A Welcome Change in My Psoriatic Arthritis Care
Living with psoriatic arthritis (PsA) and other chronic illnesses can be an arduous journey, filled with ups and downs, trials, and tribulations. One of the most crucial aspects of this journey is the quality of healthcare and support we receive. For many, finding the right healthcare team that truly understands and respects our needs can be a challenge. In my own journey, I recently experienced a remarkable and heartening change within my healthcare system that has made all the difference.
How did my psoriatic arthritis care change?
It's an incredible feeling to be treated with respect, to have your voice heard, and to have your concerns taken seriously. This is precisely what I have been fortunate to experience recently within my healthcare system. For the first time, I'm part of a team working together towards improving my health.
I was prescribed a new medication to address the breakthrough psoriatic arthritis pain in my lower spine and sacrum. This medication was actually prescribed months earlier to bring down swelling from a leg injury, but I had noticed that it also helped reduce inflammation in my spine and sacrum. What was truly refreshing about this experience was that I didn't have to plead for relief. I shared how it helped, and my doctor approved it, ensuring that I have the means to combat inflammation when it flares up.
How have my doctors been treating me?
Furthermore, a significant breakthrough occurred during one of my recent appointments. For the first time in California, a doctor did not cringe or refuse to discuss my use of cannabis as part of my pain management plan. Instead, he inquired about its effectiveness and encouraged me to continue as I have been. This change in attitude towards alternative pain management methods was a breath of fresh air.
This recent change in the way I'm treated by my healthcare providers became unmistakably evident during a visit to the ER for paralyzed intestines and in subsequent appointments. I couldn't believe it myself until my husband pointed out the transformation. He, too, was thrilled that I was finally being treated with respect — a rare occurrence throughout my journey with PsA and other chronic illnesses.
How have these experiences changed my outlook?
Why is this transformation so crucial? It's important because it has completely altered my outlook on seeking medical care. In the past, I often hesitated to schedule appointments or consult doctors for issues I knew were wrong with my health. The constant gaslighting and the feeling of having my pain or symptoms dismissed were emotionally draining. However, today, I look forward to future appointments because it no longer feels like a battle between me and my healthcare providers. We have become a team, working together to improve my health.
How has it improved my quality of life?
Let's be clear: I don't expect to return to the person I was before psoriatic arthritis, fibromyalgia, and endometriosis entered my life. However, I believe that together, we can make my life a little less painful. That, to me, is a significant victory.
I may not know what prompted this change within my healthcare system, but what I do know is that every individual I've encountered within the network this year has been incredibly attentive and proactive. The care I'm receiving now compared to last year is like night and day. With the uncertainty surrounding my intestinal issue, having the support and resources to combat PsA flares is one less thing I have to worry about.
Have you ever experienced a positive shift in your healthcare journey that transformed your perspective on managing your chronic illness?
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