Mail (Sep-Oct, 1998)

In Love and To Heck With P
from Diana

Ed: Like everyone else who writes in, I first wanted to thank you for maintaining this site and really taking the time to respond to each person's message. For some of us it may be the first interaction with an empathetic person who truly understands what the deal is.

I have had P in various degrees since I was 13 (so, for 16 years), and I actually wrote in once before and said how great having P was compared to the bout with shingles I had. [See Archives reference at bottom.] I just wanted to say that it's amazing how the severity of this disease varies with my emotional outlook for the day. The same lesions that are tragic on Saturday are just a part of life again on Monday.

I was supposed to go dancing on this rock and roll cruise with my friends a few weeks ago, and I slid into the deepest depression because I had nothing to wear! All I could imagine was everyone wearing mini-skirts and me looking out of place as usual with some outfit on that was obviously hiding something. I blamed my P for everything that night and worked myself into such a state I didn't even go out.

The next week I was literally content and confident as a clam lying out on a public beach in a bikini, with the same amount of P for all to see.

For those on the dating scene, I also wanted to say that I've dated the usual assortment of great guys and jerks, and not one person has ever been turned off because of my skin. I always had the hardest struggle trusting people enough to tell them what those bumps were, but they were usually unimpressed, like what was the big deal? Maybe because I made such a production out of telling them, they were probably relieved that I was only confessing to P and not something (gasp!) contagious!!!

I actually met the man of my dreams recently, and we are making wedding plans for next Fall! He just got this great new job, and a woman that he really likes that is his immediate boss also has P! So they had this conversation about her P and he was telling her about my P, and she was asking him all these questions and saying she wanted to talk with me because she doesn't know anyone else with P! He said later he was really proud that we all had this connection ... isn't it amazing? Is this the first case of P career networking? ;-) I actually had a feeling that she had P, because right when he was supposed to start the new job he came down with an upper respiratory tract infection, and she told him to stay home because she had a "skin problem" that got worse if she got sick like that. When he told me I thought, "must be P," because I get the same awful flare up.

So anyway, I just wanted to provide hope and encouragement to anyone feeling down right now. Things will always seem better when you forget about the P and live the other letters of the alphabet!! I came to this conclusion after years of struggle and mild depression and then I decided I wanted a life despite whatever my skin looks like. (I also always had to battle acne and still have the occasional breakout, so I have a choice of what to be depressed about. ;-) )

I'm starting law school in three weeks and planning a wedding for next year, and my skin has nothing to say about it!!! I'm referring the above mentioned woman to this site! Thanks Ed! -Diana

*****

Ed's Response: Good to hear from you again, Diana! Congrats on the engagement! Congrats on Law School! Congrats on a bikini-clad day at the beach! I wish we could bottle your attitude and sell it through FLAKE HQ (yak books about life-with-P aren't cutting it).

Your fiancee's supervisor's sense of isolation is all too common. For example, in all the years I've been seeing the same derm, I've never encountered another identifiable psoriatic in his offices. Not in the waiting area (that I could tell), not going to or coming from examining rooms, not while waiting to pay outrageous sums before being granted an exit, not around there anywhere, ever. Yet he and his nurses and the rest of his staff assure me boo-koo flakers patronize the place.

Too bad there's not an NPF-Network Group in my area. I corresponded briefly with NPF about the possibility of starting a Blue Grass Group (Lexington metro area), but decided (myself) that it would be a conflict of interest. I didn't want to be in a position of not selling Flake books to members. So, I wait until someone else starts a group ... and says I can't come unless I leave the damned books in the car!

Am looking forward to your report on first term law school. Won't tolerate that "I've-no-time-to-write" excuse. Anyone who can pound out briefs under a billing clock doesn't have a problem keepin' kin informed. Be good! -Ed

Diana's Shingles

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