Dear Younger Sabrina,
Stay strong, now and always. Remember these words that mom always taught you: Living with a chronic disease like psoriasis can and will be hard at times, but it’s how strong you are through those difficult times that will give you the confidence to live each day in a positive light.
You are one of the lucky ones who saw the right dermatologist as soon as you saw the plaques appear, instead of waiting. This will be such an important part of your psoriasis journey, as you will be able to help others understand the importance of finding the right dermatologist from the very beginning. That includes a dermatologist who specializes in psoriasis.
You also will try all the treatments out there, but there is a reason why. You will find out what works for you. Because psoriasis is an autoimmune disease, it affects everyone differently. Everyone’s immune system is different. Therefore, a treatment that works for someone else may or may not work for you. And that is OK.
Learning how your body reacts to a certain trigger, psoriasis treatment, or lifestyle change is part of the psoriasis journey. You are going to provide hope for others struggling to find what works for them, because you will get to the point of being comfortable in the skin you’re in while managing your psoriasis.
There will come a time (or times) when you need a support system. Your husband and family will be your main support system, so make sure to share your story with them. Also find support with the National Psoriasis Foundation and social media groups founded by people living with psoriasis. These people will understand you on another level. Share your journey with them.
When you and your husband are ready to start a family, you might be scared. It’s understandable that the thought of stopping any psoriasis treatment while you’re pregnant would bring panic. And then there is the thought of passing the disease on to your children. That can make you think twice about starting a family.
But the life you grow is so worth it. Yes, you will experience some flare ups, probably in places you’ve never had flare ups before. But it’s part of living with this complicated disease. You will get through it. You will come out of both pregnancies a stronger, more confident woman than you were before. You will give hope to others looking to get pregnant while living with a chronic disease.
One last thing, Young Sabrina. Take care of yourself. If you aren’t at 100 percent, then you can’t care for those around you. If that means taking 10 minutes a day to do something for yourself, then do it, girl. That can be anything from reading your favorite book, sitting in silence, walking around the block, indulging in your favorite lotion to help manage your flare ups on your elbows (because those won't seem to go away!). As much as you take care of others, you deserve the same amount of love.
Remember, you’ve been assigned this mountain to climb in order to show others it can be moved.
Older, Wiser Sabrina