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June 17, 2013
Life on Planet Kathy
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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