It’s Psoriasis Awareness Week (28th October – 3rd November 2019).
I haven’t updated my Psoriasis Blog for a while because there’s not been much change – the usual ups and downs but generally I’m doing well thanks to my treatment regime of biologics. I’m seeing my consultant every six months just to monitor things – my blood sugar is a bit high but that’s because I have started eating biscuits and sweets now that I’m off the booze, and my Vitamin D is low because I’m a hermit who sits in darkened rooms watching Doctor Who. So I need to kick the sweets into touch and gambol in a sunny field if I want to reach peak health but it’s generally an improvement (see previous entries for the up-and-down journey unto this destination)
So I’ll just give the headlines for now :
If the creams aren’t working ask your GP to refer you to a consultant – or certainly to explore other medications.
There isn’t a cure for psoriasis but it’s certainly more a manageable than anyone ever told me in my first 20 years with the condition.
Boringly , things like diet and exercise do make a difference. That said, there’s no clinical proof that avoiding certain foods etc, makes a huge difference (although there are lots of individual anecdotal examples so don’t sniff at it if something works). What is certain though is that keeping healthy lessens the condition’s ability to get a hold of you.
The mental health ramifications of this are huge. Do not be afraid or ashamed of this, and maybe try getting some hep. Being aware that you can trace dark feelings back to your psoriasis is helpful in the management of both.
This year’s Psoriasis Awareness Week is all about its connections with childbirth and pregnancy, so not exactly in my area of expertise. But The Psoriasis Association have produced some useful information, which you can read and download here.
I’ve been so busy I’ve neglected this blog, so at least I can start doing monthly updates with general info. I hope some of what is below is useful:
LATEST UPDATES (November 2017)
I’m delighted to announce that I have been commissioned to dramatise Nigel Kneale’s famous lost television play, The Road, for Radio 4. Transmission is not until late next year but there will be plenty of exciting updates between now and then.
I have been part of the team behind a new initiative to help psoriasis patients. The See Psoriasis, Look Deeper campaign has launched the Small Steps programme: more detailshere.
I pop up in the first episode of Dave Gorman’s new series of Modern Life is Good(ish) which can be seenhereif you missed it.
On November 11th I will be giving a comedy writing workshop for Script Yorkshire. It has sold out. There is still space in the evening, however, for an event at the Carriageworks Theatre called Page to Stage in which new scripts are performed to professional feedback from panelists including myself and Eastenders writer Christopher Reason. Tickets arehere.
My obituaries for Trevor Martin (Herald) and Suzan Farmer (The Guardian) have recently gone online and in print. Sad losses both.
Headliners at my comedy club XS Malarkey this month are:
I’m up to all sorts during this year’sPsoriasis Shout Out. I’ll be giving short talks at a couple of seminars in Manchester and London where people far more qualified than I will be on hand to provide credible testimony and scientific insight. I’ll be giving the patient perspective which is basically “Ow. Itch. Bloody Hell.” I might tell a joke though. There’s even talk of me taking part in a fashion show which I seem to have agreed to do without actually agreeing to do it.
I will definitely be doing that on June 19th at an extra XS Malarkey night– it’s a charity gig to coincide with the shout out and all profits will go to the Psoriasis Association. The line-up is damn good – Ben Lawes returns to the club for the first time in a while, and he is joined by John Cooper, the brilliant Newcastle comic who did a one-man show at the Edinburgh Fringe about our sister skin condition, eczema. Topping the bill is simply the best one-liner merchant in the business, the critically acclaimed Gary Delaney who has appeared on 8 Out Of 10 Cats and Mock The Week among many others.
The Shout Out was very successful last time: I got feedback from lots of people who – until they attended – didn’t know (a) much about the condition’s links to mental health problems (b) that there was more treatment available than time consuming and relatively ineffective creams, and (c) that They Are Not Alone. So if you know someone who has it who wants some proper insight into the condition (or wants to demonstrate such insight to their friends and loved ones – equally important) then point them in the direction of the Psoriasis Shout Out website (linked in the first paragraph of this post) for details of what’s going on.
Tickets for the comedy night are £5 and £3 and are only available on the door one the night. The show starts at 8pm.
I fear I am becoming the Psoriasis You Tube Video equivalent of Ian Hyland on talking heads clip shows – ubiquitous, tiresome and not actually that clued up on what I am talking about. But because I have psoriasis and can walk and talk in a straight line I am a useful (and mottled) idiot and of course I am happy to spread awareness as readily as I shed skin.
So I have done three vlogs (blogs on video, geddit?) in order to highlight how psoriasis impacts upon my everyday life. The first one is here. Enjoy.
Hot on the heels of World Psoriasis Day is Psoriasis Awareness Week for those of you for whom a mere 24 hours mulling over the ramifications of dermatological issues is simply child’s play.
Every year at this time the See Psoriasis, Look Deeper campaign looks to highlight a particular aspect of the condition.This year we are trying to spread the word about psoriasis-related arthritis which a lot of people are affected by without them necessarily realising it. If you are a psoriasis patient who has an ache or a pain it could well be related to your condition and there is a lot of help and support out there to enable you to combat it.
Please have a lookhere for a page which has a couple of videos (one with me stuttering my way through it, the other with the far more qualified Dr Sandy McBride who regular readers of this blog will know has had a massively beneficial impact on my understanding of my condition). There is also an animation which is full of useful pointers.
Please pass this information on to anyone you know who might find it useful.
It was World Psoriasis Day on Thursday 29th October. I was supposed to be in London helping my dear friend Peter to move house. The least I could do after he gave me sanctuary for a very long time. At the last minute, however, I was asked if I could wend my way back to Manchester in order to feast with the dawn chorus and appear on BBC Breakfast to give the patient’s perspective on the condition. Dr Christine Bundy with whom I sit on the See Psoriasis, Look Deeper campaign was there to say all the clever stuff, thankfully. She is a senior lecturer on Behavioural Medicine at the University of Manchester (and, as it happens, was on Any Answers this week too, as I discovered when I listened to the podcast a couple of days later) .
I do look a little tired (and bloated) from over-indulging on white bread and white wine in Germany the previous weekend but hopefully I provide some reasonable insight. Our chat is preceded by a very interesting and candid film which I also include in the video below:
Thanks to Dom Robinson for recording the piece and to Peter Crocker for forgiving my last minute withdrawal of labour (another thing to go on a very long list).