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Risk vs Reward: Balancing The Choices

In all things, there must be a balance. Everyone, chronic illness or not, struggles to find balance. We fight for a perfect work-life balance. We balance saving and spending.

We weigh all the choices while doing our best to balance the good and the bad, hoping that good will win. The same is true for medication choices. We manage our lives trying to find the balance between the risk and the reward that comes with each choice.

Find the balance

Since my diagnosis, the one thing that I have struggled with the most is to find a balance in the dynamic of my medications and treatment options. It’s risk versus reward. When you make a decision to start a new medicine there really is no “sure-fire” way to know how that medicine will affect you. Sure, you can look at how most people respond to it. You can look at the typical side effects and common reactions. But the reality is that there is no way to really know what your response will be.

So, what are the choices?

We read. We research and we ask others, “What was your personal experience?” We look for tips and we try our best to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. I always find myself wondering, “Will this be the miracle I’ve been hoping for?” All the while, knowing full well in my heart that no such miracle exists.

Weigh the risks

We speak with our doctors and ask for educated guidance, wondering if the risk is worth the potential reward. With the medications prescribed to treat psoriatic arthritis, the risks are certainly not to be minimized. Many options can compromise the immune system leaving us vulnerable to infections and diseases. They increase our risk for cancers and a whole herd of other things. Heaven forbid you take the time to Google and research them.

Yet at the same time, I find myself weighing the risks of other approaches as well. What if I do nothing? What if I chose to forgo the more traditional route of pharmaceuticals in favor of a more naturopathic approach?  ven that decision comes with its own set of risks. Every decision is like a roll of the dice.

But oh! If they work, if they make life even just a little better. If they give us a tenth of our “old” lives back, then it’s worth the risk. Right!? It is quite a tightrope to walk trying to find the right balance, reaping the reward, and weighing the risks. We hope for the reward of less inflammation and joint damage. I accept the high risks because I hope to win the psoriatic arthritis lottery, remission. Even if it is only for a little while.

Let the balance come. Hope for the reward

In the end, we each have to make our own decisions and find a balance that works. But even more than that, we should remember to respect and support each other as we struggle to find that balance. The choices that we make to treat and manage our psoriatic arthritis, are ours to make. We each need to find our own balance and weigh the risks and the rewards for ourselves.

No matter if you chose a pharmaceutical path, a natural path, or a combination of both, there is no surefire way to know the outcome. That is the nature of a chronic, progressive disease like psoriatic arthritis. So with each decision we make, we work to find the balance and continue to weigh the potential risk with the potential reward, and we always hope for the best.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Psoriatic-Arthritis.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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