Image of pharmacist, water bottle, and paperwork.

5 Things I Wish I Didn't Know

It’s not often that I wish I didn’t know certain things. In fact, I’m a firm believer that knowledge is power. However, living with psoriatic arthritis has left me with quite a list of things that I wish I didn’t know. Here are just a few things from my ever-growing list.

Explanation of benefits

If you have insurance, you know what an EOB is. The Explanation of Benefits provided by your insurance company comes in a ridiculously thick envelope and most of it is written in what can only be described as hieroglyphics. In order to truly understand it, you need multiple advanced degrees and a ton of spare time. When it comes to things I wish I knew nothing about, this one by far tops the list. I get heart palpitations just opening it.

The worst part of it is that if you don’t understand the abbreviations or have a question, then you have to call your insurance company, spend two hours on hold, and hang up frustrated with more questions than answers. On top of that, you get to carry around the additional weight of knowing that you are probably getting screwed in some way that you can’t quite comprehend enough to fight it. Sad to say, I know much more about these little gems then I really care to.

My pharmacist’s first name

I’m all for being friendly to everyone I meet. It’s nice to greet people with a smile even if you aren’t feeling well. When you frequent the same places, it is easy to run into the same people. But seriously, I draw the line at being on a first name basis with my pharmacist. I can literally pull up to the window and be greeted by name at my pharmacy. Argh.

Yes, some will argue that this is just excellent customer service and I guess to some extent it is. But no, I wish I didn’t know their name just as much as I wish they didn’t know mine. I wish I didn’t know the amount of time and money that I spend there.

Water before psoriatic arthritis infusions

This is a lesson that I learned the hard way and certainly one that I really really wish I didn’t know. This is one of the most painful lessons I’ve had to learn. I’ve really never been a big fan of water. Yes, I know our bodies need it. I know that it has a million and one health benefits. But what I didn’t know was that if you properly hydrate your body before an infusion then the sweet nurses won’t have to poke you with a ridiculously sharp needle a million and one times to find a useful vein.

The best chronic illness accessories

Navigating disability tags, researching different wheelchair and cane options, heat packs, ice packs, PEMF machines, TENs units, bottle openers, and the list goes on and on. I’ve spent a great deal of time and money researching every possible option to make life a little easier and as pain free as possible. Sometimes I wish I didn’t have to know what things are worth spending time and money on and what things aren’t.

How to say no

This is probably by far the most difficult thing that I’ve had to learn that I wish I didn’t know. It is in my nature to do everything possible to help people. I love making plans with friends, taking my kids on outings, and getting involved in things. But unfortunately, I’ve had to learn the hard way, how to say no. To be honest, I still haven’t learned how to do this very well. I still feel sad and guilty every time.

Overall I would certainly say that by living with PsA, I’ve had to learn a great many things that otherwise, I probably wouldn’t have given a second thought about. I would love to be able to live my life in ignorant bliss, but sadly that just isn’t the reality.  What have you learned that you wish you didn’t know?

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