Woman on a unicycle on a tightrope juggling several balls at once

Juggling Life on a Unicycle

Last updated: December 2022

Managing life with psoriatic arthritis is demanding of both our physical strength and mental resilience. We juggle medication and appointments with test results and questions. Not to mention the hours spent on research and fighting insurance claims.

Whenever I think about the demands of life with PsA, one image comes to mind. I imagine myself riding on a unicycle, thousands of feet in the air while juggling ball after ball on a teeny, tiny tightrope. All the while knowing full well that one little mistake, one slip up and down I would tumble painfully to the ground.

Trying to juggle multiple responsibilities

Holding everything together all at the same time is extremely difficult and rarely do I actually get it right for any length of time. And just when I think that I’ve got that balance figured out, someone or something lobs another ball to juggle, right at my head. Wham! And down I go. Again.

Keeping the balls in the air

This is one of the most difficult parts of trying to hold everything together. Keeping all the balls in the air and running smoothly from hand to hand is nearly impossible most days. If I’m going down, this is the part that gets me every time.

In my experience, I feel my “best” when I balance prescription medications, gentle yoga, select supplements, and watching what I eat.
In order to keep all these balls in the air, I have to make sure to stay on top of all my appointments, my supplement orders, and that which takes the most effort and brainpower - managing my insurance claims.

If you take your eye off the flying balls for a second, they will plummet down and nail you on the head and you will have a bruise for like, the rest of your life.

Stay moving with psoriatic arthritis

Everyone knows that in order to stay upright on a tightrope, you have to keep moving. And sadly, it is often the same way with PsA.

If you can actually get your body to get moving, then you have to stay moving because if you sit for more than 5 minutes, you will never get up again. (Unless of course, you want to pay homage to the Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz.) If you keep moving, no matter how painful it seems, then in my experience, you are much more likely to stay upright on the tightrope of PsA life.

Find your balance with psoriatic arthritis

I’ll admit it, I have terrible balance issues anyway. I tend to have a great deal of inner ear inflammation which, coupled with my apparent inability to actually pick up my feet, tends to land me on the ground more often than not.

But given my likelihood of losing my balance, it makes holding everything together all the more difficult. One little trip, slip-up, or stumble and I’m out of commission for days, sometimes even weeks.

Losing your balance with psoriatic arthritis is a big deal. And something that certainly should never be taken lightly because it can lead to pretty heavy-duty injuries.

Juggling life on a unicycle is no easy task. All we can do is the best we can do, and give ourselves a little grace for everything else. Please know that I’m sending all of my fellow jugglers some gentle hugs and thinking of you always.

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