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Dropped Out and Trying Eastern Meds
from V.

Hi, I'm 18 now and I've had psoriasis since I was about 9. It subsided after I had it for about a year, although there was always one or two active lesions. Just recently it has returned with a vengeance. It's quite severe and I do nothing but sit at home alone every day. I never knew what it was, and I always thought I was alone. I feel more saddened by the fact that there is no real cure. And after looking at so many web sites and reading peoples personal experiences with P, it's rather depressing. Knowing that I'll have it forever, and that I will never be rid it, how can I live a normal life?

I know you're supposed to think positively or it'll worsen. But I can't help but cry sometimes when I pass a mirror and stare at myself. I can't do anything. I even dropped out of school this past semester. And school’s coming around the corner again and if it doesn't at least clear up on my face, I won’t go back.

You have a very positive attitude towards things, and I wish I could be like you. Keep up the work on your site, because it's nice to see some more positive things. Sincerely, -V

P.S. - About the itching problem. I used to itch like crazy, until I started taking Chinese herbal medicines. I no longer itch! I take a bunch of herbal things that you must boil in a certain type of pot, and then add 4 bowls of water then simmer it down till it fills up one bowl (with a dark fluid). Although it is rather nasty tasting, it has cleared the itching completely, and I’m told that enough of this will eventually make my psoriasis disappear (for awhile, at least). I have taken about 10 packages (1 package equals 2 servings). Today I’m going to take a stronger type of this medication. I will tell you if it does end up working. Maybe it will (I’m keeping my fingers crossed). Because I know most people who are still suffering have used western medications, maybe eastern meds are the way to go. -V

*****

Ed’s Response: V! As Donald Sutherland’s character in Kelly’s Heroes was so fond of saying, "What’s with all the negative waves?" You are taking your reading too seriously. At 19 today you have an excellent chance of being lesion-free by the time you are 30. All this time we old poops have been complaining so bitterly — writing our histories which are not canon — medical science has been progressing. Probably 95% of what we now know about P we’ve learned since you were born. In another decade or so we’ll know what to do about it.

I hate to hear about young people with P who drop out of school, but yours is not the saddest story by far. (Read Cloistered for 15 Years in the Archives.) Are you a member of the National Psoriasis Foundation? To join you need make an annual donation of any amount. They became my life preserver and I think you’d find their periodical literature helpful, too.

Reading about your Chinese herbal medicine really brought back the memories. There’s an excerpt from my book Flake: Confessions of a Psoriatic available here that concludes with a description of my own experience with this "tea." (I’ll warn you in advance: You have a stronger stomach than I did!)

Stay in touch, V. Let us know what you are trying and how it is working. I want to hear that you are hanging in there at school ... but even if you are not, stay in touch. -Ed

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