I wasn’t sure how to start this blog or what I even wanted to say for my first post. I’ve been sitting with this for quite some time, so I figured I’d finally just kick this thing off with nothing but the truth. A quick synapses of my journey:
I have struggled with Psoriasis for 14 years and counting. I was first diagnosed when I was 18 years old, and just entered my freshman year of college. I had no knowledge of what Psoriasis was and never cared to do my own research. Come to find out it's genetic (thanks mom), and I inherited this auto-immune dis-ease all over my legs, back, torso, elbows, scalp, and hairline. I remember feeling so embarrassed by it and just wanted to find "a cure" that would make it disappear. Once a month I was willing to travel 2 trains and a bus to get to a doctor that might have the latest prescription remedy. I tried oral and topical steroids not caring about side effects because who actually experiences the side effects anyways, right? (now I laugh at myself for even thinking this). I quickly began increasing my prescription strength and dosage every year because the medication had gradually stopped working (maybe it was because I would saran-wrap my legs and torso before bed every night?) I tried scalp ointments, foams, and shampoo's that worked initially but after constant use it stopped having an effect and my hair became thin, dry, and brittle.
Overtime, as I hit my mid-to-late twenties, it started to feel as though nothing was working and it was only getting worse. The more stress that entered my life, the more red and inflamed my skin became. Dating sucked, and I was so embarrassed by my "spots," I felt stuck. I felt isolated. And I kept it from everyone.
Finally, in 2014, I stumbled upon a book called, "Healing Psoriasis: The Natural Alternative " written by Dr. John Pagano (I've linked this book at the bottom), and it changed everything. Have you ever experienced those "Aha" moments? This was one of them. And It was a good one! The book provided testimonials with pictures of clients and their process of healing their Psoriasis naturally. It helped shed light on what these steroids actually do to our bodies, as well as what sugar and added chemicals can also do to our bodies. I read about "leaky gut" and healing the intestinal wall. I was mind-blown. I quickly realized that I had wasted a lot of "healing" time and instead filled my years with quick fixes, doctor's visits and costly medication. I finally understood that the combination of a healthy diet and natural topical treatment was crucial to my healing process. This is when all hell broke loose as I began to lessen my steroid ointments and see the beast for what it truly was. And it was scary. The lesions spread and became so dry they ached. My fingernails completely changed and would sometimes fall off, and I didn't dare wear a bathing suit, tank top, or shorts in the summer... for YEARS. To be honest, I would become so desperate that I would refill my steroid ointment and apply it just to feel some relief (for a day). This was a true battle for me.
Fast forward a couple years and my journey has now become a blessing. I am consciously aware of what I am putting on my body and the foods I am eating. We all make mistakes and I have my moments where I indulge in foods or drinks that cause inflammation, but as soon as I do, I notice the flare-ups almost immediately. I have done endless research and experiments on myself with foods that cause inflammation and products that claim to be natural but actually cause inflammation and irritation to my skin. So I continued studying and learning about various herbs that have anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties and slowly but surely, with the combination of a healthy diet, I started to see positive results. And this was just the beginning of Haley's Herbals. I have now created specific recipes that provide relief; they are not a cure, but they help with redness, dryness, and inflammation.
I am writing this blog because I want to be open and honest about my journey. I wanted to use this section of my website as a platform to communicate about the struggle, the insecurities, and the truth about my roller-coaster of a healing process. I am still going through it and I never wanted to launch this website appearing as though I have found a cure that will work for everyone. I simply want to share my story and hope that it reaches those who are going through it right now. Many people have helped me along the way and if I can return the favor in any way, that is why I am here. I am always open to receiving emails and helping you through your journey so if anyone reading this has any questions or would simply like to vent about their struggle, please email me! If this blog helped you in any way, please stay tuned as I will continue to post blogs that may help you the same way others have helped me.