psoriatic arthritis is just one big pain in the ... joint. Sometimes it's the kind of pain we can live with, sometimes is isn't.

If you can't afford the corticosteroids or the other regimens, you might want to try some of the diet ideas or moisturizing ideas discussed in this month's mail and in the archives. Also, talk to a pharmacist about popular over-the-counter products. Sometimes you find relief in the oddest places. "Bag Balm," for example, is a formulation originally designed to help livestock with dry and cracking udders, but it's been known for years to help many psoriatics.

I'd also advise you to keep your ears and eyes peeled for group prescription insurance plans. Your derm might have some ideas. I use about $200 worth of P prescrips a month and would be in serious jeopardy if I didn't have the insurance. (I pay $3 per prescrip, regardless of its price.)

Good luck! -Ed

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