I started my career in computers back in 1982. I was 16 and dating a girl whose father told me to get into computers, “Its the future”, he said ( thank you Ray Graves). He made such an impression on me that i purchased a commodore 64 the following week. I was hooked. After getting out of high school i got married and became a father, i needed to provide for my family so i held off further education until i was 22. I went to the Computer Processing Institute and graduated with a perfect 4.0. I then started in the Data Center at a liquor wholesaler in Connecticut. After 8 years there i was lucky enough to get laid off, 1 month later i was working for The NASDAQ Stock Market, making much more money than my last job, working with some of the smartest people i had ever encountered, i felt like i was on top of the world. After a couple years there, they too started laying off people. In 2005 almost 7 years after i started it became evident that i was going to be next on the chopping block. The stress was unbelievable, i started getting incredibly dry skin, on my legs, and my hands. I would wake up bloody from digging holes in my legs. After 7 months of knowing, they finally let me go. What a relief… Ill get another job….. After 13 months of looking, sending resumes, visiting companies, i finally landed a position. 3 hours away. Yes it was a 3 day work week and on thursday i drove 3 hours to get there, 1.5 hours to my girlfriends house napped and back to work. It was a brutal winter and the stress of no sleep etc was getting to me. I could light matches off my palms. The skin was so thick, it made a football feel like tissue paper in comparison. They cracked and bled. The traffic in my commute was unreal and i left that position. The following month i started a new position. When interviewed i had band-aids on every finger and used crazy glue to stick the cracks of my palms back together. I was in bad shape. As soon as the insurance kicked in i saw a dermatologist who gave me some creams and said, it looks like Psoriasis, the year was 2007. Two years later i saw another doctor and said, “Hey not for nothing but i think my skin should be clear by now”, what she said was, “The other doctor said it looks like Psoriasis, and i agree with that diagnosis”, what she said next i don’t remember exactly but my mind translated it to You will never be better…. I went home and googled Psoriasis looked at the pictures and spent the next couple days in tears, asking “Why me?”
It was during this time that i stumbled upon the National Psoriasis Foundations website, and saw the mentor program. WOuld YOU like a mentor? Someone who knows how you feel, someone who has been there? I signed up. I met Todd Bello, another guy from New York, someone who had worse Psoriasis than i plus he has Psoriatic arthritis as well. We chatted here and there and whenever i felt down a text or email to him made me feel alot better. After a year or so he suggested that i in turn became a mentor. This was great, a chance to give back to the community.
I then took the training and started mentoring, i was meeting people online and even found a meetup group close to home, this was incredible, others that could relate! Also i started attending every online class the NPF had and learned an incredible amount about my disease.
Around 2011-2012 i was noticing that it was incredibly painful to get out of bed in the morning. I had thought that for the past couple years the dog kicking my back, pushing up against me was bothering me every morning, when one afternoon i looked at my hands and saw how crooked my fingers were. OMG! This hit me like a brick. I have arthritis! OMG please dont let this be Psoriatic Arthritis, please anything but that i kept praying. I saw a doctor and he said Osteo Arthritis. I felt relieved for about 20 minutes. Deep down inside i knew he was wrong. I found another Rheumatologist, and yes, now i have my diagnosis, it is definitely PsA.
In late 2014 the NPF approached me since i am on every online forum, love to chat etc, and asked if i wanted to take a Social Media class. I have since attended a few of these classes and since everyone else has a blog i decided i needed one too, and thats how this blog came into play. I had 2 others but never stuck to them. This one i will. I may not update as often as i like but i will not walk away and forget it completely.
Being that i tend to do quite a bit of walking in work my back has hurt a little in the past here there but its been pretty strong and not too bad. Until 3 weeks ago… We went shopping, and i couldn’t stand the 30 minutes in the grocery store. We came home i helped put away the frozen stuff then slipped off to bed, i was totally wiped out. I slept about 4 hours. My back hasnt stopped hurting since then so i have started physical therapy changed my pain meds and added stronger pills for when necessary.