Litsa Anthis

'I remember a few months back, when I used to see his knuckles, how they were dry, cracked and bloody, and then I noticed his arm, and when I gently inquired ... he would retreat and change the subject. This was also before we became close. He has slowly grown more comfortable and one night, after cuddling and holding each other for a while, he asked me if I'd like to see and I said please. He took off his shirt and I saw the extent of his condition. His entire back, arms and parts of his legs were red, with patches of dry skin and blood. It struck my heart, and I suddenly felt very close to him. I wasn't shocked or afraid, and I think he sensed that because he seemed to relax a little. I reached up and touched his shoulders and lightly stroked his back. He later told me he was grateful for how accepting I was, and how he hadn't been touched in a long time. His condition does not bother me, in fact, I admire him. He has a tremendous amount of strength. We have since been intimate, and while I do my best to make him feel comfortable, I can't seem to avoid situations that cause him pain; like when he rests his head on my chest when we lay together, and then he gets up, seeing the trail he has left on my black sweater ... and I see the pain flash across his face. I don't know what to do. I reach up and kiss him, brush myself off, to show him it just goes away and say, "Black is not my best colour and yet I insist on wearing it!" He always smiles, but I can see how he carries his shame with him for the rest of the evening. Partner of a patient with psoriasis'

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