Sunday, November 04, 2018

My Battle With Psoriasis 02: Coal Tar Adventure Part 01

I guess I have to pick up where I left off...

Continuation from my previous post
It was after a month, my treatment with the strongest BVC given. My skin was flawless! It's like I've never had psoriasis in my life before. I was considering whether or not to even start wearing knee length shorts again. My confidence was back and I was all ready to show it off to the world that I have normal skin just like the rest of us.

Then again, I have to meet up with the doctor to see what was her comments and suggestions for my treatment. And this was what she said to me:

--Conversations Starts Here--

Doctor: Your skin looks so good already! Now, back to reality because you can't be on strong steroid cream for too long because we all know that steroid has their side effects and it will not do us any good for prolong treatments.

Me: Yes, doctor. (nodding vigorously)

Doctor: Shall we try coal tar this time? As I have mentioned it earlier.
(Back track a little, the coal tar that was suggested by her the previous round, she did not prescribed it into the prescription bill. Hence, it was their version by acting fast on the medicated treatment on the severity of my skin condition was back then.)

Me: Okay, I don't mind trying.

Doctor: It's gonna stink, and does your workplace accepts such stench in a working environment?

Me: I guess it should be alright.

Doctor: Alright then, we shall see you in a month's time.

--Conversations Ends Here--

I am now given with 3 bottles of medication. I didn't think it would be so heavy until I was carrying it back to my workplace. It is all topical creams and ointments. Mind you, the coal tar bottle has a strong smell and it's really oily. I wasn't expecting it so but then again is bearable.

This is how I was advised to put on all 3 of the topical creams and ointments by this order (after bath of course) - 2 times a day:

1st Layer: Aqueous Cream
2nd Layer: Coal Tar Ointment
3rd Layer: Betamethasone Valerate Cream [BVC] (Ratio 1:4)

Outcome (after a month)
Trust me, my psoriasis came back like a wave of uncontrolled disease. It is still a struggle for me to see such confidence being tarnished in this manner. I wasn't at all happy with the outcome but then again, I am reminding myself time and time again that this is only one of the many ways to treat psoriasis. Let's be patient! I meant it for myself.

So, I went back to see the doctor and have a few sets of my questions ready. Naive as it might sounds, I just want to know the immune in me, the psoriasis in me and the battle in me that's fighting it's way victoriously to find my ultimate treatment!

Next up... (Following post will still be on coal tar treatments... ha!)

Saturday, October 27, 2018

My Battle With Psoriasis 01: Coming Out

Hello there, how is it going?

Actually, I'm not here to rant about how sucks my life is with Psoriasis, I'm here to share how I have journeyed with this autoimmune deficiency in my body that breaks-out into this thing called Skin Psoriasis. I've made up my mind to come out and say that, yes, I am a Psoriasis patient for 9 years now.

And no, I am not going to bog you down with the definition about Skin Psoriasis. Well, I guess if you're here and you're reading this, my guess would be either you are a victim yourself or one of your family member is currently suffering from this condition.

In 2009, I was travelling and I've discovered that there is this small patch (maybe the size of a medium coin) just positioned above my right ankle. I thought it was eczema kicking in again in which I always suffer from since young. The usual lesion that occasionally heals by it's own for no obvious reason and still, that puzzles the hell out of me. So, I ignored that patch by just putting on self-bought Betamethasone Valerate Cream (BVC) only when it itches.

In 2010, I was diagnosed with hypertension. Doctor gave me a chance to exercise it away instead of putting me on medication for life. Hence, I sign myself up with a Boot Camp. The session was about 3 times a week and long after it ended after 5 months. Eventually, it has aggravated the small patch into larger patches, which seems like a burnt scar. And now my knees area are badly affected. Still I continue to ignore by putting on BVC with Aloe Vera gel. Still it wasn't helping.

In 2011 - 2017, I suffered silently through a series of flaking through my entire room. I kid you not, my room is like snowing on a daily basis. Even by putting on moisturizing cream (Rosken, just in case anyone would ask) on a daily basis, it just doesn't help. Sometimes, the red patches clears up for a little 1 - 2 hours but when it dries up, so much so fast that I can't keep up with how fast the production of skin is during a Psoriasis attack. I've tried many silly things and remedies, still it doesn't help. Trust me, it really doesn't help.

Until Sep 2017, my younger brother could not endure the pain that I was going through anymore. So, he wrote me a referral letter to the Dermatology department in our local General Hospital. It is always a blessing that my brother is a physician in which the letter helps subsidizing my medication fees for each and every visit that I'm paying.

Diagnosis - Coming Out
Okay, here I am in the hospital. A junior medical officer has been diagnosing my condition with much curiosity and pain in his eyes. Hence, he referred to his senior, a Specialist Consultant (SC). This is how she conveyed/break the diagnosis news to me about my condition.

--Conversations Starts Here--

SC: Now, do you know what you are having?

Me: I think it's called Psoriasis?

SC: Yes, in your case, it is called Plaque Psoriasis. It is an autoimmune deficiency that causes you to have skin breakouts.

Me: Okay...

SC: You have to accept the fact that, with your condition, there is no cure to Psoriasis. But this is able to control it with medication.

Me: Okay...

SC: So, you have to go through counselling session on your condition. And...

(I have no choice but to interrupt)

Me: Can I avoid oral medication with steroids?

SC: Here me out, there are many ways in treating different types psoriasis. This boils down to different individuals on how each case reacts to different types of treatments. I hope you understand that. Oral treatments means your case is very severe.

Me: (nod nod)

SC: Ok, good. Make an arrangement with your doctors on how should you be medicated. Ask questions when in doubt. And ask your doctors if you are on any alternative so that it doesn't clash on the treatments that we are providing.

Me: Okay. Understood.

SC: Good. Now, get yourself acquainted with your doctors. Take care.

--Conversations Ends Here--

So, she's one heck of a doctor with an intimidating aura. I am sort of intimidated by her stern representation as a doctor. Yet, she's knowledgeable in her field of expertise that she's in, however inter-personally, she's really intimidating.

Maybe I'm here for the first time, and there's this tendency that the people in this country does not trust how Government Hospitals treats their patients. Hence, the attitude. I don't know, I'm just saying without a substantial fact, please do not quote me.

Moreover, we are part of Asia, and the skepticism on Western medication is always a stigma. Various stories and myths about how patients are at the mercy of Western medication and do not get the treatment as expected. With this, the tendencies of seeking alternative is very much a norm in this our society.

On the first day of my consultation, I was advised to be medicated with the said prescription that was given by the doctor in charge.

1. Coal Tar Ointment
(Doctor said that this ointment is going stink bad. Do I care? Heck no! I was on my way to recovery, who cares whether it stinks!)

2. Betamethasone Valerate Cream (BVC) - Strongest
(Let me clarify, the condition I was in, my skin looks really bad, they have no choice but to put me on one of the strongest steroid cream to subside the entire wounds that looks horribly disgusting in the eyes of many.)

3. Aqueous Cream
(This is truly the basic stuff that has to be the base for all the affected area before putting on the above both medicine.)

Outcome (after a month)
The medication that was prescribed to me, lasted me for a month before my next visit. Might I say that the given strong BVC has made my skin flawlessly beautiful. And I was so thrilled that I was on my way to full recovery. Yes, I remembered what the consultant reminded me that Psoriasis can only be controlled and not completely cured.

With the results that came out of it, I was ecstatic to see how this would progress into such a state that I was really impressed.

Until when I see the doctor, I didn't expect her to say this...

(Catch me on my next post!)

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Read Scripture - January 01, 2018 (@joinbibleproj)

Hello 2018, it is not an excuse for me to skipped Bible reading for the year 2017. Have I ever been disciplined in doing so after being a Christian for the past 20 odd years? Not even once. Did I ever successfully completed the Bible? Not at all.

So, here I am, attempting my countless tries to follow the Word with no excuse since the ReadScripture app is easily available via our electronic devices, in this time of age. So, I want to start the new year right, I will begin to start it right with the Lord.

Genesis 1-3
Chapter 1:
River that flow out of Eden divided into 4:
Land 1 - Havilah (River Pishon)
Land 2 - Cush (River Gihon)
Land 3 - East of Assyria (River Tigris)
Land 4 - (River Euphrates) [West Assyria?]

Chapter 2:
In the midst of Chapter 1, the sub-chapter for Chapter 1 is actually Chapter 2. The creation man and woman. God's ultimate creation is the being in His likeness. Which the purpose of how the story of man and woman leads back to who Jesus is.

Chapter 3:
The epic episode where God's ultimate creation has choose the route. All 3 of His creation were cursed by God. In such a heartbreak, God has to punish them by what seems to be a glorious creation was then brought forth the darkest of sin.

Eden was not the only thing that was forbidden but also the Tree of Life was being guarded by angels so that no one could ever go near it (in this context, find it).

Here we are, being introduced to sin on the 3rd chapter. The very first act of disobedience due to the temptation of wanting to be on par with God.

And this is God's first curse towards His creation. How sad this could be for Him when all He ever wanted is to enjoy His own creation with the glorious creation He has prepared for us.

Psalms 1
Woh... This is a solid introduction to Psalms. I will never thought that the Bible's poetry is as direct and powerful like a double edged sword. The righteous one will definitely be blessed by God and the wicked will be forgotten and will remain perished.
Our God is ever merciful, never forget His grace for us.
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