Bring Me To My Knees

I consider myself to be a strong person. I have lived through some tough things in life like we all do. I come from a line of very strong women and it has always served me well. My no has always meaned no and there is hardly ever a way around that. I have endured pain, coming out the other end much stronger.

Through all these moments in my life when physical and emotional trauma has almost proved too much for me, I have found my way through it. That said, nothing prepared me for psoriatic arthritis and the challenges it brings.

It started with pain and a misdiagnosis

I was diagnosed with psoriasis a few years prior. I came to the point of accepting and working through this aspect of my life. One morning, I woke up and I could not get out of my bed. Never before had I felt a pain like this. My butt hurt! I mean like really hurt. Walking, sitting, lying, none of it was an option so I chose the lesser of the evils and stood with my one leg on tippy toes.

I got carried down the stairs at my apartment and off to the chiropractor we went to, the best in town. He clicked, he clacked and he suggested some pain medication. I was sent me home with the diagnoses of a pinched sciatica nerve.

Now I don’t know if you have ever had this, my gosh, it was short of crippling. In the next few years, the pain came and went, changed locations and more symptoms started showing. More sore joints, pitted nails, swelling and pain came in large numbers. I struck through most it and took over the counter medication to help with it all.

A visit to another doctor

We've read plenty of stories about people saying they go to their doctor feeling like complete death and the doctor will completely dismiss their pain. I couldn’t anymore, the day to day pain was crazy. I went to my doctor and said: "I can’t anymore, I am taking way too much medication just to get through the day and to be able to function on a normal level."

We sat, made a list of all my current symptoms. He said: "I am almost certain this is psoriatic arthritis, however, let’s do a few more tests to confirm." We did. The results came back. A perfect bill of health. I am not sure who was more shocked, my doctor or I. It is the most frustrating thing in the world. I mean I went there to get an answer and all I got was a not-answer.

When more pain leads to diagnosis

My dear doctor, he is one of the kindest people I know. I am pretty stubborn. He is patient, just works with it, and does what he can for me. Winter comes and the pain comes. My joints and the cartilage in and around them gets inflamed. My PsA is only mild. I know that there are people whose pain is immeasurable on a daily basis.

There are things that I cannot do anymore that I used to be able to do. I find that so hard, being an independent woman and all that. I am on stronger medicine now that helps me sleep at night. Nights are the worst. When I am too sore to lie down, I get up, make some tea, and read my book. Warm bean bags and lots of gentle caring for myself goes a long way when used in conjunction with some medications and supplements.

Coping through the pain

This is hard to deal with. I will not lie. The pain mentally, and physically has brought me to my knees many times. I find myself on my knees in anguish. Other days in pure gratefulness that it passes and I am humbled that every day is not the worst day.

I am grateful that I have more good days than bad days. I know that it will probably get worse as I get older, I am okay with that for now. When days are good, do what you can, when days are bad, rest.

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