June Perkins, author, poet, blogger, photographer and videographer, held a Writing Poetry in Response to Art, workshop which showed how visual art could inspire poetry or some form of writing. Aspiring and emerging writers and poets were given an insight into ‘how to think differently’ about writing poetry. This event was part of the mini Illumine Festival on 6-8th October, 2017 at Magda Community Arts, Brisbane.
It was a thought-provoking workshop which allowed me the freedom to write without boundaries. Creating poetry from a photograph/visual art piece was liberating. It allowed my words to tumble onto the page from what I observed, sensed and heard within. It motivated me to write unhindered, to explore poetry with a new insight and confidence. I found it a decluttering of preconceived ideas – about poetry, allowing a fresh voice to emerge. I also learnt from my peers who viewed the same pieces differently again.
In a quest for wellness, and a past quest for my son’s sleeplessness as a babe – I have found specifically recommended alternative health practitioners life savers. After exhausting all other options first, I have turned to them for assistance, but perhaps I should have consulted them at the same time. Easy to see that in hindsight.
Now having used cranial osteopathy as well a chiropractor (specialising in children) for my son, along with trying a life style and special diet oriented approach to my skin (alongside using vitamin supplementation) I am of the firm belief that health professionals of all denominations need to work more closely together and learn from each others’ wisdom.
A future world will surely see us go into wellness centres, rather than medical centres, and have access to a team who really talk with each other, to help us live healthier, and also enable us to, if not avoid, bring chronic conditions under control.
All health professionals will seek out others to assist their clients particularly when they are not having success. We will live healthier life styles, manage the foods we eat by generally eating more healthily but also have diets that are based on specific conditions we might develop from environment or genetic, our stress levels, and do enough exercise.
Our health funds will support all the things that make us well, even more so than they are beginning to do now. Another interest I have is in art/writing therapists, who use the power of the arts to further contribute to the development of strong mental health and who harness the power of imagination.
I often wonder why I have had the test of psoriasis and such a long journey to reach the beginning of growing a rose of wellness. In that journey writing has kept me afloat. Am I out of the woods? Am I heading for a new spring time?
There is something to be said for understanding the enhancement that a suitable diet, and general well being both mentally and physically can play in the quality of our lives. My present successful treatment for psoriasis is not covered by medicare, but may be covered by some private health funds. My family is researching this now.
Have you had an amazing and interesting journey with learning to successfully manage a chronic health condition?
For those of you following my wellness quest with the psoriasis I am pleased to report that the first two weeks of working with fixing my diet, exercising more, taking vitamin D and zinc, and daily using a cleanser and ointment, has led to a dramatic improvement.
The redness has dramatically decreased in area and disappears for more of the day, the plaques have been thinned – and I am sleeping better due to all of this. The extra sleep is helping. The feeling that psoriasis will continue unabated has eased, so my mind is so much calmer and clearer. I am definitely coaxing the monster to sleep step by step. Take that psoriasis!
I still want to exercise more, but have been pleased to be upping the levels more each time despite the humid days and thunder storms, but I’ve done exercise biking and stretching indoors and walking before the storms arrive. I’ve combined my exercise with my great love of photography to keep motivated. My dear husband took us to a great lake to walk around. It was a good walk which resulted in many fun photographs – including one of a dragon water feature pictured above.
Giving up some of the foods that are potential triggers,especially favourite foods like strawberries, hasn’t been too hard because the thought of going back to where I was a few weeks ago is a strong motivator. I’ve been to a number of events where there is lots of sugar in the food and just had a glass of water and fruit (that I am allowed to eat). I was really proud of myself for that. I’ve become aware of how many times sugar is around me. I am definitely partly what I eat, and the better I eat the better I feel.
I look at stress and think more proactively about calming and centering myself. I do tend to worry about things. Where does this worry come from? Perhaps it is from experiences of the past. This worry can be a great motivator (it’s what makes me write, strive to be a good parent, and look for work or making work), but on the other hand it can keep me up late at night thinking about how to save the world and worrying about things I have no control over. The spanner in the works this week was receiving a letter that now we have to move house. This was disappointing because we have only been in this rental house for a year and hoped to be here until we could save enough to buy a house.
I hate packing to move because we have had to do it so often (on average every two years) and because it takes a while to unpack and set up everything the way you like it, but of course moving always has its positives. My challenge is to look for them. Maybe we can find a slightly bigger house so we’re not so crammed in. Maybe we will have friendlier neighbours who’d appreciate knowing us etc. etc. I am breaking down that move step by step and don’t want it to become a monster that wakes up my psoriasis more. It does have the potential to do that, but bring on my music sound track!
I have a sound track of music I like to listen to in my room to assist with this process. For me personally this includes Troy Casser Daley, Karise Eden, Alesa Lajana, Lady Antebellum, and Mumford and Songs. I use some of this sound track to help me when it’s time to sleep rather than watching late night television. I keep looking for other music to add to this list of artists.
Writing is and has always been something that assists me with combating psoriasis. I continue to write poetry, especially about characters that are intent on coming to terms with something, like drought, or loss – in a way that is uplifting. Journaling this process is yet another part of the journey to wellness.
Steps to Wellness with Psoriasis
1- Work on diet avoiding known food triggers of psoriasis
2- Take appropriate vitamins
3- Use daily cleanser exactly as instructed and avoid all soaps
5- Use calming power of music
6- Journal Progress to reflect on what is going well and what could go better
7- Write poetry and a optimistic journal
8- Address anxieties and stresses in life with optimism and positive actions.
There are more steps in this journey. I often wonder will anyone ever find a cure for psoriasis? Maybe, maybe not, but I think in the meantime improving diet and general health can make it easier to cope with. The most important step has been to ‘hope’ again for enough wellness to fully embrace living a full life.
Yesterday I went to receive some new health advice at a specialist clinic which treats people without drugs or light therapy as predominantly used by many skin specialists.
I came away with a list of foods I am to now not eat, which are considered to be primary triggers. There were some surprises no-nos on the list such as tomato, potatoes, citrus fruits, kiwi fruit and strawberries. Not so surprising, reducing sugar, and nuts.
I’m now on a renewed pledge to work on being more active, walking and swimming, losing weight, and sleeping well. I have a set of topical treatments, cleanser and supplements (mostly consisting of zinc) to use, and began using them last night. Most of all came away with a positive and determined outlook to move the psoriasis into remission. I asked a few questions about things that were bothering me and the answers seemed reasonable.
I’ve taken to reading the following site full of success stories of different treatment combinations as well. Psoriasis.org The thing I love about this site is how everyone’s success story of remission is different and yet equally inspiring. It makes me want to press on until I find my secret formula.
The only distressing thing is that many studies have found psoriasis to have a genetic link, although it is not conclusive. While susceptibility is increased for your children there is no guarantee that they will develop it, but there is also no way of preventing them from developing it. Interestingly In 2008, a study found that only 10% of people with the genes common to psoriasis actually had it. Psoriatic arthritis had a much stronger link to genetics than other forms of psoriasis.
The best thing is that after feeling really frustrated with my health I am going to work to turn that corner and take a wellness journey to coax my psoriasis into a remissive sleep. It helps to think of it that way, a sleeping monster in need of taming.