As I told you before, my husband is gone for nearly 2 months at a time. Well, this leaves me as 24/7 mom with no break. Bringing my child with me to every place I need or want to go on a daily basis, as well as taking her to the park, etc.
As her Psoriasis had just barely begun, being in a public setting around strangers was no big deal. She was your typical toddler with bumps and booboos…in their eyes. No questions asked and no funny looks. As time went on, her spots got worse. Now I am getting looks. I have people looking at her with pity. This concerns me, and makes me feel guilty. Like I have done something wrong.
Now the questions and comments start. “Awe, poor thing are those ant bites?”. Excuse me? Ant bites? She would have had to be standing in an active ant pile for way longer and without me seeing for ants to make all those spots. I do not remember where I was. What I do remember, it was a lady that was probably in her 40’s or 50’s, who said this. I said “No ma’am, she has Psoriasis.” It was like the blood drained from her face, she took a step back and said “And whats that!?! Is it contagious?” Like my child had some awful disease that was going to kill everyone in the room. Of course, I nicely explained that it was a skin condition and that it was not contagious.
I felt horrible. I couldn’t believe someone could act that way. Honestly, I actually don’t think she realized what she had done. It was just an automatic response. This was the first of MANY incidents that were basically the same. Everywhere we went.
At one point, her legs looked so bad and I was tired of people thinking my child had chicken pox, I put leggings on her for a week. For some reason, chicken pox was the biggest fear. Maybe because people think Chicken Pox is the devil, but even IF it was, it’s no big deal! I had them! Then I realized “Why am I hiding her? I cannot do this, I DO NOT want her to EVER feel like she has to hide from this.”
I remember very well 2 incidents involving her Psoriasis that actually made me happy. Once at Publix and once at Dunkin Donuts.
At Publix, the bagger was a younger girl, maybe in high school or fresh out. She said to me kind of shy, but very sweet, “Do you mind if I ask what is wrong with her skin?”. This was at the point that her scalp looked raw and burned, and her arms, legs and back were just covered. Of course, I was happy to tell her that my daughter has Psoriasis. She did not move, flinch, or make a face other than that of confusion. She asked what Psoriasis was. Then asked if she would ever grow out of it, etc. She looked at my baby, talked to her and told her, “Well no matter what you are still absolutely adorable!”. I was so happy I thought I could cry. She was so sweet and actually wanted to know about the condition and never made me feel bad about it.
The same thing happened at Dunkin Donuts, and there were 2 young ladies standing at the counter. They were politely asking questions, very curious but not the least bit afraid of my baby. Again, made me happy to know people wanted to be educated.
You know what was similar in these situations? It was the YOUNGER generation. The older generation seems to be more set back and afraid of this highly unknown condition and the younger generation seems more inquisitive, caring and wanting to learn.
I honestly thought it would be opposite. Don’t get me wrong, I have had my run in’s with the younger generation and honestly, the one specifically that I remember was just an ignorant person all around and I wasn’t even in the mood to educate her. I don’t think it was even worth my time. To make things short, this is what ran through my head after I told this girl “No, my daughter has a skin condition that is NOT contagious”..(In my head I said the following) “Yes, my kid has chicken pox and I have brought her to a public park to play with strangers.”
So over all, I have had good and bad experiences in public settings. It’s hard to take in, but I just keep telling myself that I need to let it go, and educate those that I can and walk away from those that I cannot. Friends and family are always willing to learn, ask lots of questions and follow up with me every month when we go to the dermatologist. I guess I have a good group of friends and family.
That is what keeps us sane.
That and the fact that we HAVE to do this for our daughter. We have to take the brunt of everything so that when it’s her time to take the lead, we will have shown her how to handle situations like the ones she will most definitely come across in her life to come.
Brandy – The Not-So-Single Mom
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