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Uninsured and Dealing With It — Together
Hi Ed. I'm Elodie and my husband is Gary. I'll give you a brief on both of us.
Elodie — I've had skin "problems" as far back as I can remember. My first treatment, other than cortisone cream, was at age six. My hands were so severe my dermatologist gave me, as he explained to the then-six-year-old me, x-ray treatments. I had the radiation weekly for some time. I've often wondered if that has caused other problems. The skin problem on my hands was pretty much under control after that. I was never told what my diagnosis was. I still had the problem between my legs along panty lines, in my belly button, on my feet, on my knees and elbows, behind my ears and on my scalp. I was told they could not treat most of those spots without damaging things. I used a sun lamp in my bedroom and stripped down spread eagle on the bed for these sessions. I don't know if it did a lot of good, I might have been worse though, who knows.
What was really weird was it all went away when I was pregnant at age 22. It returned a couple of years later but I never had another kid, darn it! My late first husband was ill with kidney disease and it just never happened, not for lack of trying though. :) The severity was less than my hands had been and Dr.s just kept giving me things like prescriptions for Selsun Yellow and antifungals. But the flaking and sores on my head really caused me some pain and grief. I ended up with hair loss in patches. I also developed cystic acne in the following years and still have it today. I break out and then it turns to a flaky area that just doesn't heal for weeks.
Now, at the age of menopause (55), I'm having real problems again. I think I may have Sjogren's(show-grens), an autoimmune disorder that attacks the moisture-producing glands. Every part of my body is dry, eyes, mouth, panty area, underarms, etc.. I break out instantly! I can be fine one minute and the next I have something started that progresses really fast. I hate to rely on cortisone cream and lately I've been using way too much.
I also use Aquaphilic ointment like Spotty. It's especially helpful for the newer spots to keep them from ending up cracked and bleeding. I really liked the idea of putting a jar in the frig to cool any hot spots.
Gary — He has had dandruff, flakes on his face/neck for his entire life. He often has spots on other areas of his skin that no doctor seems to think is anything. :( I recognized them right away and nobody has that much dandruff. He has a genetic addition, 47 chromosomes, called Klinefelter's which we found out about several years ago. Guys with it have unusually high numbers of autoimmune diseases.
He's the one that started using the Aquaphilic first. It helped with all kinds of skin issues he's had over the years. He had a breakout on his cheeks, the lower ones, and I started calling it his butt grease <grin>. It worked well enough that he could sit comfortably though.
It's funny that the barber diagnosed you. Gary had a dentist that told him he had psoriasis, bless the lay diagnosticians!
We're uninsured and anything other than over the counter is probably out of the financial realm at this time. Gary has gone back to school. He'll finish his degree just before his 60th birthday in 2010! :) He can work for a few years.
I'm still looking through your web site. Is there anywhere to sign up or log in? I haven't found one yet.
-Flaky kin, Gary & Elodie
Ed's Response: Thanks for sharing your stories, Elodie. I imagine there are thousands of flakers out there who would hear your story and nod their heads with similar recollections.
As you run into affordable and effective ways to contain your P please share them with us. We spend a lot of time describing our experiences with the expensive prescription remedies and tend to overlook the vast majority of flakers who either aren't appropriately diagnosed or who are un- or under insured.
And please extend my hearty congrats to Gary on his college pursuits. He's got more gumption than I do. Many times I've thought about returning to college for something current and perhaps more useful than my 30-year old BA in English – but never acted on the yearning. Now I'm yearning again. –Ed
P.S. – No “log in” at FlakeHQ.com required. And no one that comes to leave flakes at my site is expected to “sign up.” But thanks for asking! <smile>