Saturday, February 20, 2010

"Deadly" Encounter at the Dead Sea

A former co-worker of mine, Avi, was a sad case of psoriasis(psoriasis - a chronic disease which manifests itself through thick scales and dry red itching patches on the skin). He had it all over his body: on face, scalp, elbows, nails, back. His psoriasis first appeared after he had experienced divorce, so he blamed it all on his ex- wife.

She was an ambitious young lawyer and he was a law graduate who didn't feel like working as a lawyer; she wanted to consolidate her career, he wanted babies - that's how it all started. She was the one who asked for a divorce and he felt devastated for months. When I first met him he was already married to his second wife , apparently the very opposite of his first one: simple and vulgar , but in his condition he couldn't afford to be choosy.

Exposure to the sun and bathing in the salty, mineral rich waters of the Dead Sea - were the only means that helped him relieve itching and pains without undesirable side effects . Twice a year he used to take a three -week vacation and go the Dead Sea , at the Ein Bokek zone which was well equipped with a Solarium, carefully planned to absorb the sun's rays, and provide the patients with the best facilities and treatments possible.

On his return from these Dead Sea vacations, Avi seemed to be a completely different person. His skin was smooth and clear; his self esteem high, and he looked very handsome and relaxed. The period of complete relief lasted about six months till the next attack of the disease.

Every year Ein-Bokek is invaded by hundreds of psoriatic people from all over the world. Avi had friendly connections with many of them ; he was especially attached ( platonic attachment , he said) to an austrian lady (he himself being of austrian descent and speaking the german language); they used to plan their vacations to the Dead Sea so that they arrive together at the spot and leave together, she to Wien, he to Tel-Aviv.

Knowing his wife's violent temper he didn't tell her about his austrian friend, but she found out and demanded to accompany him on his Dead Sea vacations. He strongly opposed the idea saying that without a relaxed atmosphere , away from the stress of home and work , the treatments will have zero effect on his skin disease.

During one of his last Dead Sea vacations, his wife decided to take her little car and drive to Ein Bokek to see with her own eyes what was going on there. Avi was not in his hotel room , so she waited for him in the semi darkness. When he entered his room... accompanied by the austrian friend, she took a chair and threw it at them, and then another one, and then any heavy item found in the room. The two , taken by surprise, couldn't stop her. Luckily the heavy items didn't reach their heads, but hit all the other body parts. For the "finish", she approached them and used her fists and sharp finger nails.. They were left bleeding and in pain.

At this point, our ways , mine and Avi's, went separately as the office got closed and we were transferred to units in different cities.
About two years ago I bumped into him. He looked surprisingly well. He was of course more mature and completely bald, but his skin was radiant.

"Have you been to the Dead Sea lately"? asked I
"No, I haven't been there for quite a long time. I am very busy , and I'm tired of commuting to this place".

"Then how come you look so terrific" ?
"I ask myself the same question" he said, "and have no clear-cut answer to that. I think it's a miracle, and at any rate, I believe that the whole psoriasis matter has to do with my two ex-wives, divorce being the trigger. I got the disease after the first wife filed for a divorce, and I got rid of the disease after I asked my second wife for a divorce. It has all come full circle" .
It has indeed..


  1. What a greatly amusing read dear Duta. You've outdone yourself this time. There ya go....full circle. I always love reading your very interesting stories!!!

    God bless and have a terrific Saturday!!!

  2. Glad your friend found peace in his life. I too struggle with this disease and use vinegar to keep it under management. Sometimes better than others.

  3. What an interesting post. I have problems with itching and flaking also on my scalp. Not full blown psoriasis but still aggravating. I will have to try the vinegar that Lori mentions in her comment, cause I am sure I cannot talk my hubby into taking me to the Dead Sea. I do know that stress sure does cause it to act up. So glad that his is better. Thanks for sharing... I love to read your posts, I smile every time I see that yours has been updated.

    until next time... nel

  4. Very interesting. Stress can do weird things to the body.

  5. I so enjoyed this story. I must agree that stress can do so much to one's body. I guess your friend finally "found his cure"! Have a nice week!

  6. I always know that I will be entertained and have something to think about after I read your blog.


  7. It is indeed full circle and right in the middle he found balance. This is such an intriguing story in many ways. Love, disease, healing all flowing through the circle.

  8. DUTA:

    What an interesting story (Is it a story? No). The way you have juxtaposed the place and the person is splendid. I liked the full circle bit -- maybe its just a coincidence and not the ex-wives actually.

    I am glad that your friend found healing mentally and physically.

    I somehow have a special fondness for the Dead Sea and today it was lovely to read this post with the Dead Sea as backdrop.

    Joy always,

  9. A very interesting account ,with a happy ending,loved reading this.
    Stress does affect underlying health problems and can affect perfectly healthy individuals,I always suffer stomach problems when stressed.
    Always enjoy your posts Duta,best wishes from Ireland.

  10. Hi Duta,

    You are amazing! I love this story. You never fail to leave me with a smile.

    Have a wonderful day.

  11. Nezzy,

    Psoriasis in Avi's case was not funny, it turned him - a handsome, well educated man into a repellent person, but the overall story about him has indeed some funny, amusing aspects and I'm glad you've enjoyed reading it. Blessings to you!

    Skip Simpson,

    I love it that you loved the story. I also greatly appreciate having a male's comment on my blog. Although I have male followers, they seldom leave comments.

    Lori R,

    I'm sorry about your having to struggle with this skin problem. Glad vinegar is helpful as it's better than cortison creams and artificial radiation which have bad side effects.


    Glad you've got a tip [Lori's vinegar) that may help you with your itching. You probably have a much lighter form of psoriasis than Avi of my post. Get a lot of sun, it will do you good.
    The last sentence of your comment made my day. Thank you.

    Janie B,

    I always claim that stress is the root to all major diseases. Stress, tension, pressure, anxiety - are at the top of the list of factors leading to health issues.


    I'm not sure he's completely cured (unless it's a miracle)as this is considered a chronic, incurrable disease, but he probably has much longer periods of relif (years , perhaps, not weeks) between the attacks, than before.
    Have a wonderful week!

  12. I've heard that disease is very much aggravated by emotional states. What a way to get a disease and a cure! I bet he misses his trips to the Dead Sea, though. Neat story!

  13. Sue (Someone's Mom),

    I feel flattered by your comment. Being "accused" of leaving someone with a smile -that's a great compliment. Thank you.

    Ronda Laveen,

    What an interesting and accurate analysis !
    I agree with every word of your well put comment.

    Susan Deborah,

    The Dead Sea is a marvellous place: the silence of nature, the bromine in the air and water which bring about relaxation, the dry climate, the therapeutical waters - all these make it worth visiting.

    I love the sentence in your comment which says: " The way you have juxtaposed the place and the person is splendid" Thank you.


    Thanks for enjoying my posts. It's mutual.
    Almost anyone has a personal story of how stress affects his health. The big question is how could we prevent it.


    Thanks for your kind words. I wish you to always smile and be happy!

  14. My brother has a horrible case of psoriasis. It has even attacked his internal organs. He has divorced two wives but it has been to no avail. (at least not as far as curing his psoriasis goes.)

  15. DUTA,
    Thank you for another good story. You are able to tell a tale clearly and concisely while keeping the necessary details and the reader's interest.

    Thanks for the kind comment on my latest post, I enjoy photography very much, but I have never thought of myself as a master...:>)

  16. Autumnforest,

    Indeed so. Emotional states can both cause the disease and aggravate it. I don't think, Avi could give up his Dead Sea vacations. He could perhaps go less often if his condition allows him to, but not entirely renouncing to them.


    I'm so sorry to hear that your brother has a bad version of psoriasis! I suppose he's on medication and that adds side effects to his general ill feeling. Perhaps, he could try the Dead Sea treatments. Any way, I wish him a constant and full regression of the disease.


    I like what you do, so in my eyes you are a master of certain aspects of photography.

    As for what you said about me in the opening of your comment, I'm speechless; such a huge compliment!! Thanks from the bottom of my heart!
    It is a very big encouragement for me.You've just made my day!

  17. Duta,
    You are a master storyteller! You have left me waiting for a sequel. What happened to the Austrian lady friend?

  18. So well told, this story.
    Sorry your friend has suffered so much though with this disease.
    My dear sweet daughter has had psoriasis since she was a little girl and my heart at times has broken for her.
    We have tried many treatments but today she seems to be doing better, she recently got married and is very happy!

  19. This was very interesting! :) First the divorce starts his dilemma & next it ends it.

    Though, I have to admit that I am also the jealous type, but she could at least have him let explain himself before going to such extremes. :D

  20. Interesting story! I have only seen psoriasis in much minor cases (never on me thank goodness) but I have heard that it can be connected to stress.

    Too bad it took your friend so long to make the connection. Hopefully if and when he picks a 3rd wife, he'll keep all this in mind.

  21. I have a neighbour who suffers similarly. He, too, used to go to The Dead Sea. He had the desease from childhood - but it seems to have improved remarkably with marriage. Nothing else has ever don e much for it.

  22. Lisa,

    Thank you. I didn't ask about the austrian lady as it was too personal and he didn't mention her. I could of course get indirect info,but I would have to write a whole novel to include her.


    I'm so glad your daughter has overcome this malade, got married and is happy. Marriage has probably been the trigger to her feeling better.

    Pink Panthress,

    Well, she was extreme in her behavior, especially that she felt she was not up to his standards.She knew he had much more in common intellectually with the austrian than with her and she felt hurt and jealous.


    In the majority of cases, psoriasis is partial. My co-worker had it all over his face and body -tough case.There might have been some genetic background involved too, but he blamed it mainly on stress.

    Dave King,

    It's amazing how many people suffer of psoriasis of one form or another!
    Sounds reasonable that it has improved with marriage.Treatments at the Dead Sea offer of course, periods of relief but not more than that.

  23. Duta,

    I've had little time lately for blogging, but I cannot not check in with you! I love your stories, made ever more special by the fact that they really happened. Your telling of them always effect a strong emotional response in me (love, fear, humor), which to me is the earmark of a wonderful writer. Please tell us more.


  24. Oh a happy ending, Duta! I also was tending to show first signs of the disease a couple of years ago when still in the UK, but now it has all disappeared - must be living in caravans and the vast quantity of fresh air we are therefore surrounded in! Hope you are well.

  25. DUTA,

    Please forgive me. I'm going to come back and finish reading your post. I'm running late for dinner.

    BUT, you have another award waiting for you at my blog.

    You're awesome. :)

  26. I am so glad things worked out for him. Maybe his body knew what his mind didn't want to admit. I love happy endings.

  27. Oh boy... that's very stupid of her then. :(

    So she really used his illness to bind him to her? What a terrible person.

    I mean, if I know I'm not on the same level, I shouldn't marry them just so I can be jealous.

  28. Your blog is very interesting, I love your posts on travels: congratulations!
    Best regards from Barcelona.

  29. C Hummel Kornell a/k/a C Hummel Wilson,

    Dear Coni,

    It's a big honor for me that you make time to check my blog, and I'm greatly flattered by your words. Thank you so much!


    I believe you're right. Living in the fresh air, probably helped you get rid of the first signs . May you never again experience any symptoms of this very embarassing disease!

    Entrepeneur Chick,

    Hi Lisa, Thanks for the beautiful award I'm honored), and of course for calling me "awsome" .


    I love happy endings too.However, in this case one never knows when the disease might strike again; after all it's considered a chronic disease.


    Well,it's kind of a deal. He got a woman who was willing to accept him "as is", psorias & all, and bring him babies. She got a well-educated, fine man to whom she could look up to. But then, things get complicated because of human nature. Anyway it's hard to pass judgment.

  30. Albert Lazaro - Tinaut,

    Welcome to my little blog, and thanks for your kind comment! Glad to receive best regards from the wonderful city of Barcelona.

  31. You better write a book dear Duta! Hugs.

  32. Phivos Nicolaides,

    Who reads books nowadays (LOL). Seriously, I'm flattered that you think I could write a book. Perhaps I could, but I don't know anything about publishing. Anyway, thank you.

  33. I can't imagine suffering with a skin condition like that. My back is itchy all the time and that is enough for me. Sounds like your friend figured it all out and I'm happy that it worked well for him in the end.

    You do tell great stories, Duta!

  34. DUTA,

    That story was too funny!

    I didn't think it would end like that. Do you know who Avi is with now?

  35. Oh my goodness, his second wife sounds like a true harpy! I think the causes of psoriasis are often times mystifying, but not in this instance.

    That was an interesting story, Duta. Isn't it amazing how truly intriguing the world around us is, particularly when we listen to the stories of others? How's that saying go, something like, "The more I see, the more I realize, how little I know." People are complex organisms, that's for sure!

  36. Dorraine,

    Besides the physical suffering,a skin condition like psoriasis could completely lower the self esteem of a person, and that's very, very sad.
    Many thanks to you for the last sentence of your comment. I feel very flattered.

    Entrepeneur Chick,

    The truth is I don't know what's with him or who he's with now. He used to be very private about his personal life, so when I met him last time I didn't ask him this sort of questions.

    Land of Shimp,

    I agree with your view on things.
    Indeed, people are very complex and the saying you've mentioned: "The more I see the more I realize how little I know" -is very true and accurate.

  37. I thought the story was going to end with his marrying the Austrian lady. My grandfather always said, "Mejor solo que mal acompanado", translated, better alone than in bad company. I guess it worked that way for Avi. Great story as usual Duta.

  38. The cause and the cure or rather a CC developement. Emotional state plays a Large part on most diseases. Also if the immune system gets compromised. I like my parents have type 2 diabetes and I guess I had that 100 per cent chance with both of them being diabetes. Anyway, the last few years I have had more skin problems than I ever had before I was diagnosed. I think I have provided the dermatologist at least enough to have a heafty down payement on a luxury car. Peace

  39. Alicia,

    Your grandfather was right, of course.
    As for the austrian lady, I don't know anything for sure. I suppose she got very scarred after the Dead Sea incident and gave up romantic plans, if she had any.

    Lady Di Tn,

    Sorry to hear about your diabetes and skin problems. The two are probably related somehow.
    I wish you the Best of Health!

  40. Stress can be a trigger for many illnesses and ailments. I'm glad his psoriasis has gone away. I have recurrent dermatitis (a much milder but similar skin disease) and can only imagine how someone with severe psoriasis would suffer.

    I love the way you tell a story.

  41. Hey Duta~
    I do always learn so much from you! So glad his problem cleared up I can't imagine how hard that would make story telling is always enjoyable & always surprises me. Thanks Duta!

  42. Thanks for making time to visit my blog(I know how "invaded" you are by readers and comments), and for loving the way I tell a story.

    Sorry to hear about your dermatitis, but glad it's a mild problem.
    All the Best to you!

  43. Libbie,

    Thanks for stopping by and thank you for the compliment. I'm glad and flattered that you enjoy my stories. It's reciprocal, by the way.

  44. What a great story! Thanks for the entertaining read.

  45. Cheri Pryor,

    Welcome! Thanks for visiting my blog and for your kind comment

  46. Meaty story. Loved it! I've know a few people with really bad psoriasis, very high strung people
    who with a changed lifestyle, and perspective, shed or calmed their nemesis!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog....and leading me back!

    Peace Giggles

  47. Welcome to my little blog!
    Thanks for your nice, 'meaty' comment.