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Celebrate the Little Victories

Celebrate the Little Victories

Whether your joints are on fire, you fight daily to keep your eyes open, or if you’re battling eye inflammation, it’s important to know that psoriatic arthritis does not define us. Sure, it makes life more difficult and — let’s face it — interesting, but it also makes us stronger. I guess there’s some truth to “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

Sometimes, it’s hard to remember how strong unless we focus on the little, daily victories. Here’s a list of mine:

I got out of bed

For the average person without a chronic illness, getting out of bed can be a battle of willpower. For psoriatic arthritis patients, it might be a physical battle. After so many hours laying down, I get stiff and my joints don’t bend too well. I usually have to force them to move and then I feel pain for most of the morning. So, yeah, if you’re like me, give yourself a gold star for getting out of bed each day.

I remembered why I actually went into the kitchen

Brain fog is common with me. I can’t tell you how many times I lost my phone inside my house, only to find out it is right in front of me. Or better yet, I’m talking on it while in a frantic search for it. Even on my best days, I’m suffering from some form of brain fog. So, when I remember why I actually went into the kitchen, I do a little celebratory dance.

I took a shower

New moms know that lack of sleep and having a newborn usual equates to yoga pants, sweatshirt and messy hair bun. Getting a shower in is like the ultimate gift. The general public has sympathy for new moms and dads, and they totally get a pass — as they should! — but when you have psoriatic arthritis, people rarely give you a high five if you managed to get a shower and put yourself together. This is a big accomplishment for us. We should celebrate when it happens.

I took the stairs

When I’m flaring, the sight of the staircase to my second-floor bedroom makes me cringe. Climbing the stairs is daunting, scary and painful. There are plenty of times when my knees hurt so bad that I climb three steps and crawl the rest of the way. And, I don’t know why, but coming down the stairs is even harder. It could be because it is harder for me to get my footing. Either way, I hate the stairs when I’m in a flare, so if I can conquer 12 steps, that’s a major win for me.

I went to bed after 8 p.m.

Many days, fatigue sets in and I’m totally spent by dinner. I have zero energy left, so if I make it to 8 p.m. and haven’t fallen asleep on the couch, that is a huge accomplishment. Even if I’m not in a flare, fatigue has always plagued me. It’s just the nature of having two autoimmune diseases: psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. To be honest, though, going to bed after 8 p.m. does not always equate to a good night’s rest. There’s always a chance painsomnia will rear its ugly head. Knowing that, I congratulate myself on at least making it to a normal bedtime.

Just as every patient with psoriatic disease is different, so are our lives. So, what are your daily victories? Which accomplishments do you recognize and celebrate?

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