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|My Life So Far with P — A
from Thom B.
* I developed several red blotches on my scalp. My father took me to our family Dr. I was given a prescription for some alcohol-smelling stuff that burned and made the spots look like blisters. As we watched our small, round TV, my mother would set over me and pick and scrape the flakes from my scalp with a fine-tooth comb.
* I was fourteen and preparing for a date when I discovered a lesion on my upper lip. I made it through the date without kissing her ... or getting her number.
* I am now fifty-three and have never known a day between then and now without P. I have been told by Derms that it is caused by stress, diet, atmosphere, VD in the generation before me, too much sun, not enough sun, drinking, sugar, salt, detergents, the oil used in making synthetic clothes.... I have been told much more.
* I have made up salt baths by using a livestock watering trough and an electric trolling motor for water motion.
* I have laid in the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific oceans and watched as my skin cleared within a few days — only to start itching again when I arrived back in Ohio.
* I have laid in the sun till I blistered and have taken PUVA treatments up to 45 minutes at a time, which gave me a nice tan with light colored areas that stood out through my white work shirts.
* I have taken days off work and cut my hair to the scalp and used Pine Tar smeared on my body and head like you would spread butter on bread. My skin showed an improvement for awhile.
* I have left meetings because I was told by someone sitting next to me that my back was bleeding.
* Around labor day, in 1975, I began using Methotrexate. This improved me some, but on August 14, 1980, when I broke my ankle and became deathly ill, a doctor realized MTX had depleted my immune system, and he (and I) worked hard and desperately to turn that around. I went from 245 to 150 lbs inside 30 days. It was during this time that I took stock of myself and put my priorities in order.... My P was not at the top of the list.
* One time I was leaving the Derm's office when I came face to face with a young man who was covered from head to toe with P. He was also a mongoloid. I have only been back to the doctor when I need a refill to help the itching, which is usually in the fall or the spring when weather changes are the most drastic.
* I have read most of the stories at FlakeHQ and the "Don’t Say This" list of things uninformed people say to us. I can only add my blessings to all who suffer.
* I was blessed with caring parents and now I have a loving wife who accepts the vacuuming. We have three sons who show no signs of this curse. For this I am blessed.
* One more item. Had you not developed this web site, I was about to.
Ed’s Response: Wow. Thank you for this, Thom. I have read your bullets a dozen times and have been rewarded freshly upon each reading. For all those who have read it for the first time, I encourage you to read it again. -Ed
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