I was almost 21 when I was diagnosed with psoriasis.
At one point I had it on both hands and on my feet. Now itís just on my hands.
Itís really noticeable, especially on your hands. I donít hide it at all. When you meet people, you usually want to shake hands. But my one hand, I can hardly open it. People are like, ďWhy donít you want to shake my hand?Ē It hurts. I just tell them I have psoriasis really bad on that hand. The other one is not as bad, and sometimes I shake with that hand.
Iím a custodian, so I work with my hands every day. It dries my hands out so much I can hardly get the gloves on, but with so many germs out there youíve got to wear them. Iím at a grade school at night. Thereís a bunch of kids there. A lot of kids ask questions. Iíve come to the conclusion that itís best to explain it to them. I tell them I have psoriasis, and that itís not contagious, and theyíre cool with it. If you kind of push it off theyíre like, ďWhatís wrong with this guy?Ē
I love sports, talking about sports. I run my own website, and thatís how I mostly meet people these days. They get to know me over the internet, then I meet them in person. Iím not trying to avoid people, but itís just easier that way Ė you donít have to deal with the questions. Itís tough sometimes.
My family deals with it real, real well. My wife is very supportive. I have three kids Ė 20, 19, and 18 years old. They donít have it, but I didnít get it until I was 20, so who knows if they will get it? I worry.
I held a Short Sleeve Day fundraiser for this area a couple years ago. Weíve definitely got to get funding to find a cure. Psoriasis is tough on people. They put so much money into other bad diseases, and not to take anything away from them, but Iíve met some people disabled by psoriatic arthritis Ė psoriasis is a serious disease.
Over the years Iíve done every single medicine thatís out there, it seems like. A couple helped for a while and then I stopped. Hopefully the next one Ė that will be the one that clears it up.