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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.