Mail (November, 1998)

Doc Withheld My Steroid Fix
from Brad

Ed: Yeah, like everyone before me, I too have enjoyed your light-hearted look at a serious problem. My name is Brad, and until reading the excerpts from your book posted at FLAKE HQ, I did not realize how long I have suffered. For me, it started about 10 years ago. I didn't think time could have moved so swiftly, but you know how that goes. Anyway, I was reading about your different adventures and saw a lot of similar circumstances. I did the Chinese medicines, the lotions and potions. I even had the same experience with the shots. The difference was, the Derm just gave me one shot in the arm and that was it.

Like you I was happy and joyful that my problem had been solved. See, go to the doctor, get a shot, or take a pill, and's gone. Well, like you, I returned in about six weeks and asked for the next shot, and he said, "What next shoot? That was it, son." Son!!..."Listen," I said to him. "I'm 22 years old and a lifeguard. Do you know what this does to me? To my sex life?" I thought he would buy it and he did.

CUT TO: four weeks later. In walks Brad, looking for the next hit, the next shot, the continuing fix to his problem. This time, Doc wasn't having it. He sent me on my way with a solution to add to a quart of olive oil. Yeah, my head smelled like a gourmet salad, but to no avail. My condition just kept going on and on. What was I to do? No one to talk to about this ... my friends thinking I was allergic to something. That scam had to end someday.

OKOK enough. I just thought it was funny that you and I have so many similar circumstances. Thanks for the fun. -Brad


Ed's Response: You're welcome, Brad. You are a courageous guy: Being a lifeguard is not something many psoriatics elect to do. Have you invented a "standard line" to appease the curious? "Yesterday they called me to rescue a drowning baby from a toxic waste dump..." "Just look at me and believe what I say: SWIM AWAY FROM THE JELLYFISH." "Unfortunately, I didn't listen when they told me SPF 15 was not enough protection out here." "What's wrong with me? You see that guy over there with the hot pretzels cart? Don't eat his pretzels." OK OK enough.

Don't forget the end of my story about the intralesion corticosteroid injections. I believe they DID make me sick. Also, I'm curious about your "one shot in the arm." That must have been something other than intralesion corticosteroids. Those are needled just under the skin in and/or at the edges of lesions. Sounds like what they stuck you with was something intended to be systemic. Be careful! -Ed

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