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5 Do's for Life with Psoriatic Arthritis

There is nothing I love more than a good list. Short, to the point, and filled with great information. Lists can dampen anxiety about the chaos of life. They provide structure and they are proof of what we can achieve each day, week or month.

Here is my favorite list of 5 Do’s for Life with Psoriatic Arthritis.

#1. Do explore all of your options

Treatment options and availability are always changing. There are many paths (and even combinations of paths) to feeling your best and treating your psoriatic arthritis. What works for one person might not work for another.

Whether you choose to go holistic, naturopathic, pharmaceutical, or some combination of everything, be education and take the time to really talk to your doctor(s) and explore all of your options. There is no one “right” way for everyone.

#2. Do try to stay active

I hate saying this probably as much as you hate hearing it, but sadly it is the truth. With psoriatic arthritis, the more “active” you can be, in the long run, the better off you are. To be clear, I’m not talking about running a marathon (but I suppose if that’s your thing, go for it).

I'm talking about walking a lap around your room during a commercial break. Or doing some gentle stretches to get the blood flowing to those joints. Move around a little, many times throughout your day.

#3. Do practice honesty with friends and family

Lying about your pain, how you are feeling, or the fatigue you experience doesn’t do anyone any good. Further, it doesn’t help them to understand the extent to which psoriatic arthritis has impacted your life.

Sure, sometimes it is a good idea to “put on a brave face.” But pretending to be Super Woman/Man/Mom/Dad/Brother/Sister...is never a good idea.

#4. Do invest in quality self-care items

Whether you tend to prefer heat or cold, investing in good quality products that provide both is a really good idea. No matter if it is an ice pack or a heating pad, you will use these products routinely and for the rest of your life (sad fact, I know).

You will be much happier in the long run if you take the time (and money) and get the best, quality products that you can afford. As a side note, my heated mattress pad cost a small fortune, but you better believe that when it comes to its usefulness and efficacy, it was worth every single penny!

#5. Do know your rights

You are your own best advocate. I know I’m guilty of not doing this on occasion, but be sure to read through ALL the paperwork at each visit to the doctor, as well as online forms. Know your rights as a patient so that you can assure that you receive proper treatment. In addition, you should be aware of the steps you need to take if you would like to lodge an official complaint.

Knowing your rights is especially important if you are working in any capacity. Your employer is responsible for upholding the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which requires that they make reasonable accommodations to allow you to work.

What about you? What is on your list of do's for life with psoriatic arthritis?

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