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Feeling weak, staying strong

Stay StrongPsoriasis is a funny old thing to try to figure out. Me – I’m a fairly simple person, and when I see a cat I generally call it a cat. Or perhaps ‘Fluffykins’. Therefore, I would find it quite reasonable to imagine that if part of my skin was growing, replenishing and replacing itself far faster than normal, (as it does with this condition) that the new, fresh skin would be strong and good. How wrong that is. Skin affected by psoriasis is in fact dreadfully weak, and very easily damaged. The lightest touch, or even the way that you move your body, can cause the skin to break and bleed. Sadly, this seems to happen on a daily basis.

I am bleeding now as I write this, and I have no idea why! It’s only a little bit of blood from one of my knuckles, mind you. I’m not about to pass out from hypovolemic shock or anything. But still, I have no recollection of what I did, or touched, that caused it. And it is such a common occurrence, I barely even noticed.

Take a risk

I’d like to be able to big myself up here and try to make out that I have led an ‘interesting’ life (which, in all honesty is not really the case) – but I have certainly had some adventures. Or perhaps that should be misadventures?

Being specific, I used to be very risk-tolerant, and in my chosen pastimes (which were skateboarding and riding a   bike, among other things), my confidence and thrill seeking sadly outweighed my actual ability. As is the nature of such hobbies, injuries were frequent and commonplace. I developed a remarkably high pain threshold over the years, and challenged myself to attempt bigger, dumber and more dangerous stunts, often with bloody results. But hey-ho; as with all such extreme sports, you just jump back in and try again till you get it right.

I’m not going to suggest that any of this misspent youth had any connection to my psoriasis. However, I must note that the very large scars that I developed on my elbows and knees, caused by loss of skin on multiple occasions, are now entirely covered with psoriasis scale. Coincidence? Probably. But even if not – I wouldn’t have changed my childhood one bit. What a rush!

How things changed

It is sad to look at how things have changed. Where once it was strong, now my skin is weak. I have to think twice before touching anything, or bending over too quickly. The thought of extreme sports, or in fact any other, leaves me cold. I can’t even comfortably play snooker – possibly the calmest and least risky sport out there. And I’m now very risk-averse, protecting myself from injury wherever possible; not because I don’t want to get injured, but because I don’t want my psoriasis to find another area of my skin to attack.

One obvious by-product of all of this is that I went from being incredibly skinny to being rather fat, due in part to the lack of exercise. And because being overweight can adversely affect psoriasis, whilst psoriasis prevents many exercise activities; that, (just like my waistline) is what you call a vicious circle.

Nigel Beckett

20th October 2018





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