Vitiligo is a disorder in which white patches of skin appear on different parts of the body. This happens because the cells that make pigment in the skin are destroyed. These cells are called melanocytes.
Did you go to the doctors for an official diagnosis? It took a while for me to go to the doctor, I realized that it wasn’t going away so I decided to go. That was my first time hearing about Vitiligo. Hearing a doctor tell you that there is a good chance that you will possibly start developing white patches spots all over my body is hard to take. The hardest part is the fact that doctors are not sure if it will go away or not, how bad it will get, or if any treatment for it will actually work. Some doctors can be insensitive to the feeling of the person hearing this type of news. With it not being a life treating disease they would come off with telling you it’s just skin so you will be okay; this is terrible to say as a doctor. It’s not going to kill you but depending on the person it can take a toll on you mentally.
Here are some of my encounters and my internal thoughts, It’s called Vitiligo!
– To the old lady that walked up to me and said: “Poor thing what’s wrong it’s going to be OK because God is good”. IT’S CALLED VITILIGO
– The people I haven’t seen is a long time who say “Oh, didn’t know you got burned in a fire”. I didn’t. IT’S CALLED VITILIGO
– To the kid who cried in fear at first glance as if I was the boogie monster in their nightmares coming to steal them. IT’S CALLED VITILIGO
– To the kid that asked why do I look weird. Different doesn’t mean weird it just means my awesomeness is different than yours. Thank you to the parents that checked their child. IT’S CALLED VITILIGO
– To the folks that just can’t stop staring. IT’S CALLED VITILIGO
I have to say my wife has been there from the beginning to present day and has been there with open arms through it all. Even when I feel this is a me issue and don’t share my thoughts I know that she is there for me and that will never change. She is no doubt my someone and I truly love her for that. I have to say thank you, my close family and friends, for never looking at me differently or treating me different. Thank you for that, it means more than you will ever know.
A big thanks and lots of love to Tray and his wife Zarinah for helping me write this post. I’m so thankful that Tray was open to sharing his truth, that isn’t an easy thing to do. Especially in a society that puts so much focus on appearance, I’m sure it makes it even harder for someone with Vitiligo.
The next time you see someone in the street with Vitiligo, speak, shake their hand, give them a compliment. Let them know it’s okay to be different, and that you appreciate their awesomeness.