Mail (July, 1998)

Won't Accept P
from Pat B.

Dear Ed: I think that I found your message to be a bit inspiring. I have had psoriasis since I was 7, after being hit by a car. I'm now 43. I hate, detest, and despise this condition and I don't know too many people who can understand how it feels to have it. I wonder at someone like yourself who seems to "accept" having it, because I don't think I ever will. I'm sure you won't either but you have an interesting viewpoint and a lot of courage. I really related to the article about the 80% club particularly the piece that says, "The proclivity to be psoriatic inevitably outlives strategies to palliate the symptoms. " Like you, when my body stops responding to the current regimen (and I think I've tried 'em all), then I just get new lesions on previously unaffected skin.

I've been seeing a Naturopath for the last 6 months but we're not getting very far, so I've also purchased some Exorex, too. If I knew a witch doctor who said bury a shrunken head and howl at the moon every night at midnight, I'd probably do that, too. You must know what I mean :))
People like your friend Rita, who you describe, are few and far between aren't they? "Our disabilities and our deformities are only as handicapping as we and the society we keep deign to make them" is how you paraphrase her point. I would like to be that brave but, alas, I'm shallow and may never reach that stage of acceptance.

Anyway, it was interesting and yes, comforting, to read the wise words of another 'survivalist.'

Nice talking to you. -Pat B.

*****

Ed's Response: Thanks for the kind words, Pat. Even I, who am on record as saying my psoriasis has become an "avocation," have refused to completely accept it. All that I've accepted is that I have to deal with it. I'd love not to have to deal with it any more ... to get cured ... but until that happens my modus operandi is to deal with it appropriately, and that means not accept it as crippling—physically or emotionally. I refuse to let it inhibit my pursuit of happiness. I refuse to accept that, because of my P, happiness is unobtainable. I can live life as a psoriatic, and I do. The biggest challenge is to make others understand this. The best weapon I've found is humor. That doesn't work for everybody, I know. But if I can't giggle WITH them, I'll giggle IN SPITE OF them. For me, humor IS survival. So, why can't I end this with a joke? How about a limerick?

There once was a man named Ed,
whose flaking went to his head.
He refused to despise it,
refused to deny it,
and giggled about it, instead.

-Ed

Readers: Pat's Ed Dewke quotations are from More Flakes - Sneak Preview, which you can get to by clicking on FLAKE BOOKS, above.

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