For the past ten years, I have been suffering from an autoimmune disease called Psoriasis which now affects 85% of my body. There is no cure for it yet; there are treatment's that helps to control the symptoms. I have an overactive immune system where my body produces skin cells more rapidly. The average person's skin cells reproduce every 28 -30days. However mine, is every 3 or 4 days sometimes less. The build up of old cells being replaced with new cells cause a silver scales which become flaky and fall away from the skin. As the skin cells grow so rapidly, it causes an uncontrollable itchiness and tightness of the skin which can crack and bleed, become painful and cause swelling.
The truth is that I have struggled with my reality of living with this condition and haven't fully come to acceptance of it. As I am writing this, I am starting to feel quite emotional because living with this condition has not been easy. It has affected my mental and emotional wellbeing as well as my physical health and it has taken me to a very vulnerable place. I am even asking myself why am I writing about something I cannot accept and giving it to the world to read? Well, Im getting out of my comfort zone and I suppose it is because this is part of my journey and I want to make people aware that we all have something that plagues us no matter how happy and ordinary we appear.
Having this condition has been tough! In the world, we live in today where we are all very visual and focused on appearance it is hard to lead an ordinary life. You see lovely beautiful people on the TV with smooth, perfect skin, perfect hair and perfect everything! It makes me furious sometimes because it doesn't reflect the real world. I've had periods where I have had to hide from the world because my psoriasis was so active that I felt so ashamed, felt so ugly and cried myself to sleep because I was in so much pain. I have friends that tried to get me out, telling me I should not let it bother me and they are right. However, living in this skin does bother me sometimes. It does take me to a dark place, and it makes me ask myself who will ever love me looking like this!
I have tried lots of different things to keep this at bay ranging from topical steroid treatments to drugs which suppresses the immune system. None of which had lasting results. I had what was the worst flare up of psoriasis I have ever experienced towards the end of 2014. The disease took over the majority of my body from head to toe, the only place there was no scaly skin was my face. I was in so much pain: itching like a bitch, leaving skin everywhere I moved and had constant cracks in the skin which would bleed. I could barely walk, even wearing clothes was painful the friction on the already delicate skin would hurt. I was fed up of conventional medicines not giving me remission from the condition for long enough. I started to look at other things I could do.
I joined an online community where I could connect with other people who had similar conditions and recieved lots of valuable information and ways of dealing with it. I looked into alternative medicine as a way to control it and decided to head down a more natural route to healing. I started a natural dermatology treatment at a London Harley Street clinic; I was desperate to get better with no lasting consequences that conventional medicine can often leave. After four months attending the clinic twice a week and several thousands of pounds later I was able to fulfil one of my childhood dreams and fly all the way to Australia and enjoy a month-long holiday with a good friend of mine. The treatment had done it job, and I was feeling for the first time in years felt happy and had hope that I could live a normal life.
To be continued in Part 2............
If you are suffering from illnesses, not only psoriasis the below links below may be a source of help and support. These are some of the resources I used and still continue to use today.