Somehow I got really lucky and inherited the gene for psoriasis, which is a super fun skin condition that is even more fun in the winter when my skin gets dry. It gets even better because I have two kinds of psoriasis: pustular and plaque, although the pustular likes to stay on my hands and the plaque on my feet. When I am under a lot of stress, it can appear on other areas of my skin – just under my eyebrows is my favorite, obviously – so I always know I need a bit of a vacation, even if it’s just a day of doing jackshit all day, whenever that happens. But the hands and feet? Oh, it’s all the time.
I got diagnosed in 2007 with a punch biopsy (the linked article doesn’t show any actual photographs, but just in case you’re queasy about this sort of thing, here’s your warning message: DON’T CLICK) when treatment for a fungal infection wasn’t going anywhere – it was actually getting worse – and for the last fifteen years, it’s been moderately manageable. At least, up until the last year, more specifically the last few months. It could have been the dry, stale air resulting from staying quarantined during a pandemic, stress-related, or hell, it could have been a combination of a lot of circumstances, considering 2020 was a hell year, but it was getting to the point where I couldn’t do basic stuff. I couldn’t wash my hands with normal soap, couldn’t do yoga because my hands were cracking and bleeding and oozing pus everywhere, couldn’t type because my psoriasis had spread from my palms onto my fingers and into little knuckle creases … everything was terrible. So I finally scheduled an appointment with a dermatologist because maintenance was getting impossible.
And now? Well, I’m on methotrexate which is not necessarily my favorite thing, but my doctor and I are trying to get approval for a much more effective (in his expert opinion), less demanding injectable drug. And y’all, I am going to be so happy when that approval happens. I’m only taking methotrexate once a week, but it is killing me. I spend most of the day – and half of the next day – feeling terrible (nausea, stomach cramps, etc.) due to the side effects. The medication definitely works; methotrexate is designed to kill fast-replicating cells (e.g. cancer, which is what it was originally created to do), so even with only two (as of this evening) full doses, I have noticed a slight improvement on my hands. However, I can’t say it’s worth the GI issues I’ve been suffering, so I’ll be calling my doctor on Monday morning to see about getting the prior authorization started on Skyrizi. Depending on the cost, we shall see where this goes. Until then, I’m just happy I finally went ahead and stopped acting like a baby and went to see a damn doctor.