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So I said I wasn't really into updating on my real life, but I lied. I'm still going to use my LJ to bitch. Because, well, honestly, what else are LJs for?

I feel like a hideous monster. Today started out poorly and it just kept sliding downhill.

I am pretty much certain I have psoriasis. It's not diagnosed by a doctor, but my Mom has it, my Uncle on my dad's side has it, it looks just like psoriasis and now is the same age my mom got it and AUGH. My body is slowly being covered in leathery red splotches with scaly dry flakes covering them. It's disgusting. About a week ago I noticed a patch of dry skin on my stomach; it was right next to my old appendectomy scar so I thought maybe I'd scratched it in my sleep, but no. The weird thing is, it didn't itch. Normally, psoriasis itches. But this time it didn't. I watched over the next few days in extreme denial as little spots started to spread along my tummy and then I noticed a bigger dry patch on my shoulderblade, and so-on. I still wasn't itchy.

A couple days ago I went on an epic shopping trip. I have this big formal wedding I have to attend the end of this month all the way down in Texas. It's *fancy* and my entire family will be there and I'm stressing the hell out about it, of course. As I tried on dresses in Nordstrom's I had the unfortunate luck of seeing myself in the big angled mirrors and good LORD, the spots were all OVER. Still no itch, but I called my mom and she said go buy some cortizone cream so I did and there you go.

Well, today? Today the itch started. And it's spread. Before, it was on my stomach and just a few spots like under an armpit and whatever. All easily covered. But today, it showed up along my legs. Along my arms. I think I have some on my collar bone and chest.

You guys have to understand, I freak out about my skin. I have bad skin, and I pick at myself obsessively. My calves are covered in scars from self-harm, not the cutting kind but the plucking endlessly with tweezers and digging into scabs and basically going crazy. My arms have this weird acne on them, they have since puberty and I've sort of come to terms with it but I have relapses of stress when I just sit in the bathroom and pick and pick and PICK at myself. I have zits in places I don't like to talk about. I'm eastern european woman hairy, so I pluck and tweeze and abuse my skin and have ingrown hairs and I just HATE MY SKIN. HATE IT. And I don't take care of it right, of course. I just abuse it. I get into zones where tweezing hair from my calves just feels really really good and I hurt myself.

It's not healthy, it's not good for me, but it's certainly better than over eating or forcing myself to puke or cutting myself or drinking or doing drugs.

Anyway. The dress for this wedding shows my legs, which is a BIG STEP for me, okay? And it has no sleeves. And it's got pretty deep cleavage (but with my breasts, which I discovered at Nordy's the other day are now QUADRUPLE D's (serious 34 DDDD it says on them, jesus christ) there's no way NOT to have pretty deep cleavage) and I'm obsessing about my clothes an appearance at this thing because there are going to be THOUSANDS of photographs being taken, SO SO MANY, all the time, and I am NOT photogenic. And this fucking curse of psoriasis shows up and STARTS CRAWLING DOWN MY LEGS AND ARMS. Is it going to go away by the wedding? Will it cover my goddamn NECK? I'm spazzing out.

Psoriasis is one of those things that you're stuck with for life, and it comes and goes. It's brought on by basically anything ever. I could have triggered it from a lack of sunlight, because for the last month or so I've literally been sleeping from 10am to 6pm. (you read that right.) Then about four days ago, after trying desperately to just make myself sleep through a whole fucking day or alternatively stay up for enough hours and be sleepy at the right time, I managed to sleep until 4am. That's what triggered the epic shopping, and since then I've actually been waking up at like, dawn, and getting REALLY sleepy about 7pm at night. Then I push myself to stay up till about midnight. I'm praying that the cycle continues. Either way, I still won't get all that much sunlight. For one thing, my psoriasis seems to be affecting the parts of me I REFUSES to expose to sunlight in public (nobody wants to see my fat gut, okay?) and I'm in goddamn SEATTLE as winter is setting in. Sun? What's that? Is that the subtle glimmer behind the clouds?

It can also be triggered by STRESS. Or DEPRESSION. Or a RESPIRATORY INFECTION. And, if you recall, I had an epic bought of the Swine Flu from PAX in early September and didn't really get over it until a week or so ago, not totally. And I've been depressed for, oh, ages, but it's been especially hard lately, for some reason. The horrible sleeping hours have a LOT to do with it. And the stress? I won't even get started.

So I have my cortizone cream, which is like a topical steroid. And I have a lot of moistorizing lotion. And I've changed my sheets and I stopped eating tons and tons of baba ganouj from the grocery store on the crazy possibility that I may be allergic to it. But I'm just freaking myself out about it. It makes me feel like I did when I was 13.

When I was 13 I had ill-fitting bras, prescription orthodics, honest to god TRIFOCAL glasses that would have been two inches thick if not for the lens compression, braces, dandruff, hideous clothes, greasy hair, hairy legs, hairy face, hairy EVERYTHING, zits and blackheads, poor hygiene habits, the tendency to sweat like crazy... So so many things, all at once. And of course, I still have a lot of those things to contend with, but I'm more comfortable dealing with them now. But this psoriasis, it's totally beyond my control and I know that my stress about it is only going to make it worse but I can't help it.

I was supposed to go shopping with Rachel today but I ditched on her because I couldn't handle looking at myself in the dressing room mirrors. I need to go find someone who can do fast alterations on my new dress but I don't want to deal with some old lady telling me about moisturizers. I've let my anger and dismay about this seep over into fandom bullshit, where I basically cussed out someone when I shouldn't have, ranted at people who didn't ask to be ranted at, and set a horrible example as a comm mod.

I feel like I'm being punished and this is the cherry on top of the crap sundae. I can't wait until my life falls apart even more, can you?

Oh, and don't you DARE tell me to chill the fuck out. You'd think that letting off steam via LJ post is something people never do anymore.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 11th, 2009 05:09 am (UTC)
*hug* I would never tell you to chill out, that is ridiculous. It's your journal and you can bitch if you want to, to paraphrase a song from before we were born.

Oddly enough, I've been wondering if I have psoriasis lately. But one of the many bizarre symptoms of Celiac Disease is a skin rash, and it's usually symmetrical on both elbows, as it is for me right now (which leaves me wondering what the hell gluten I'm eating, or if my body is just fucking with me). So I guess I can sort of sympathize a little, considering I was just praising God that it's finally cold enough most days that I don't look like a moron in my hoodies and long sleeves.

Anyway, many hugs and I will be hoping your skin clears up before the wedding, bb. And then you meet this totally hot guy at the reception and it will be awesome.
Oct. 11th, 2009 05:18 am (UTC)
:) thanks

If psoriasis runs in your family you're far more likely to get it. It's one of those gross genetic things. But it also tends to occur is people who are prone to allergies. Weirdly enough, I'm only allergic to some strange preservative they put in york peppermint patties (I can't have them! it's so upsetting!) and obscene levels of leaf mold in the fall. Other than that I'm good, so I was kind of running on the hope I wouldn't get it. You could also have eczema which is like psoriasis's stupid horrible little cousin.

I really need to stop scratching. Now I'm feeling paranoid about my cortizone cream. Since it's a topical steroid, sometimes, if you start using it, it can make the psoriasis get WORSE and flare up (which it totally has since I started using it in the past two days but maybe it's just been continuing at the same rate I DONT KNOW) and sometimes if you use cortizone regularly to make it go away, if you STOP using it the psoriasis will come back with a vengance, so you're like, stuck with it foreeeeveeeer.

You'd think, considering that it's such a common disease that's cosmetic, they would have figured out a cure for it by now.
Oct. 11th, 2009 05:25 am (UTC)
In my case, as I've said, I have Celiac Disease, which is an autoimmune thing. It turns out if your immune system runs amok it can really do weird shit in unexpected places in your body (my teeth are also easily chipped, for example). So I think it's just that, though if it gets worse I'm definitely going to get it checked out. But right now I think it's just my body punishing me for, idk, existing or something. Or I'm getting even more sensitive to gluten.

Ugh, that is really annoying and evil. D: I guess you just have to keep using the stuff, though. :/

And scientists are all too busy tying to cure AIDS. Not that they shouldn't be working on that, but they are all annoyingly one-track and fuck, I want to be able to eat KFC again. Stupid overly focused scientists.
Oct. 11th, 2009 05:36 am (UTC)
Are we sharing stories of misery now?

In college I was friends with a girl who was also named Sarah, but she was Sarah B. She had the most tragic disease ever. Basically, being touched caused her pain. Apparently her spinal cord had some sort of overload of the chemicals that transmit pain signals to your brain? I'm unclear about it, but the end result was, poor sweet Sarah B, one of the nicest mellowest chillest people on the planet, would be in pain if you ever tried to hug her. Or hold her hand, or kiss her, or so much as touch her shoulder. Apparently, if she knew it was going to happen, she could mitigate the pain mentally, so she COULD get a hug with enough warning, but can you even imagine? Her clothes apparently kind of hurt her, too, so she always wore similar things. New shapes and weights and seams and stuff that her body was unused to would hurt her.

She had a bunch of other physical problems, too. She always had red blotches on the parts of her skin that you could see. She was allergic to gluten and almost everything else. She had some kind of Celiac Disease in combination with all those pesky nut allergies.

I met her through our GLBTA group in college; all of my friends were lesbians and the girl who eventually became my roommate the next year had a big crush on Sarah B. This girl, Jess, is a hardcore vegan, like, she had her own special cookware and everything, and hated to touch or smell or look at meat. I have this particular memory though, of Jess going through the line in the cafeteria to get Sarah B a totally plain hamburger patty with ketchup on the side, because that's pretty much all she could eat. Of course, holding the fork and knife to cut up the burger hurt the palms of her hands.

So yeah. Life isn't that awful.

Edited at 2009-10-11 05:36 am (UTC)
Oct. 11th, 2009 05:41 am (UTC)
Oh yeah, definitely, we have it easy. That is one thing I have always had in my head, that it could always be worse. (Of course, that makes me feel guilty sometimes, for wallowing, but then I am the queen of bad mental feedback loops. :P) And I'm sorry if it seemed like I was bringing my own whining into your journal. This is space for your bitching, not mine.

But wow, seriously. I cannot even imagine life as Sarah B.
Oct. 11th, 2009 05:12 pm (UTC)
This reminds me of this guy I knew in high school who was allergic to EVERYTHING (not really but who doesn't love exaggeration?) and I guess he's allergic to his own liver?!?! And he had some kind of weird surgery but he was AWAKE during it because it didn't work but his body was paralyzed so he couldn't say anything... LIKE WHAT. So any time I am down, I think of how shitty he has it.
Oct. 11th, 2009 05:50 pm (UTC)
Who would tell you to chill out? That's just silly.

Looking at the comments below, there really isn't something specifically for this made and on the market somewhere? That seems ridiculous. I'm sorry you have to go through this bullshit.

Oct. 11th, 2009 07:56 pm (UTC)
There are things on the market to *treat* it, but it has no *cure*. It's a lifelong condition that you have to constantly maintain, like most skin problems. Rageface! I wish I lived in Star Trek Future where they could beam me between transporter pads and filter out the psoriasis gene structure or something.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )