Living with an autoimmune disease means that sometimes I feel like a damn good rant and I feel one coming on now because I feel crap today.
I was first treated for psoriasis aged about eight. My father was covered in it, but thankfully I have never suffered with it as badly as he did. The condition scared me growing up, haunted by memories of my father’s suffering and Michael Gambon bringing it all back in his iconic performance in the 1986 TV series The Singing Detective, written by Dennis Potter. Gambon plays the part of a mystery writer, Philip E. Marlow, suffering from writer’s block and hospitalized with psoriatic arthropathy. Yes, Psoriasis attacks the joints too.
Twenty-five years ago after month’s worth of investigations, I was diagnosed with Collagenous colitis and these autoimmune diseases just love to party. The more the merrier as far as they are concerned.
“Yay! We’ve infiltrated another immune system! Let’s go and shred it to bits!”
Following on from the Collagenous colitis, I was diagnosed with arthritis and, more recently Scleroderma, after my stomach started getting hard and itchy. I remember being shocked when the Dermatologist confirmed the diagnosis, telling me I had Scleroderma on my back as well. My mother had told me that the eyesore on my back was scar tissue resulting from a riding accident… when I was nine-years-old.
Steroids help when I reach the stage where I just can’t cope. The side effects are that I intermittently get Iritis and after about four months I morph into a doppelgänger for the Michelin Man. I am currently looking into using Cannabis (CBD) oil as I am fighting against the easy option and increasing the dose of steroid.
Millions of resilient working people soldier on every single day, feeling like shit, who have to cope with one or more debilitating autoimmune disease. And, there are hundreds of the little ****ers. So, rest assured, you are not alone.
Now, I feel better for a rant and if anybody wants to do the same, I make a very good ear.
A full list of Autoimmune Diseases can be found on
‘Autoimmune diseases, specifically, now affect 24 million people and include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, thyroid disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and more. These are often addressed by powerful immune-suppressing medication and not by addressing the cause. That’s like taking a lot of aspirin while you are standing on a tack. The treatment is not more aspirin or a strong immune suppressant, but removing the tack.’