Mail (May, 1998)

P Earned Me a Key Chain
from Shawn

Greetings Fellow Flaker! I must admit it feels kind of good to be able to have an opportunity to share battle stories with someone who understands this roller coaster ride of emotions. I hope this will be acceptable to you. I am a 42 yr old woman and I have been afflicted with Psoriasis since I was 24. I have tried to look at this from all angles and I find that having a positive attitude is the best way to deal with it. Yes, I have times of tremendous pain and fight depression. I have had well meaning people say things that feel like a knife has been plunged into my very being. I am a person who believes in God and I know that it is by His Grace that I am able to get on with living. I would also like to contribute a few things to your ''Don't Say This! '' list. [Go to "Don't Say This" for Shawn's contributions. -Ed]

I would like to end this by relating something that my husband did when I was in a total 100% covered flare. I didn't want to go anywhere, It was awful and I was tired of the looks and stares. I was hurting and extremely depressed. He went to the store one afternoon and bought me a new Key Chain which said, "NOW YOU KNOW WHAT PERFECTION LOOKS LIKE!" It helps alot to have support. Are there any support groups for the families of Psoriatics? It gets tough on them too! Thanks! -Shawn

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Ed's Response: I suppose it will be a cold day in you-know-where before someone in my family gives me a key chain that says "Now You Know What Perfection Looks Like," but that doesn't have anything to do with my psoriasis. However, I DO have a couple of daughters who might put THEIR picture on the key chain before giving it to me! (And that, by the way, would make PERFECT sense.)

Supportive families are something we P's too easily take for granted. I've got an extended one that starts with my beloved and extends all the way to four grand children. About a month ago, for some reason or another, the wife and all the kids got into sandals in a big way. Everybody was buying summer sandals. All the chit chat was around comparison shopping, bargain hunting, styles, sizes. Even my youngest grandson—the one year old—showed up sporting a pair that were cute enough to have bronzed when he grows out of them. Next week, probably. Anyway, at one point during all the sandal-mania, I said, "I'd like to have a pair of sandals, too." Silence fell. Of course, everyone knew my feet look—as another correspondent put it this month—like lasagne. I think they were surprised that I would even consider wearing sandals, and then they were concerned that maybe I really would. Well, things went on for a few days. More sandals talk, more acquisitions. No more reference to my comment. So, I said it again. "I really would like to have a pair of sandals." Again, silence fell. Then it dawned on me. I added, "Of course, I want the kind you can wear socks with." Smiles cracked all their faces. The relief was palpable. The next day, there were my new sandals. I'm wearing them right now. They look great. But I had to rummage the drawer to find a pair of socks without holes in them. -Ed

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