Everything You Need To Know About Psoriasis #KnowPSO

I have vivid memories of my dad scratching the palms of his hand to the point of blood being drawn.
I didn’t know what it was at the time but when I started getting patches of red on my elbows as a kid, I knew it was the same “rash” that my dad had on the palms of his hands. Except, it wasn’t a rash. It was psoriasis, a skin disorder that causes the skin cells to multiply up to 10 times faster than normal. 

Psoriasis can not only be uncomfortable but can impact one’s life dramatically. I recall wearing long sleeves in blistering heat as a kid because I was worried what my friends might thing of the psoriasis on my arms. My psoriasis flares on my lower legs/feet area as an adult and in the summer months you can usually find me wearing jeans because I don’t want others to see the patches of red, flaky skin. 

A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending an event all about psoriasis hosted by Abbvie  with Dr. Melinda Gooderham – Medical Director at The Skin Centre For Dermatology and the Skin Research Centre.

As someone who suffers from psoriasis herself, I wanted to learn more, I also wanted to educate those who may not know about Psoriasis. A lot of times when people see psoriasis on someone’s body, they’re scared it’s contagious. That’s not the case at all.  
Who Suffers from Psoriasis?
One Million Canadians suffer from psoriasis. It can affect both men and women at any age. Because psoriasis is a disorder of the immune system, someone can carry the gene but never have a flare up. It is a genetic, systemic, inflammatory, chronic disorder. 

What is Psoriasis linked to?
Psoriasis is linked to depression/anxiety, sleep disturbance, psoriatic arthritis, vascular inflammation, heart disease, Chron’s disease and diabetes.

What Can Trigger Psoriasis?
Stress, strep throat and getting a tattoo are all things that can trigger Psoriasis.

How is Psoriasis treated?
Psoriasis can be treated multiple ways depending on the severity. 
For less severe cases it can be treated with ointments and creams that help subside the itching and redness.

Other ways to treat psoriasis include:
Systemic Therapy, Phototherapy (for larger areas) and biologics that can help by blocking the pain, and swelling in the joints. Ask your doctor about Skyrizi, a treatment option that blocks IL-23.

You don’t have to suffer alone! Millions suffer in silence out of embarrassment and I am writing this post and sharing my story with psoriasis because I want to bring light to this skin disorder. Early intervention is key with psoriasis, so please don’t wait to contact your Dr like I did many years ago. 

Our Family Visit to The Pioneer Woman Mercantile

Six(ish) months ago, our family took our second annual road trip to Tulsa, Oklahoma.
We made the trip from the Toronto area, which is about a  22 hour drive with stops.
This time around, we couldn't leave Oklahoma without making the 45ish minute drive to Pawhuska, Oklahoma home of Food Network Star,  Ree Drumond. 
You most likely know her as The Pioneer Woman.

Ree opened The Pioneer Woman Mercantile, a shop, bakery and restaurant a few years back, that brings in guests from all over the United States.
Don't be surprised to see lines around the block to eat her famous food.
When we arrived, around 11am on a weekday, the parking lot was nearly full.
I'm pretty sure we were the only vehicle who made the long drive from Canada though.

The Mercantile is 25,000 square feet and consists of two levels.
On the lower level you will find the food and retail store, continue up to the second level and you will find the bakery and beautiful seating areas. 
Oh, and if you visit the bathrooms and you're a home decor lover like me, you will leave wanting to reno all your bathrooms they are that beautiful.

We didn't want to wait in line for the food downstairs with the kids, so we opted to try the bakery upstairs for some sweets and caffeine.
A sweet friend of mine from Tulsa told me that I couldn't visit without trying "The Spicy Cowgirl", a drink made with espresso, chocolate and cayenne.
It was just as delicious (and spicy) as she said! 

We had heard that it's not unusual to see Ree and her husband, Lad at the store but unfortunately for us, they weren't there when we were visiting.
She did however like my photo about our visit on Instagram afterwards and you bet I had a total fan girl moment.

There's also plenty of cute photo opportunities around the town that we took advantage of.
It kinda felt like we were on the set of a mid western movie, the ones my grandpa used to watch when I was a little girl.


 We definitely plan on visiting the store again when we visit Oklahoma next but this time, we are also going to add in a lodge tour.