There’s been a lot of talk recently about the psychological effects of psoriasis on the patient. It is a condition that can send you from one extreme to the other as far as quality of life goes, which is one of the most important things to achieve. I know my psoriasis is never going to go away fully (barring any medical breakthrough) and I have to face up to the fact that I have to put up with it. It is an issue that I find myself discussing often, sometimes even with myself.
Over the last however many years, psoriasis has certainly out weighed my happiness and quality of life. It is very difficult to find the balance and you find yourself making decisions. If I let psoriasis take control then my life would be pretty boring. We all have our passions and my passion is food. I am told many times that what I eat can affect my skin. Don’t eat red foods (what all red food?), don’t drink alcohol, avoid chilli. Look let’s face it, I love food, I’ve cooked in professional kitchens, I write a food blog. Tell me what I can and can’t eat and I’ll give up now.
So I make a choice, the choice to ignore dietary advice and while that may result in my skin not being as clear as it can be, then so be it. All I have to do is ensure that the enjoyment I get from food outweighs the annoyance I get from psoriasis. Today was a day that reminded me why I have made that choice and why it matters so much, why food increases my happiness.
The head office of the company I work for is next door to Borough Market, a food lover’s heaven. I wandered around at lunch and I actually forget about psoriasis, it doesn’t exist, my life is in balance. I look at the stalls, take in the aromas and the sights. I have no ideas of what I’m going to buy or even what I will cook. I do suddenly get a hankering for rabbit though. Why I don’t know as I’ve never cooked rabbit before. This is half the fun though, pick something you’ve never cooked before and see where it takes you.
I am beaming, full of politeness with the butcher, a happy smile. This isn’t an irritated psoriasis sufferer who’s been itching and scratching for the last ten years, had countless sleepless nights. My afternoon flies, okay I’m supposed to be working but I can’t help but think about the food I bought, what will I do with it. I get on the train and my wife texts me that one of my pans has been ruined as she cooked some rice for me. Now this is the kind of thing that would have really annoyed me before I learned how to find balance. I mean I’ve had moments where just a pan not being put back in the cupboard correctly would result in every pan being thrown down the end of the garden.
On my way home on the train nothing can stop me, pan ruined? Pah! I’ll get a new one if I have to. Then it hit me, I walk into the house and the acrid smell of burning hits me. I wobble, psoriasis is looking over my shoulder, it laughs, I have you now, it chuckles, that smell has killed your mojo hasn’t it. I have to say it almost had me, I go and change and sit for a while, my head is heavy, psoriasis is on the other end of the see-saw and I see him pulling an elephant on a lead to weigh his side down. It’s a struggle but I lift my head. I grab fresh veg, my brand new knives are pulled out and psoriasis looks worried. What to do, what to do though. I’ll wing it, this is how I cook. I chop an onion and get it cooking, peppers, mushrooms, a dash of mirin wine and soy sauce. Now we’re cooking – literally.
I take the rabbit and for a moment I’m stumped, the cupboard opens and there it is. I’m doing rice so what better than chinese five spice, the honey follows and I have a sweet pan cooked loin of rabbit with rice. It tastes good, no recipe, no planning. This makes me happy and psoriasis stamps it’s feet, it’s lost again.
There’s a bit more to life than just food and every day is about finding balance, making everything in your life good. Some look to meditation, some look to music, others find it by gardening, for me it’s food. Whatever your passion is in life, embrace it, treat it well and keep it well and truly planted on your side of the see-saw of life and psoriasis will never beat you.