"Character is the one thing we make in this world and take with us into the next."
- - Ezra Taft Benson
June 17, 2013
Reveling in the Overkill
by Kathryn H. Kidd

One would think that after blessing me with fungal pneumonia, a coma, sepsis, renal failure, pulmonary failure, paralysis, and a host of other goodies, all since last December, God would move on to somebody else. But no, that isn’t the way God works. He has more of a sense of humor than that.

When I was in the process of getting MRSA, Fluffy and I noticed a mottled red discoloration on the little toe of my right foot. One of my doctors used a purple pen to draw a line around the outer periphery of the redness so we’d know if the redness was spreading. But no, the redness did not stay inside the purple line. In fact, the redness took one look at the purple line and said, “Ha!”

The redness crept toward the adjacent toe, and then the toe after that. Then, when nobody yelled at it, it took over the entire foot.

Fluffy and I were a little concerned, but when we went to the infectious diseases specialist and then the podiatrist to make sure my MRSA was gone, neither of them said boo about the red foot. I thought this was a tad suspicious. My foot looked as though it was about to take over Cincinnati. It was going to be a hostile takeover, too.

Perhaps my doctors didn’t care about Cincinnati, but I did. I thought somebody should be calling out the National Guard. The military should be deployed. Heavy weaponry should be armed and aimed at my foot, just in case it did something naughty. But because nobody in authority challenged it and put it in its place, it acted bad. Very bad.

Fluffy and I were close to going to the emergency room before he finally googled a slide show on common skin disorders and learned first-hand about psoriasis. We knew psoriasis existed, of course. What we didn’t know was that an old person could get it for the first time.

But no, Google happily informed us that even though most people get psoriasis between the ages of 16 and 22, there is something called “late-onset psoriasis,” which occurs between the ages of 50 and 60.

Hold on. I’m 63. There’s something rotten in Northern Virginia, and that rottenness is Kathryn H. Kidd. Bummer.

I’ll tell you one thing I’m happy about. I’ve been looking at the pictures of psoriasis on the internet, and I can tell you one thing. There are a lot of nasty places you can get psoriasis. You can get it in your hair. You can get it in your eyes. You can get it on your tongue. You can get it in places that are so nasty you can’t even show them on television. I got it on my foot. I was lucky.

However, I’ve been looking at those pictures of psoriasis, and I don’t just have your garden variety case of psoriasis. I’ve got a textbook case. There are few pictures of psoriasis I’ve seen that are as bad as mine. Overkill, thy name is Kathy. In fact, I haven’t seen a single case of psoriasis on the foot that is even nearly as bad as mine is. I should be proud. And in fact, I am proud. If you’re going to get sick, go for the record books!

I should also be writhing in pain. The websites say psoriasis can be accompanied by “intense itching or intense burning.” I don’t need the websites to tell me that. All I need is to look at my foot.

This isn’t an example from the internet. This is my foot. Have you ever seen anything more painful-looking?

I ask you. Should that foot be in pain, or what?

I am not writhing in pain. I am not itching to death. In fact, if I didn’t look down, I wouldn’t know there was a single thing wrong with that foot. Through God’s own tender mercies, or maybe His sense of humor, He gave me the world’s worst case of psoriasis on a foot that is paralyzed — a foot you could hit with a sledgehammer, and that I wouldn’t feel a thing. You could give me psoriasis on that foot till my toes dropped off, and I wouldn’t feel even a moment’s twinge of discomfort. There is no pain whatsoever.

This is one of about a million things I love about God. He always gives me something to laugh about. I can’t wait to see Him again, when we can sit down with a bag of popcorn and laugh about all the crazy things He did to make my life so exciting and so fun.

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About Kathryn H. Kidd

Kathryn H. Kidd has been writing fiction, nonfiction, and "anything for money" longer than most of her readers have even been alive. She has something to say on every topic, and the possibility that her opinions may be dead wrong has never stopped her from expressing them at every opportunity.

A native of New Orleans, Kathy grew up in Mandeville, Louisiana. She attended Brigham Young University as a generic Protestant, having left the Episcopal Church when she was eight because that church didn't believe what she did. She joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a BYU junior, finally overcoming her natural stubbornness because she wanted a patriarchal blessing and couldn't get one unless she was a member of the Church. She was baptized on a Saturday and received her patriarchal blessing two days later.

She married Clark L. Kidd, who appears in her columns as "Fluffy," more than thirty-five years ago. They are the authors of numerous LDS-related books, the most popular of which is A Convert's Guide to Mormon Life.

A former managing editor for Meridian Magazine, Kathy moderated a weekly column ("Circle of Sisters") for Meridian until she was derailed by illness in December of 2012. However, her biggest claim to fame is that she co-authored Lovelock with Orson Scott Card. Lovelock has been translated into Spanish and Polish, which would be a little more gratifying than it actually is if Kathy had been referred to by her real name and not "Kathryn Kerr" on the cover of the Polish version.

Kathy has her own website, www.planetkathy.com, where she hopes to get back to writing a weekday blog once she recovers from being dysfunctional. Her entries recount her adventures and misadventures with Fluffy, who heroically allows himself to be used as fodder for her columns at every possible opportunity.

Kathy spent seven years as a teacher of the Young Women in her ward, until she was recently released. She has not yet gotten used to interacting with the adults, and suspects it may take another seven years. A long-time home teacher with her husband, Clark, they have home taught the same family since 1988. The two of them have been temple workers since 1995, serving in the Washington D.C. Temple.

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