I don’t often watch shows like The Apprentice mostly cause I work in project management and I don’t like it invading my leisure time. Of course I have been aware of the recent health of Bret Michaels and being an 80’s child I am of course a fan of Poison. Every Rose, Talk Dirty to Me, and Your Mama Don’t Dance are all alums of my school dance days.
So tonight I tune into The Celebrity Apprentice because I want to see if Bret Michaels returns from the dead. His health struggles as of late are something that I can empathize with. It’s hard to have Drs not know the answers and I am sure he’s heard a lot of Drs telling him they don’t know. They don’t know how he defied the odds, they don’t know how they missed things, they don’t know what his future holds but they know he’s strong. All things I have heard from my own Drs.
As I watched the episode there was a scene where he found out his daughter was going to have to go for testing for diabetes and he shared that his daughter was afraid that she was going to have to deal with needles like he does. His eyes filled with tears as he shared his resolve to raise funds and find a cure for her because he didn’t want her to deal with what he deals with everyday. As I listened to him talk and saw the worry and pain for his daughter’s journey ahead my own eyes welled up with tears because I knew that worry all too well.
Ashleigh is developing patches of skin that look like they could be psoriasis. Now many could say that this isn’t a big deal but here’s where my worry and my pain for her journey comes from. I am a genetic whammy. 1 in 10 psoriasis patients become arthritis patients. Of that 1 in 10 only 0.10% of those arthritis patients will need a joint replacement. I needed 2 hips replaced and I am working towards a fake knee. I have a case so violent and destructive that many Drs are in awe of how it can eat me alive. Flare ups when allowed to run out of control take my will to eat, leaving me to live only on the ice water as I can stand it. I burn with fever, I shiver with cold sweats, I sleep for hours on end. So severe is it that I drop weight at a scary rate (70lbs in 3 months during my last one after Nicholas was born). After only a few days the psychological toll is more than I can take. With these patches come the fear that this is the fate for my only daughter. My psoriasis showed up at 16…if it is so for her then hers shows up at 4.5. I don’t want pain for my daughter, I want joy. I don’t want methotrexate for my daughter I want health. I don’t want her to share my fate, I want her to fly as high as she can and never think that something so awful is going to knock her down. Yes, in the back of my mind I am now always watching, always ready to advocate for the health of my daughter. It’s an awful awful place to be in and I hate it but I also know that I have to advocate for her because I am the only one who knows what fate could be fall her. Then again I am also going to admit that I wish I am just being paranoid over things that could also be eczema.
So in a few minutes Bret Michael became a dad, a man, someone I could understand, and most of all a very real person. He’s not going to be a just a guy from a rock band anymore because I see in him the drive to protect his kids from an illness. It’s a drive I am beginning to find in myself and starts next weekend with our family doing the Arthritis Walk in Winnipeg. I am trying to collect donations but it is hard because I don’t want to be hitting up folks up for money. I don’t like to ask and yet I know I won’t make a difference unless I do.
Please if you could donate to our team. Help us cure my disease, help me protect my daughter, my sons, my granddaughters and grandsons, my great-granddaughters and great-grandsons by giving them a cure, by giving them treatment options that work instead of worsen, to create solid testing standards to help monitor how the disease progresses, and to diagnose faster and with more accuracy. Help make a difference so that I don’t spend my life worrying for the future of my family’s life. I am sure my genetic great grandmother wished for a cure when this happened to her. Unlike me she didn’t have the medical access I do or the new knowledge of care like I do or even the ceramic option like I now have.