2 Years with Skyrizi for Psoriasis

A lot can happen in a couple of years. I’ve changed jobs, become an empty nester, and adjusted to (more forced into) pandemic life. But all through the past twenty-four months one thing has remained the same: Skyrizi.

I started taking Skyrizi to treat my psoriasis on May 31, 2019. With two years under my belt, I wanted to update how I’m doing and my experience with Skyrizi through a Q/A format.

Current Dose?

Skyrizi is normally dosed at every twelve weeks with two syringes making up one dose. When I began I took a dose at week 0 and then at week 4. These two doses are considered a starter, or loading, dose. My next dose, a maintenance dose, was at week 16 (or 12 weeks after the week 4 loading dose).

In the first year of Skyrizi I needed to take an extra dose. My skin started breaking out to the point where I felt quite a bit of discomfort. The extra dose was provided by my dermatologist (she received it as a sample) since my previous health insurance provider would not cover it. That extra dose allowed me to take it every ten weeks.

After my last dose in late April my dermatologist submitted a request to my insurance for me to receive Skyrizi every 8 weeks. With the (surprise) approval by my new health insurance provider I’m excited to see how I do on this more frequent dosing schedule.

Convenient to Take Skyrizi?

Skyrizi is the sixth biologic I’ve tried, and it is among the most convenient. Amevive was the first, which I took in 2003. I had to go to the infusion center at the hospital to get it. Since then I’ve tried Enbrel, Humira, Stelara, and Tremfya. These other biologics either needed to be injected more frequently or by the nurse in the clinic. Now, though, with my every 8 week dosing it has a similar dosing profile as Tremfya.

Skyrizi is the sixth biologic I’ve tried, and it is among the most convenient.

Skyrizi Cost?

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5 Places I Want to Visit Post-Pandemic

Huntington Beach is a regular destination to visit parents and the Pacific Ocean.

The pandemic ruined all my travel plans last year. I started a four-month break from work in February 2020 with the hope of visiting a number of places. We had the savings to take the time off and book reservations. Of course, I sadly needed to cancel all those trips. Thankfully, I have travel credits and refunds to use for travel post-pandemic.

I’m not sure when we’ll actually be able say it is post-pandemic. Some parts of the world are very much in the midst of a new wave of coronavirus infections and deaths. But in two days Lori and I will be fully vaccinated. We are looking forward to rebooking those trips we missed out on last year and perhaps adding others as time and resources allow.

Here are five places I want to visit once I’m fully vaccinated or when the pandemic eases enough to travel.


Maui, Hawaii

Photo by James Wheeler on Pexels.com

Last April Lori and I planned a trip to Hawaii for our 25th wedding anniversary. Since we went to Oahu for our honeymoon in 1994, we looked forward to visiting a different island–Maui. I researched and checked prices for a package deal at the Costco Travel site. The one I eventually booked included an extra night stay at the hotel, hundreds of dollars of freebies, and a rental car.

I especially looked forward to time on the beach where I could sunbathe for my psoriasis and eczema. The ocean water is soothing for my skin too. This trip may need to wait until the fall or winter, but it is number one on our list of places to visit for our 26th anniversary in August.

Joshua Tree and Saguaro National Parks

Photo by Sam D on Pexels.com
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Did the COVID Vaccine Flare my Psoriasis and Eczema?

April 7, 2021. In line at the Woodland Community and Senior Center to receive the first Moderna vaccine dose.

The moment the needle plunged into my left arm I began to feel anxious and lightheaded. My doctors encouraged me to get the first COVID-19 vaccine available to me. That day came on April 7th.

I felt reluctant to get vaccinated for fear that my skin conditions psoriasis and eczema might flare. But getting COVID-19 sounded much worse, so I relented. Once the needle came out of my arm I knew I could not go back.

I wrote on my Everyday Health blog that I don’t like needles. I can tolerate them now, but I generally feel a bit dizzy after a needle prick. This one felt much worse than others, however. It must have shown on my face. A nurse roaming the area where those recently jabbed waited fifteen minutes stopped to check on me. “I feel a bit dizzy and woozy,” I told her. She offered a Gatorade, which I reluctantly accepted.

She first stopped to talk to the head nurse before picking up the drink. A look of concern washed over both of their faces. Soon enough, the head nurse also checked on me and told me to wait at least 20 minutes before leaving. She said it was a vasovagal response. Never heard of it, and I didn’t quite faint, but it did feel like mild panic on my part.

I just wanted to get out of there and go home to rest. Even though I still felt a bit dizzy, I left right at 20 minutes after the jab.

I felt reluctant to get vaccinated for fear that my skin conditions psoriasis and eczema might flare. But getting COVID-19 sounded much worse, so I relented.

The Skin Flares Begin

After that first Moderna dose I did feel a slight headache and soreness in my arm. But my main concern continued to be my skin. Those first hours and days I checked my skin more times than I could count. If looking at my skin every five or fifteen minutes would stop any rashes or lesions from breaking out then none would have.

Unfortunately, my skin did break out after getting that first vaccine dose.

About five days post jab eczema erupted on my arms and back. My eczema begins with generalized small goose-pimple-like bumps before progressing to larger patches. Those bumps spread to my stomach, legs, and neck quite quickly.

A few days after the eczema broke out I noticed my psoriasis starting to act up too. The most stubborn area of psoriasis I have is on my lower back and side. That area I first noticed my psoriasis worsening. My thighs, lower legs, and arms followed closely behind.

Checking in with My Doctors

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Coping with Anxiety from Storms

The atmospheric river in late January approached as I took a walk at the park.

As I write this, sheets of rain are pouring down on our house. It’s about midnight, and with wind gusts up to 60 mph I doubt I’ll go to bed anytime soon. This storm is one of the strongest I can remember. 

Power surges flicker the lights, but the electricity remains for now. I’m passing these tense moments by writing—something that has brought me comfort over the years when under stress. It helps me break from the paralysis that comes when something traumatic comes. This is definitely one of those times.

The Storm that Exposed a Leaky House

Strong storms that shake the windows do come most every winter here in the Central Valley of California. I grew up in the Bay Area where the storms hit first before moving to the middle part of the state. When I lived in Southern California similar storms would come as well.

One winter, though, exposed every weakness in the townhouse where we lived in Diamond Bar—about 25 miles east of Los Angeles. Between Christmas and New Year’s Day a series of storms dropped half a foot of rain in a matter of days. The house began to leak in no less than seven places—all at once.

I stayed up most of the night monitoring the small window under a downspout on the second level. Heavy rain overloaded the gutter and downspout, which was half clogged with leaves. A sheet of water began to stream onto the window. We learned that night that the installers the previous owner hired did not seal the windows properly. The water passed through the window as if no seal existed at all.

I quickly punched out the window screen then grabbed a cookie sheet to deflect the water away from the house. Once the rain subsided, Lori and mopped up the large pool of water in the house. We then cut a piece of tarp to cover the window—not easy given the height of the window above the ground. I didn’t get much sleep that night.

Another window, in a bedroom above the garage door looking out over the street, also leaked along the inside of the window from the top. That water seeped into the wall, which started to come out of the drywall. I cut out a hole in the wall to get a better view, then devised a way to divert the water coming down a 2×4 in the wall to a bucket below. Water from that storm just about filled that five-gallon bucket.

The roof leaked too—onto the furnace in the garage, from the second story above the kitchen sink down into Lydia’s bedroom on the first floor, and into the attic. Thankfully, the homeowner’s association sent a roofer to inspect and fix those leaks. I never had a problem with the roof again.

The Inept Window Installer

Besides the two leaks from the bedroom window and the side window in the living room, two other windows had minor leaks. I quickly surmised that the installers botched the job when they replaced the original windows in the townhouse a few year’s prior.

The previous owner lived nearby, and told me I could contact him if I ever needed anything. Did I ever need some help after that week of storms and window leaks. He gave me the phone number of the window contractor, a friend from his church. The window contractor replied he could come look at the windows that week.

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