Life with Psoriasis

my period essentials | clue app, pain relief, and period underwear!

Periods, on their own, can quickly become a nuisance when our lives are so busy and we are always on the go. For all hours of the day, there’s just this constant care and constant pain. But when you’re struggling to cope with your mental health (or have a physical disability, or both) your period may seem like a dreaded monthly task. I know when my period is on its way, my joint pain increases. I become more vulnerable emotionally and place myself into a dark space. My heating blanket becomes my best friend and my disability becomes a little bit harder to cope with when my period comes around. Realistically, periods are not happy and beautiful times where women are frolicking in flower fields with their tampons. It’s lying in bed with numbing cramps and having to spend time properly caring for yourself to prevent things like odor or infection. But with these four period hacks, I hope that this will make your “period week” (or longer or shorter), a little easier:

Track your period with an app!

I found that tracking my period with an app helps me prepare for my period every month, as well as help me understand my body more. I only just started tracking my period this year, and it’s helped ease the anxiety of not knowing when my period was coming and how to care for myself properly. Before tracking my period, I’d always be caught off guard by my period and then I’d have a panic attack because I felt underprepared. Once I started tracking my period, as well as listening to my body, then I felt I was in more control of something that was natural but inevitable. I use the Clue App (not sponsored, I just really love this app!) to track my period. With Clue, you’re not just tracking your period, but you’re tracking your mental wellbeing, your habits, and sleep…just to name a few things! Looking at how much I’ve been improving with stopping and listening to my body and look at how I care for myself monthly, it calmed me down and changed my perception of my own period.

Keep a heated blanket on yourself often!

Last winter, my mom sent me an electric blanket and it saved my life. My psoriatic arthritis/psoriasis becomes terribly inflamed in the cold. However, my roommate was from a colder climate and liked to keep the A.C. on in the winter. I struggled with the cold temperature of the room, often shivering under my heated blanket. We couldn’t seem to find a compromise on the temperature. While it was never hostile, I definitely suffered. Especially when I was on my period. Not ever being able to regulate my body temperature and constantly being cold, increased both my menstrual cramp pain and my joint pain. I am so grateful for my heated blanket and have noticed a difference in coping with both my psoriasis and cramps by wrapping myself in a heated blanket and setting the temperature to “high”. (The great thing about heated blankets is that you can set the temperature and a timer to both save energy and prevent injury if you fall asleep!)

Try some period underwear!

I never thought I’d ever wear period underwear, but I will say it was one of the greatest things I’ve ever done. While in Hong Kong, there wasn’t any overnight pads. Our only option was to buy thin daily pads and then these thick period “diaper-like” devices. I actually really liked them, however they were pretty tight and I needed to size up (but I think there was only one size but one size clearly doesn’t fit all!) However, I went to be comforted every night, not worried about if my pad was going to shift and I was going to bleed through my pajamas or sheets. They may be a bit uncomfortable because it’s a new feeling, but I was hooked once I wore these.

Keep water + pain relief by your bedside to save your energy!

There are some days when I take my period harder than others. When my joint pain is inflamed along with my cramps, it’s very hard to get out of bed. So, I keep everything beside my bed so I can save my energy to go eat meals or taking care of myself in other ways. I can also save my energy by using a really large water bottle so that I won’t have to keep walking up and down the stairs to refill my water bottle. I take Ibuprofen multiple times a day for either menstrual cramps or joint pain. Last night my cramps were bad and the worst they been in a while, I took three Ibuprofen and was able to sleep at a decent hour.

Comment below what your period essentials are!

OPTIONAL READ: *I’m thinking about starting a Bible study series! Let me know if this is something you’d like to read!* I’m so excited to announce that I am an affiliate of The Daily Grace! They offer Christian-based stationery that’s super cute, bible study tools, mugs, and even a magazine subscription service! Click the link below to take a cruise through their products and use it when you make a purchase. (*This post is not sponsored by The Daily Grace, but being an affiliate means that I make a small commission when purchases are made!*) : https://www.thedailygraceco.com/?rfsn=2946246.eb8c5) thedailygraceco.com/?rfsn=2946246.…! If you’re not ready to commit to anything, you can start with a FREE bible study and prayer guide!*

Love always,

-TPC

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Mental Health

my self-image story

When I was a teenager, I thought I had to look like this–because looking like this equated to beauty, perfection, and success.

Photo by Laura Chouette on Unsplash

My high school years were doused in the obsession with British YouTubers, like Zoe Sugg and Niomi Smart who seemed to have it all together–proper businesswomen in blazers and a full face of makeup. While I was watching their seemingly-perfect lives, I was hating myself for not looking like them.

My skin is not porcealian like theirs. I’m African-American with Native American descendants, so I certainly don’t look like them. My hair isn’t silky smooth, tamed by products catered for those with their hair type. Clothing from high end brands just seemed unrealistic and unaffordable to wear through the hallways of high school. They always seemed to find their perfect shade of foundation, boasting about how Tarte’s Shape-Tape foundation was perfect for them, while people of color struggled to find a shade that wasn’t an ashy orange.

I forced myself to change, trying to fit their mold. I would browse the racks of Forever 21 in attempt to find something close to Zoella’s cozy knit sweaters or floral rompers, when my comfortable style consisted of graphic tees and jeans. I forced myself to spend more time on pounding a beauty blender into my skin, rather than on my mental health. I forced myself to become more feminine, not only to be like them, but to seek apporoval from everyone else.

Because the British YouTubers had such a success back in the early 2010s, venturing off on sponsored trips to Dubai or receiving free makeup kits from the brands us non-YouTubers poured our money into, it placed me in a mindset that the only way to even feel an ounce of happiness (or obtain an ounce of their riches) was to act like them. Only recently have POC YouTubers spoken out about the unfairness creators of color experience, particularly on trips sponsored by brands that are claiming to cater to anyone of any race.

Like, Dote. You’ve heard this story quite a few times, but that doesn’t make what Danielle Perkins had to go through any less valid. Below is what it is like to experience racial privlege in a social setting. It’s important to understand that this is not a fun situation to be in. I’ve experienced this first- hand through many of my school years. Honestly, it was pretty triggering watching this video because it was hauntingly familiar.

Now, things are starting to shift different. With more POC females being represented in mainstream media, such as Halle Bailey being casted as Ariel, there’s less pressure to try and look like someone you’re not. Instead, there’s more of an embrace to be someone that you are.

I would like to create a skin-confident version of this post about how having psoriasis affected my self-image. Let me know if that’s something you’d like to see.

Love always,

-TPC

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