This post is in solidarity with and support of the Broke-Ass Bride Dishing for Dana fundraising campaign. Please go check out her story, and help her out if you can/want (but don’t look too closely at the pictures if you have a sensitivity about people getting poked in the eye).
So, I have psoriasis. It is suspected by my rheumatism specialist that I have psoriatic arthritis also. These are both autoimmune diseases (my immune system attacks me!). But! At least for now, it’s not a big issue for me. I suffer far, far, farrrrr less than many others with psoriasis, and/or other autoimmune diseases. With the exception of the horrendous outbreak I had from head to toe in 2004, my skin afflictions are minor, and few and far between (thanks to my dermatologist who taught me how to keep outbreaks at bay: basically, moisturize like hell, and try not to stress). And once I realized what my random joint problems were and how to treat them, I have rarely had a prolonged issue with that either. So I am lucky.
My biggest frustration with it, honestly, has been dealing with general practitioners who misdiagnosed and mistreated me for Years before I finally got referred to a dermatologist. For some reason, doctors love diagnosing eczema and tendonitis. My more-often-than-not lack of insurance might have made them hesitate to refer me to a specialist, knowing I couldn’t afford it? I don’t know.
I have had on and off gastroenterological (is that a word?) issues as well, which I have been curious about possibly having an autoimmunity explanation, but have not been diagnosed. As yet my symptoms in that department have not been consistent enough to make me go out of my way for a diagnosis. Also sometimes reading up about this stuff makes me wonder if it’s all in my head. The whole WebMD effect, you know? You put in a symptom and it comes back with CANCER or something really scary, and all you had was a little indigestion.
All this is my rambly and round-about way of pointing out that autoimmune diseases are often mis- or undiagnosed and more awareness in this department is absolutely needed! Which is why I’m happy to have found, through Dana, the American Autoimmune Related Disease Association (AARDA). And which is why I am happy to raise a tiny bit more awareness (all 10 of you who might read this! haha) for Dana’s campaign. I can feel good for helping her because I think she’s a cool girl (and her wedding photos send me into fantasyland heaven every time I see them – not that that’s a good reason to like someone haha); and because she’s sending some of the proceeds to AARDA, I can feel good for helping myself and others with autoimmunity issues.
Good luck Dana! Here’s hoping our stupid health care system will be fixed before our country’s children have to suffer through your kind of nightmare.