Fear the Flare or Forget to Live?
We all have decisions to make. A hundred different decisions a day. Easy ones, hard ones, and ones that can change the entire course of our lives. But one decision plagues me more than any other. Is it worth risking a flare?
Walking the line
Walking the fine line between living my life and avoiding a flare is serious business, and the rules change daily. What I could do perfectly fine one day will send my body spiraling out of control the next. Just when I think I have the rules clearly outlined on what I can and cannot do, the rules change all over again.
What kind of life do I want?
But does the fear of a flare overwhelm me so much that I forget to live? What kind of life is that? When is it better to just get out there and pay the price of pain in order to say, when my time comes to an end, that I really lived my life? Sometimes we can get so caught up in trying to avoid pain, but to what end? To live holed up in our rooms and avoid really living?
There’s always a price
On the other hand, the pain is real. The swollen fingers and toes, the aching joints, the fatigue, show me that yes, I did too much. I risked the pain and came out on the losing end. There are times when that really is a steep price to pay for a few hours of living my life.
What are the risks?
But if I don’t put myself out there. If I don’t risk causing a flare, then I do risk losing myself. I risk missing out precious moments and memories with my family and friends. I run the risk of losing the person I’ve worked so hard to become, a person my family can count on, a person my friends can turn to for support, and someone who is always willing to do for others before myself. If I lose that person, then what’s the point of living anyway?
Risk the flare, live your best life
So each day, we walk the fine line between risking a flare and living our lives. We balance what we need to do to keep ourselves as healthy as possible with what we want to do to hold onto as much of a “normal” life as possible. Sometimes we make the right choices, sometimes we overdo it, sometimes we miss out on living. But either way, I really believe that we always have to remember to live. Even if it means swollen joints, a few days in bed, or having to use assistive devices, always remember to live your best life.
Others usually confuse my psoriatic arthritis with...