When you’ve had psoriasis for as long as I have, it almost becomes second nature, and some days you just wish it would disappear! My journey with psoriasis has been an extremely tough one with so many ups and downs. I even reached a point where I just wanted it all to end, a really dark place. I am happy to say I have it under control and am now in a much better place with it. You could say I now have a steady relationship with Pso!
The 26th year into this pso-called relationship has made me realise that I would not have coped so well had I not had the support of my husband, Diyen.
Having psoriasis from a young age always made me feel like I would never find a partner. I just didn’t believe someone would want to be with me, but how wrong I was. Meeting Diyen was a breath of fresh air and I instantly knew I was comfortable and would be able to tell him about my condition. I was right, he was so supportive and even told my parents not to worry and that he would look after me.
We have been together for 20 years and we have been on my psoriasis journey together. We said “in sickness and in health, I do” and without a doubt I have been supported all the way! A key point we found that has helped, is talking. It took me a long time to be as open and honest about how I feel and how I am coping with the condition, treatments or even the mental impact that psoriasis is having on me, but once I opened up I felt so much better and so light in myself.
Over the years I have noticed Diyen has been able to pick up on things without me saying anything and that’s because he has been really paying attention and understanding me in ways I may not know myself! Because we have been through so much together, we thought it may help to share our experiences with others, so Diyen has put together his top tips on how you can support your partner with psoriasis.
Diyen’s top tips on supporting your partner with psoriasis
- Communication – always find a way to communicate that both of you are comfortable with
- Educate yourself on the condition and treatments side effects
- Be part of the decision making when it comes to treatments as this helps take the pressure off your partner
- Have a catch up with you partner when they have appointments, even a simple question “How did it go?”
- When it’s a tough day, find a distraction
- Be confident for them and your partner will naturally bounce off your confidence too
- Some things to take note of: sleep patterns, body language, visual contact, signs of pain and any type of change that is not normal
- Do something together on a regular basis and during this time, no mention of psoriasis! Just have a great time
- Encourage your partner to wear what they are happy with; don’t worry about what others think. If they are going to stare, make it worthwhile!
- Allow your partner to have a safe place to offload if things get too much, even if it means they want to be left alone for a while
- Understand that each day may be different and be prepared to go with the flow
- Find a way to lighten the load with some humour and laughter, it really helps!
A message from Diyen
I hope reading my top tips has helped, I still use all this on a regular basis to support Rena. As she has mentioned, this journey we are on will have good and bad days and some that just pass by with no effect.
I have always told Rena no matter what, I love you for who you are and your condition does not change anything. We have been together over 20 years and we have grown together and I realised the best way for me to support Rena was to be honest about the situation and any concerns; this approach has helped us both.
I have a much better understanding and am able to be there when she needs me, even when she was in a dark place she found a way to let me know she was not doing well. We worked together and changed things around. When she decided she wanted to tell her story and helps others, I was so proud and knew it would help her too. I recall when she never spoke about it to anyone and now she is a part of a large community of people creating awareness and supporting each other.
While you are being the supportive partner remember to be kind to yourself too, you need to find the right balance that suits you both.
I love the fact that Rena is so much more confident in what she wears as I know this really had an impact on her when she was young. She is able to put on what she wants and that’s that! On her birthday she bought a dress and was in two minds about whether to wear it – not because of her skin – but because she couldn’t decide which shoes would go with her outfit!!! She ended up wearing the dress….and she looked amazing!!”
Pso go and inject that spring in your partner’s step, be comfortable and confident together!