Be Informed: Don't Stick Your Head in the Sand
When I was younger, if someone was saying something that I didn’t want to hear, I thought that if I pressed my hands tightly over my ears while loudly singing, “La, la, la, la…” that I could ignore the reality of what they were telling me. I thought that if I couldn’t hear it, then it wasn’t actually happening. While there is a certain logic behind the phrase, “ignorance is bliss,” it is not really the best idea when it comes to your health. If you don’t take the time to learn and be informed about psoriatic arthritis, you won’t be able to advocate for yourself, your body could suffer irreparable harm, or you could miss out on the best treatment options for you.
I remember when I was first diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis, it was all quite overwhelming. Learning about PsA felt like I was learning a whole new language. I searched the internet for reputable, reliable information while the weight of each new fact piled up heavier on my shoulders. I would close my laptop in anger and frustration and stomp away with even more questions than I had when I started. I felt those old feelings creeping up. I wanted to scrunch my eyes tightly, stick my fingers in my ears, and sing at the top of my lungs. La,la,la,la,la,la.
Don’t stick your head in the sand
Unfortunately, it became very clear that my condition was rapidly getting worse, and I had to do something soon. I couldn’t stick my head in the sand anymore. I am a firm believer in research, research, then research some more so that is what I set out to do. I was able to find answers that made sense and a community of helpful, supportive friends. However, If you continue to ignore all of the information surrounding us about PsA, you are unnecessarily putting your physical and emotional health at serious risk.
Learn how to advocate for yourself
Psoriatic arthritis is a very complicated disease with implications for your whole body including skin, organs, muscles, joints, tendons, even your eyes and ears. Take the time to learn about all of the aspects of this disease. I have had to see many doctors who may not have a specialty dealing specifically with psoriatic arthritis. I need to know about PsA in order to clearly and accurately advocate for myself, especially for those (yes, even doctors) who are less familiar with it. Take the time to educate yourself, so you can educate others.
Save yourself from additional pain and suffering
There are many products designed to make living with psoriatic arthritis easier. I still spend quite a bit of time reading and learning about all of the braces, supplements, and creams available to help with the pain that I experience every day. I have been able to find quite a bit of relief because I make it a point to be informed about what is available to help me. Why would I make a choice to be in pain while trying to open jars, take a walk in the park, or play with my kids if there was an option that would help even a little bit?
Learn about new treatment options
Scientists and doctors are making advancements and discoveries about treating psoriatic arthritis every single day. I firmly believe in staying on top of new treatment options and how to make those affordable options for myself and others. There are several different types of drugs available to fight psoriatic arthritis, NSAIDs, DMARDS, biologics, and enzyme inhibitors. Learn about all of these new options to that you can make the best-informed decision you can for yourself. Don’t stick your head in the sand when it comes to being informed and treating your psoriatic arthritis. Ignoring it will not make it go away. Who knows, the information you discover may make a world of difference for yourself or someone you care about too.
How do you plan to recognize PsA Awareness Month?