Friday, June 30, 2006

The Sadness

Sometimes I fall into a melancholy and sadness related to psoriasis. Maybe it's more apt to call it self-pity. Lately I've had difficulty sleeping--well at least at night. My mind races about side effects of medications (recently my eyes have had a dry, numb feeling after taking cyclosporine), when the onset of response to the meds will come, wondering "is it getting better", knowing that it is in fact getting worse, what meds I will rotate into next knowing I can't stay on this one forever, what side effects and benefits that drug might pose, and if there is another way altogether.

By the end of the many thought loops I just find myself sad--and fatigued.

Perhaps this is the "quality of life" issues that studies cite so often. I tell myself psoriasis certainly isn't worse than cancer or a whole host of other terminal illnesses. Psoriasis doesn't kill (but I suppose the meds and therapies can over time). So when a study says that patients with severe psoriasis have similar quality of life issues as those with terminal illness, maybe the reason stems from the similar nature of treatments with a tinge of hopelessness mixed in.

That's what makes me sad.

I've experienced many tears and sadness fighting traffic three times a week to get to the clinic for UVB treatments only to get burned for days at a time over my whole body. I've tackled staring at the dermatologist, he staring back at me, wondering what to do with me next. I've faced the hopes and fears of a myriad of treatment options--both western/eastern, traditional/nontraditional, natural/pharmaceutical, etc.

Yeah, there's more. But I'm falling into the pit of self-pity again.

Certainly others have faced worse. And others are just as sad--even depressed--over similar conditions I might experience. That's our lot in life--it's not a lot, but it's our life. The hardest part is finding the courage everyday to see that it is my life and the many precious gifts I have in my possession. It doesn't always solve the sadness or insomnia, but the thoughts tip the scale just a tad bit away from thumping on the sad side.