Simon is the owner of two blog sites: one dedicated for food and the other about his personal experiences with psoriasis. He started making blogs about food, which by the way looks very savory and delicious from the pictures on his site. And, the great description Simon uses in the details certainly makes the food in his features something to crave for.
When psoriasis first struck, Simon didn’t take the flare-ups seriously and it took a year when his condition went from mild to severe that he realized something has to be done. After a year of concealment, mood and behavior swings, and sometimes paranoia, he decided to face his condition head on. Using different kinds of remedies, he was still struggling keeping the flare-ups at bay.
By the second year since his first flare-up, Simon finally went to see a specialist, who then recommended for a phototherapy treatment. By the 8th week of phototherapy regimen, Simon was totally clear of any sign or symptom of psoriasis.That instance taught Simon that having psoriasis doesn’t mean it is the end of the world.
Tho he still gets some occasional bouts of flare-ups, Simon has remained optimistic that his condition can be managed using those treatment and remedies he had used through those struggling years.
For 10 years psoriasis had controlled Simon Jury’s life. But instead of being broken and beaten, Simon rose up and regained control over his life and his psoriasis. With the help of his family, his wife, and all the friends around him, Simon had learned to cope up with psoriasis as part of his life.
Today, Simon through his blog site dedicated to discuss and share his experiences with psoriasis; he wishes to promote awareness about this life-long skin condition and provide comfort and support to all the other sufferers around the world.
Simon Jury was kind enough to oblige us with this interview and hopes to send a message across to all the persons with psoriasis.
Would you care to share your personal history and experiences you had with psoriasis?
This is always the most difficult question to answer. Having had this condition over ten years now I could go on for a long time. My first major flare-up was due to a reaction to a sun cream which resulted in about 80% coverage and my skin becoming infected so I had to take antibiotics before I could start any topical treatment.
I have had light treatment 3 times, each time being less effective. The first course of light treatment gave me two years clearance which was amazing, however the flare up that followed brought me crashing back to earth and I think was when I struggled the most. It is pretty tough to handle psoriasis coming back with such ferocity when you thought it might be out of your life.
I find that living with psoriasis is like an ongoing torture. I have had periods where sleep is very fleeting and that can last for a few days, weeks or months and during those prolonged periods life becomes very hard.
Trying to operate on a daily basis when you haven’t slept, your skin is sore, you are constantly itching, paranoid that people are staring at you, your head is telling you you’re ugly, it takes a lot out of you both physically and mentally.
I am lucky that my Wife is extremely supportive and understanding and I have a very close loving family. I have endured some very dark moments with my psoriasis and I know that without the support of my Wife, family and friends I may not be here now or at least not be the person I am now.
What is your work? Has psoriasis affected your work or your performance in any way? How did you cope up with it?
I work in accounts in an office. I like to think my psoriasis doesn’t affect my work and it doesn’t to any great extent. It is difficult to concentrate sometimes when I am extremely itchy and uncomfortable and I have only had time off a few times due to my psoriasis.
I have been lucky enough to work for some very understanding companies and the one time I just needed to get out of the office, a half days leave was granted without argument or question. I have found it pays to be open with my employers about this condition.
Do you find that the weather affects your Psoriasis? Are you in an area with a cooler climate?
I live in the South East of England, summer can be fairly hot and the winters very cold, although not as cold as the north of England. I find the cold weather affects me the most, making my skin dry and sore, the same feeling as chapped lips but all over your body. It becomes harder to stay moisturised in the winter and as lovely as central heating is, it also dries your skin out.
I find myself having more baths with salts and oils during the winter to help combat this. Summer is better but when it gets really hot I find it starts becoming irritating, especially when it is quite humid.
What type of psoriasis do you usually have? Have you experienced any other types aside from what you usually have? How do you deal with it?
I mainly have plaque psoriasis and some guttate. At the moment I treat this with Dovobet, a myriad of moisturisers, dead sea salts and bath oils. In the past I have had 3 courses of light treatment and mixture a various topical treatments.
How does psoriasis affect your activities of daily living? How do you cope up with this kind of experience?
On the whole it no longer affects my day to day life, well not that I see it that way now as it’s become so much of my daily routine. Thinking about it, it takes up time each morning and night to apply treatment, I do have to think what I’m doing that day and what I’m wearing as to what ointment I put on.
For example, when going to work, I wear a suit so I won’t use Dovobet as its too greasy and stains. Also I will only put on a body lotion rather than a thick moisturiser such as Diprobase as I find it too uncomfortable under clothes.
Do you use prescribed medications to manage your flare-up? May we ask what medications you are using? How is your psoriasis responding to the medications?
My current medication is Dovobet. I try not to use it every day as I have already been using it far too long. My psoriasis is at a level where the hospital will no longer treat me as they feel it is not severe enough. That doesn’t leave much in the way of effective treatment. I have tried ointments which are more mild but they just seem to have no effect and usually my skin gets worse.
My full routine is using an oatmeal based shower gel, vitamin E moisturiser and the Dovobet every other day. This seems to be keeping it under control.
Tell us about your blog site on psoriasis?
The blog wasn’t really planned. I had been struggling with the mental health issues that psoriasis can bring and for Psoriasis Awareness week one year I wrote a piece about my life with psoriasis for my food blog. It took a few days of hovering over the publish button before a finally put it out there. I was amazed by the response, many friends telling me they were also sufferers and had never told anyone.
It has ended up being the most viewed post of my food blog. It was also a great release as I had struggled to tell my wife and my family exactly how much psoriasis was affecting me. I don’t really talk about my inner feelings but this is a condition that you need to express your feelings rather than bottle them up otherwise it will take over.
I had so much positive feedback I decided later to set up a blog about Psoriasis because at the time I had no one to talk to that really understood the condition. It is a very personal view of psoriasis, I tend not to explore the causes of psoriasis or look into research, it is much more about living with the condition.
I am always surprised so many people read it though as it is really me having a moan a lot of the time although I do sometimes try to make it a little more light-hearted and many people have commented that I treat psoriasis as another person and sometimes I do talk to it.
Any good advice you can give to other people who are constantly battling with psoriasis?
The few things I would say are, you are not alone, please remember that. There are millions of people around the world with this condition and there are some amazing people among them who are willing to talk, listen or just have a good moan with. Of course there are dedicated charities such as The Psoriasis Association in the UK, National Psoriasis Foundation in the USA and many others around the world.
Keep fighting and never give up. There will be times you really feel like you’ve had enough you just have to take a deep breath and give psoriasis a big slap in the face. I tend to give myself a day off from treatment now and then or just put a body lotion on and nothing else just so I feel more comfortable. It also helps to change your routine, try different products and sometimes pamper yourself, get a few of the more expensive luxurious products so it feels like more of a treat.
Are you involved in any way with any group/organization related to psoriasis? If yes, did it change your outlook towards life and psoriasis?
I am a member of the Psoriasis Association, I’m a admin on a psoriasis group on Facebook and recently contributed to an e-book sponsored by Exorex, as did my Wife to show the side of someone living with a person with psoriasis. I would say that my outlook changed in being involved with the Psoriasis Association, it is so good to see a group of people who dedicate their lives to helping others, especially the work they do to improve treatment.
The Psoriasis Association is also a great source of information, more so its information you can trust. They also involve patients and make us all a big part of their campaigns. Because of the charity I have visited the Houses of Parliament to launch an awareness campaign and have spoken for them at the Royal Society of Medicine.
The Facebook group is a mixed bunch of people from across the globe and it’s really interesting o hear about treatment (or lack of it) in other countries and many of us have becomes friends. There is definitely a community feel among psoriasis patients. It reminds you you’re not alone.
The recent e-book is probably the most fun thing I have done and it was great that my Wife could be involved too. It was difficult and emotional to write. The fun part was being sent on a professional photo shoot for images to go with the book.