Location: Stony Brook NY
Age Diagnosed: 28
3 words that describe your journey with psoriasis: Advocate, Research, Cure
How do you overcome the shame of having this disease: Overtime I’ve learned to be more accepting of this disease. Because I volunteer as a mentor for the NPF I’m able to listen to other psoriasis patients. Their stories humble and inspire me to the point I feel more has to be done. I make it a point to listen to them as intently and compassionately as possible. I’ve come to realize that this is a serious disease, affecting every aspect of life. I hear the shame in their voices, I feel my own shame. I make myself available to them 24/7. I’m committed to my mission to find a cure because I realize it’s not about me, it’s about everyone with this disease. I read so many stories and research the web for pertinent information in order to help someone in a difficult spot. So to answer your question, how do I overcome the shame of my disease; I would have to say I focus my efforts on helping others who also suffer with this disease.
What are some over-the-counter products you like to use: As of now I’m in between medications so OTC is my only control until I decide which biologic to go on. I think psoriasis patients want a quick fix in a bottle. Unfortunately, no one product offers total control. My kitchen and bathroom are like a science project. Anyway, the things I use are Coconut Oil, Eucerin, Aleve, Vaseline, Equate Coal tar Shampoo, Supplements, Probiotics, Aloe, Alkaline foods, I would recommend reading Dr. Fuhrman’s book “Eat to Live”
If someone was rude to you about your psoriasis how would you respond: I’ve learned that people are rude out of fear that psoriasis is contagious. Each situation is different, so I was taught to just pray for them. And it’s important that you don’t take it personally. Look at it this way, it’s a perfect opportunity to raise awareness. Tell them Psoriasis is not Contagious, but Awareness Is!
What’s the hardest part about having this disease: For me the hardest part about having psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis is the chronic pain. Slipping in and out of depression. Finding a medication that works. Adjusting your life to the limitations of the disease. Seeing peoples reaction to the visible lesions on my skin, Knowing that things can get a lot worse.
What has helped you the most in dealing with your skin: My faith and the support of my family and friends. Of course my doctors and PA’s and my friends on social media. I decided to make my life public so others my learn from my life. And all the support from the National Psoriasis Foundation. If I could I would like to tell a story about my cousin who is a Cameraman in Hollywood. My cousin invited me onset where they were filming Chuck and Larry. I watched them shot the scene over and over again until they got it right. This one scene was less then five minutes long and it took all day. What we see on the big screen is countless hours of work that looks flawless. What you don’t see are all the mistakes that had to be retaken and done over. So my point is we have to learn to love our imperfections. Go easy on yourself. “Let go, and Let God”
How are you conquering psoriasis and not suffering from it: Psoriasis is a very complex disease, with that said, you have to be on top of your disease. Consistently trying new things and never giving up. Exercise, nutrition, and coping skills. Keeping a good sense of humor and being able to live in the moment. One day at a time, and if that’s to much, one hour at a time. Remember the mission and realize that your not in this alone. Research has become my new norm. This is how I’m currently dealing and managing my disease.
Social Media: You can find him as Todd Bello on Twitter and Pinterest
Facebbok: Psoriasis Campaign for a Cure