I wouldn't want you to live like I do in any way, shape, or form. In fact, I wouldn't wish this, my condition, on my worst enemy!
My name is Polly Whittaker. I am ten years old. I live with my parents in Avalon, New Jersey: have lived here all my life.
I just got done with fouth grade. I will be in fifth grade when school starts up again in September (not that I am looking forward to it, mind you ... ).
I certainly hope my skin improves by then! It is because OF my skin that I have very few friends.
I have psoriasis. Psoriasis, to put it mildly, is a chronic skin condition marked by patchy red skin with white scales. It seems that stress and other factors make it worse. It itches and burns and it can cause great discomfort. It can also cause social isolation. People see the marks on my neck, chest, and arms and legs (and some on my face as well), and right away, they tend to think that I have something like AIDS or leprosy. They don't want to even risk getting near me because they are scared that they are going to "catch it", when, in truth, psoriasis is not contagious at all.
I have to put on special medicated creams to relieve the worst of the itching or burning. Some work better than others, and I also have to see my skin doctor, Dr. Roubidoux, every month, to make sure my disease is in check and that the creme/medication is working. When it isn't, I see Dr. R. more often, which is a pain in my behind.
I do have some friends, but not many. It is hard to explain why I have to wear long sleeves, even in the hot days of summer. I don't want people seeing my scabs/skin patches and assuming that I am infected with soemthing. I can't tell you how many times in the past where I have been asked to leave a restaurant or get out of the swimming pool because the sight of my skin troubles makes people uncomfortable. So this is why I usually keep to myself: it's a lot easier (and a whole lot less painful) that way.
I would like to be a professional singer when I grow up, but I know that most people won't even give me a chance because of my psoriasis. They tend to think that just because my skin is not good, then my brains must not be either. I feel I have a good singing voice; I do sing in the choir at church and at school (or did, when school was in session; we're now on summer break). So I just sing to myself or when I go to church.
Mom thinks I need to work over my shyness and try to follow my dreams; other people's opinions of me shold not even matter, she is always telling me. Try telling me that when a kid calls me "Scaly Dragon" or runs away, screaming once they've seen the ugly patches on my arms or legs (like during gym or when I go to the pool). Or try telling me that when people keep staring at me as if I have horns growing out of my head. NOT easy!! So I usually lone it.
Even with living with psoriasis, I am a typical ten-gong-on-eleven year old kid. I love to read (books about horses or girls my age are my favorites!), drawing, writing poetry/songs, playing the keyboards, organ, or piano (I also dabble with the guitar), sing (natch; see two paragraphs above), and watch tv ("America's Next Top Model", "American Idol", "So You Think You Can Dance", "Dancing With The Stars", "America's Got Talent", talking on the phone, playing volleyball or basketball (indoors usually), swimming, and dancing (hip hop, ballet, and jazz; dancing is another one of my loves!).
I stay very busy. I just wish people'd cut me a break wheenver they see my skin; it makes me very uncomfortable when they stare, point, or whisper or talk about me, as though I am not even there!
Well, I gotta go. Going back to bed. I can since school is out for the summer, which is fine with me. I am not really a morning person, but I was up because I had to use the restroom (TMI!! LOL). I will write in here again another day; untl later, this is Polly signing off! Take care and God bless!
~Polly W. :)