Posted by: guinness222 | February 14, 2009

“To all who live with the ‘Heartache of Psoriasis’!”

    I always got a hoot out of that “heartbreak of Psoriasis” tag line. Yeah, I got it, probably about 60% coverage of my body, but other than itch occasionally, you just live with it. It does have advantages, like you go to the movies during the summer when it’s hot and humid, and the psoriasis, particularly after you shower, looks like someone took a whip to you with hundreds of red welts all over you, but as it “drys” the red welts begin to turn to white patches, and flake off. It’s fun at any stage to be waiting in line and say something to your wife like,…”you know this new drug for the leprosy seems to work a bit better than the other stuff.” (Lines in front of you miraculously melt away.)

      When it really does a number n your face under fluorescent lighting you look like you just went ten rounds with a meat clever and lost, but it is very effective for meetings, you can simply raise your voice a little and everyone thinks you are going to “stroke out” right there,….so they shut up and meetings are much shorter.

       Actually, reduced to Mr. Guinness understanding levels, it is a viral disease, passed genetically, and can be induced, or “breakout” from a number of factors, stress being the primary, too much exercise, too much good/bad food, too much alcohol, or no alcohol, belly button lint, or no bellybutton lint,….in other words no one knows squat about it. I can use steroids and knock down an outbreak, but then it comes back bigger and badder, and sooner, the more often I use them. O course I could simply lie on the beach in Hawaii with a bottomless Mai Tai, three blond nympho-maniacs and have it,….or not (haven’t tried that one yet; with my old parochial morals I’d stroke out right there thinking someone may think the wrong thing about it!  (Ah the curse of a Catholic upbringing!)

      But I do keep Dermatologists in their three week a year Caribbean bare-boat chartering mode with the aforementioned three blonde nymphomaniacs. I feel like a damn petri dish when I go see one. “I’m going to write you this prescription for a new tube of goo”, shit, I got drawers full of “tubes of goo”, and none of it works and I keep sliding out of bed!

       To give you an idea of how remotely understood this disease is I will list the treatments I’ve had for it since it “popped up” literally in 1970.

               1. Spread this prescription of black “goop” on myself and then wrap the areas, i.e. legs, arms, chest, etc in plastic wrap and sleep that way for the night. (After a few night I wasn’t getting any sleep, my wife was having dreams of sleeping with a head of lettuce still wrapped of course, and we were spending more on Saran Wrap than food. Besides it didn’t do shit,nothing,nada, zilch.

               2. Same “goop” only get into these rubber pajamas with those elastic band at the arms and ankles, and sleep tight. (Well that was ok for the first ten minutes and then you started the internal sauna treatment. pretty soon you were sweating profusely, dripping all over yourself outside the ‘jami’s’ and filling up this rubber thing like a hot water bottle. That went the way of the do-do bird after about four nights.

               3. Then there were the “direct cortisone injections” a hypodermic of “super cortisone” was then used to “pop” a little into every “plaque” or spot of psoriasis on my body. SIX hours in the Doctors office between patients he would pop into the room, hit me with about forty or fifty “pops”, or his plunger thumb got tired, and then off to the next patient. That was a total flop as well but my batting average increased markedly and my Home Run output improved dramatically. (Since the Red Sox were not interested in a great slugger with red spots all over him,….well I stopped the treatment and went back to playing chess.

               4. Then there were the “cold tar baths”. I’d put a few capfulls of coal tar in the bathtub, fill ‘er up, jump in and sit there for a couple of hours. At first I was able to get caught up on my reading pretty much, (it was B.C (before laptop computers” )or I might still be in the tub, a shrivelled up old prune) but I wonder if you dropped a laptop in the tub full of water would you electrocute yourself, or having the guy from the Geek squad saying , “Eeeeeeewww!, I’m not touching that laptop, I don’t know what part of you in the bathtub touched it last!”   (That lasted until the calluses on my butt were so big it jacked me up about two feet above the water and the treatment was no longer effective.)

              5. Then there was the enlightened Doctor who said, “Recent research has proven the break outs are directly caused by the amount of stress you are under,….so just eliminate your stress and you’ll be fine.” (At least he didn’t write me another prescription for a tube of “goop”!)

               The final insult? Well I will NEVER be able to get away with a crime, no matter how careful I am,…because psoriasis is basically a “spot” on your skin where it “pops” from some part of you blood chemistry I guess, and it stimulates the skin cells to reproduce at a severely abnormal rate, something like seven times faster than your regular skin does. Sooooo the little red spots then become Petri dishes of skin cell growth, but like all skin cells they grow, reach a certain “life cycle of a skin cell” and then die, trn to “dry skin” or plaque on the red spots, starting in the middle and working their way to the outside of the spot, which may, or may not get bigger. I’ve a complete collection of sizes from the size of a pin point, to that of a gatorade bottle cap.

         I’ve given up treatments as they are all a joke and expensive, but more importantly just don’t work. I did find one that was a spray made by a company on Spain and it did work for me, but then the American Medical Society realized they were not getting a “cut on it”, so they lobbied and had the Federal Drug Administration “outlaw it” in America. (When I went to Mexico in ’98 to visit my brother I was able to find it and bought about $200 bucks worth of it and brought it back, and rationed it until it was all gone again and he moved back to the States (By the Way since it was before 9/11 and the terrorist crap nobody said “boo” about someone with six aerosol cans in thier suitcases! Guess it wouldn’t work now.)

          But in the last couple of years there has been a break through which they are touting all over the place and wanted me to try, it;s called Ambrel, made by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. One problem, it’s what is called a “T cell blocker”. T-cells are those little critters that make your immune system function,….so I’m passing on that. Being a clear complexioned corpse that couldn’t fight off a cold is not my idea of a “cure”. With my luck I’d become “The old man in the bubble”, plus no more beer or refried beans,….not living inside a bubble like that anyway!

           So I guess I’ll go back to the Doctor who told me to just eliminate the stress and strangle the shit out of him and as his last breath is oozing from his lungs I can say, “Gee Doc, you’re right , I feel much better now!”



  1. Hey, I tried Tea Tree Oil on my psoriasis, its good, helped me. Just remember this oil scent isn’t good, use it when you’re at home.

  2. I tried that back in 1996 and it didn’t do anything. Just to prove my wife wrong I am giving up beer and wine for Lent, if I clear up as a result of that, (and don;t have a stroke from angst!) I will probably become a monk or suicide bomber at a Budweiser facotry 🙂
    Mr. G

  3. Alcohol does deplete the body of vital nutrients, which might easily explain your condition. Not that it’s any of my business, but if I were you, I would eliminate sugar, gluten, alcohol, sodium, lactose, fruit juice and any meat other than lamb for three months and basically eat just brown rice and legumes and vegetables with tea and filtered water. I guarantee you there is a 90% chance it would clear right up. 🙂

  4. …oops. I forgot to mention caffeine. It also depletes vitamins if taken in coffee form. Tea is much safer, but it is important to rinse the tannins out of it first.

  5. Whew. That was worth the read. Thanks. I’ve had this crap (psoriasis) since I was in kindergarten. In 1996, I contracted psoriatic arthritis. Now I’m 51. After 4 years of being on methotrexate, I’ve given up. I’ve tried everything — nothing seems to really work for me. About the only thing left that I haven’t tried is detoxifying my body. Who knows? Could work.

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