*Warning – Images may be disturbing.

I’ve been keeping a secret. But I’m tired of hiding.

I wear gloves ALL THE TIME. Some of you may have noticed. Some not. There is a reason.

It all started about four or five (or six) months ago. A few little bumps – nothing crazy. But then there were more – and more – and more…

Suddenly something attacked my left hand, then right, then leg, then feet… 

I had no insurance after divorce. I sucked it up. I wore gloves when I cooked, changed my son’s diaper, hugged anyone who would let me, held someone’s hand…

Whatever this was, it was stealing my identity.

I couldn’t go through a drive-thru without the teen at the window wincing and drawing back.

I couldn’t hold my son or boyfriend’s hand without wondering if I would ‘effect’ them’.

I was devastated.

It was time to suck it up and ask for help.

I had been on my own for a couple years. I was trying to support a brand new, fledgling, non-profit art center with all the energy I could muster. No salary or benefits yet. But not being able to take care of myself was too big a price to pay.

I finally set my pride aside and looked to the county for medical assistance. After a looong four months I was approved. I made an appointment with a General Doc immediately.

After one look she sent me straight to a dermatologist.

The dermatologist took one look and knew. 

Psoriasis – An autoimmune deficiency disease. NOT CATCHY (thank goodness for that).

Unfortunately I never get the easy diagnosis.

After the usual treatment it came back with a vengeance. Another treatment proved even worse. When a specialist took a look at my photos he quickly realized it was a rare form and creams wouldn’t cut it.

I am now faced with the decision to use other means. It will never go away but I might be able to keep it at bay… hopefully.

Side effects suck. You second-guess whether or not a temporary ‘fix’ is worth it. That’s where I am now.

Please forgive me if I’m not ‘myself’.

Forgive me if I am ‘off’.

Forgive me if the greatest thing I’ve ever done has lost a bit of it’s ‘zeal’.

I’m always going to ‘keep on keeping on’ but this is really zapping me of my energy. I WILL get it back and I WILL keep parenting, running Evo, being a friend, partner and dreamer. I will experience life, change, art, love, energy and the simple amazingness of the day to day.

Just please forgive me as I try to forgive myself.

As I always, always, always say to my friends:

I’m fine – we’re fine – it’s fine.

We got this.