The girls were 7 and 5 when Psoriasis entered our lives.
I thought it was a small red bug bite on Katelyn’s leg when she returned from summer camp. Over the next few months she had more “Spots” and her sister began to develop them as well. We spent months searching for answers and nothing really made sense.
Why did they both have these spots? Was it contagious? Why didn’t I have any “spots”?
We tried creams, Allergists, Dermatologists and of course our pediatrician.
People stared, we cried and I struggled with so many different feelings. We had parents questioning our attendance at school and spent months on a strict gluten free diet.
By December it was obvious that Carly was now much worse than Katelyn. The lesions covered her entire body, her ears were covered inside and out and her scalp was covered by THICK lesions. The daily bumps and bruises of childhood led to pain and bleeding. Emotionally this was tough for everyone!
We found a great Dermatologist who diagnosed Strep and explained how Psoriasis is most commonly triggered by Strep(Stress and Injury are two other triggers). I have to be honest, I thought Psoriasis was just dry skin.
Our Dr. did a biopsy on Carly’s spots and prescribed UV treatment three times a week for three months for both of my children. We also began trying tons of different topical medications. Nothing was helping. Both girls were treated for strep on several occasions and in February we thought the UV Treatments were helping. Suddenly they were worse!
When everything else failed, we decided to take things to the next level. Our Dr. called some colleagues and we soon received a call from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), who wanted to see both girls right away.
By the time our appointment arrived, Carly was showing signs of Psoratic Arthritis. Our appointment was on a Friday, it was rather intense and we left with several medication options.
These were not nice options. They are serious drugs with serious side effects. We were sent home with the information needed to make an informed decision. We spent the weekend researching the medications and decided to begin Methotrexate (MTX) Injections right away. Of course right away meant a few weeks .. however long it would take for the physicals and blood work to get a baseline for monitoring.
Our first injection for Carly was in the Pediatricians office. I didn’t think I would ever be able to do it alone. She was wiped out after that injection. Just not herself and she was tired.
Our next injection was at home and went rather well. I felt better having her home and away from the stress of knowing she was going to the Dr’s office for a shot. I think that stress is what made her so tired.
Our next hurdle was when Carly started loosing her hair and Katelyn was becoming very self-conscious and withdrew.
We decided to start Katelyn on MTX for concern for her emotional health and a fear she would worsen.
Carly was soon fitted for a wig and before we knew it school was out for the summer.
4 months into our treatments
The girls are finally clear and we have seen few side effects. and no complaints of sore joints.