Outfit Ideas // Open Back Sweater

A few months back I opened up about my personal struggles with the auto-immune disease, psoriasis.  I’m going to use this open-back sweater, as a #getyourskinout moment to give you an update.  From March until August, I was in a rough state emotionally speaking.  The stress in my life and my disease was going through a spin cycle.  I would stress out, the psoriasis would flare, then I would stress more about my skin and so on.  About that time I started an oral medication, Otezla (you’ve probably seen the commercials) and things started to improve almost immediately.  They say it doesn’t really kick in for about three months, so I’m not if it was psychological or the medication, but either way, the clouds were parting to give me a view of the sunshine.  

open back sweater

On the suggestion of my dermatologist, I simultaneously explored the option of photo therapy, a light treatment, kind of like tanning, but without the harmful rays, which is said to improve the skin condition.  Before I launch into this next part, I have to say, that I am lucky enough to live and work in a place that all these treatment options are even available to me, but that said, I wouldn’t exactly call my first appointment successful.  I visited the clinic, which is about a 15 minute walk from my office, filled out the paperwork and proceeded to ask questions to the receptionist while I waited for the doctor to call me.  The receptionist briefly explained how the clinic works, basically you come in for light therapy sessions three times a week.  Now, the sessions aren’t long, and you should have to wait too much, but THREE TIMES A WEEK!?!  I only commute into the city four days a week, and they are telling me that three of those days I would have to leave work, walk 15 minutes, strip, get into a light box, get dressed and walk back to work.  Then, on top of that I would have to see the doctor every 5 visits (every week and a half, if you’re keeping track), to check my process.  Those doctor visits would cost me a $40 co-pay, an average of $100/month.  THEN, ON TOP OF THAT, the receptionist handed me the sheet with the hours (very limited), and told me they change every month, so I’d have to call when the new schedule comes out and schedule my appointments for the following month, all 15 of them!  So basically I can’t just have a set schedule, I have to have my phone ready to call for the best times, like I’m trying to get Beyonce tickets.  But these aren’t Beyonce tickets, these are doctor’s appointments, by the dozens!  

As my eyes welled up, the doctor called me in, and I promptly burst into tears.  It was all too much.  Thinking of starting this therapy, taking up hours of my precious time every day, week, month and even years, because there is no end date with this chronic disease.  I couldn’t handle it.  After embarrassing myself in front of the entire office, I proceeded to have it out with the rude woman who collected my copay. I had a good cry in the clinic bathroom and headed back to the office.  I wouldn’t exactly call that successful.  Needless to say, I did not move forward with the light therapy.

I have continued taking my oral medication and have seen a lot of improvement.  A few personal victories and changes at work have left me feeling like I’m making forward progress.

Open back sweater

I took these photos about a week ago and was so happy with the state of my skin and my stress and my attitude.  Annoying thing about this disease is that it can change in an instant.  Since last week, my skin has flared back up and the stress is creeping back in.  I am doing my best to keep it all in check and focusing on moving forward on all fronts.  And, when my skin is looking good, enjoying those times and wearing the open back sweater on repeat.   

Open back sweater
Express sweater
open back sweater

But seriously, how good is this sweater?  I love that it’s one of those sweaters you never have to put in storage.   You can wear it all seasons, and it’s down right perfect for those unexpectedly warm days.  Simple and perfect when paired with skinny jeans and classic pumps.   

open back sweater

photos: SJ of Fashinny

sweater: Express // jeans: Madewell // bralette: Free People // shoes: Rebecca Minkoff // bag: Elliott Lucca


Thank you for all your love and support.  It really gives me a boost when I need it most.