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!)

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