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An exhausted adult woman lies in a giant bed.

Triple Whammy During Isolation

COVID-19 vaccination first dose. Check.
COVID-19 vaccination second dose. Check.
COVID-19 vaccination third dose (immunocompromised). Check.
COVID-19 booster, scheduled for a date exactly five months from my third dose...

But that wasn’t soon enough. COVID-19 found me.

Managing psoriatic arthritis with COVID-19

My COVID-19 symptoms were not too bad. I felt pretty sick for about three days — fever, chills, body aches, headache, sneezing, and diarrhea — but I never had trouble breathing, and I never reached a level requiring hospitalization. For that, I am genuinely grateful.

And somehow, fortunately, I didn’t give COVID-19 to my husband or the two exchange students living with us. I isolated myself in our basement for ten days. I didn’t want to take any chances in spreading the virus, even though my symptoms were improving within five days.

Unfortunately, COVID-19 was just the start of a domino effect. It’s not surprising since my medication for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis suppresses my immune system.

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Within a day of COVID-19 symptoms, I started getting a pale rash across my chest that wrapped to my back. It was faint, but I knew what was coming my way since I had already had shingles twice before.

My doctor thinks the COVID-19 infection kickstarted another shingles infection. She quickly prescribed antiviral medication to treat the shingles, and I started feeling better within a few days. While I never got a full-blown rash with blisters, I did experience lots of burning and intense pain.

A PsA flare

Like with any other infection, my psoriatic arthritis went into hyperdrive. My back and hips were excruciating, as were my fingers and neck.

I spent most of my COVID-19 days in bed, which just intensified my arthritis due to a lack of exercise and movement.

Chronic dry eye flare

Usually, my chronic dry eye disease takes a back seat to my psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Not this time. It just doesn’t bother me as much as my other primary conditions.

I used artificial tears constantly, and still, it made no difference. It hurt even to open my eyes. I never thought my dry eyes would cause more pain than shingles or my arthritis flare, but it did.


I still don’t know how I avoided it, but I never did a psoriasis flare. I’m very grateful for that because with diarrhea during COVID-19 and having genital psoriasis, that could have been a terrible situation.

This was a silver lining during COVID-19 isolation.


Even after my ten days of isolation, fatigue still had a firm grip on me. I’m not sure if it was the psoriatic arthritis flare or the COVID-19 infection itself, but I could hardly keep my eyes open either way.

This lasted more than a month and was difficult to shake. I’m used to being on the go and staying busy, but my body had other plans: early to bed, late to rise, and even some naps during the day.

Getting back to normal

It took nearly two months to get back to 100% finally. And even now, that’s a debatable number. I had some relapses, but I did make slow progress. My flares are now back under control, and I’m riding a wave of COVID-19 antibodies that make me feel a little invincible – at least in the short term.

Following guidelines, I got my COVID-19 booster once my symptoms were resolved. My COVID-19 symptoms were manageable, but the shingles and disease flares took me down.

I’m hoping to avoid any further COVID-19 infections because I’m unsure what fallout may occur if I get COVID-19 again. And I don’t want to find out.

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.

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