Scale shifting to happiness and sad. Representing good days and bad days with PsA.

I Believe You When You Say You're in Pain

Do you ever worry that people think you might be faking your pain? I constantly worry about that! I think I feel that way because psoriatic pain isn’t constant, or at least it isn't consistent.

I don’t remember the last time I felt no pain, but there are times when the pain is more tolerable.

PsA is consistently inconsistent

Last night, I met my friends out for a wine tasting. The wine bar was small enough that I didn’t feel I needed a cane to make it to our table. I was able to sit in relative comfort for a couple of hours. Being able to sit in an outdoor chair for that length of time is unusual for me, so I enjoyed myself. The weather and the conversation were perfect, and the wine was delicious. I was thankful for an evening of low pain.

This morning, I woke up early because I had an appointment with pain management for an SI joint injection at 8 AM. Even before I got out of bed, I knew it would be a difficult day. My low back was throbbing. Parts of my feet felt numb. Both hips ached immensely. The spondylitis I have in my cervical spine was sending shooting pain down my arms and causing numbness in both hands.

When the nurse asked me to describe my pain, the only word that came to mind was intense. I was unable to walk without a cane and even with the cane, I could only go a short distance.

I'm faking being well

When people see us walking normally, with no obvious sign of pain on one day and then, on the next, we are hobbling around, using a crutch, they are suspicious. Those who have never experienced the ups and downs of psoriatic arthritis pain find it very hard to understand that we don’t know when we might wake up with more pain than normal. Or why we said we would attend their party but now we have to cancel because of extreme pain and fatigue.

Believe me, it’s more frustrating for us, those of us suffering, than it is for those folks watching us from the sidelines. I recently saw a meme that said, “I’m not faking being sick, I’m faking being well.” That resonated with me. It was a reminder that this is my life.

Every time I walk into the world and say, “I’m fine,” it’s a little bit untrue. We all do it, though, don’t we? Partly to make other people more comfortable. And maybe a little for ourselves; to feel like our old selves and believe that we are fine, if only for that moment.

We're here for you.

Just know, when you’re out there in this world, doing your thing, there are those of us who are with you. Those of us who know you’re not faking it, no matter how good you felt yesterday, that doesn’t mean we expect you to give us the same today. Be kind to yourself.

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