Hi, I’m Jess Gough and I’m 22 years old. I live with my parents, brother and sister in a small town in Shropshire and work as a teaching assistant.
I have a little dog called Lola who is a Lhasa Apso and she is very loving and affectionate. She is always there to keep us smiling when things aren’t always going our way, but in return expects an awful lot of treats!
I love socialising and spending time with my friends and family especially when there’s music and a dance floor involved. My favourite part of going out is the day of pampering before heading out, as it also usually involves a shopping trip and I love buying clothes and make up! My favourite city in the UK is Liverpool, I spend a lot of time here with my family and it is full of happy memories for me, I especially love shopping at the docks as it's great for handbags and scarves! However, my main hobby is watching football – my whole family are football-mad and we support our local team Shrewsbury Town, so in our house a game day is the best. Most weekends, we are out and about watching a game of football or two.
For 15 years of my life I have lived with guttate psoriasis, which is the main reason I am writing this blog. My journey with psoriasis hasn't always been easy, but I am at a point in my life now where I have ways to cope and have learned how to overcome barriers that might be in my way.
Over the coming few months, I will be writing a number of blogs on different aspects of my daily life. For example, working, meeting new people and holidays, which I hope will be of help to everyone who may have faced or be going through what I have experienced and give people hope that they can also achieve a successful outcome.
The reason why I will be writing about these topics is because living with psoriasis has been something that has dramatically affected my life each and every day. For many years, I have had to control how I felt and how I portrayed myself, even if that wasn't how I was actually feeling. I was also failing when it came to treating my skin, as I had never fully understood about the range of treatments I have used and how they were to be applied. However, I decided to seek help from another healthcare professional and this changed my experiences completely.
My treatment was changed and began to work well, and I worked with my dermatologist to control my psoriasis to a point which meant it lessened the impact on my daily life and we also worked together to treat the psychological impact my psoriasis has on my life. I am so passionate about the fact that a successful rapport between patient and healthcare professional can make your experiences much more positive when it comes to dealing with an illness.
Living now with a much more positive outlook at my psoriasis, I want everyone to understand that even though things can take a long time, it is possible to live well with a condition like psoriasis and be in control of how much it affects your life.
I have found that using hobbies and surrounding myself with the right people is also a key to success, for example football is great for me and it is definitely part of my coping strategy for stress, I can sing and shout as much as I like and everyone around me is doing the same! Another main part of my coping strategies is music, I absolutely love having my music on loud and having a dance around my bedroom.
For me the main way of coping has been talking... letting people around me know how I feel and also reaching out to find other people who were experiencing very similar things to me. Asking others for their advice is something not to be afraid of, what you are struggling with is often what other people have an answer for.
I hope the experiences I share in this blog will be of help to you and I'm looking forward to hearing your stories and experiences.
UK/IE 2013b/00060. Date of preparation: May 2015