Feeling Better Doesn’t Mean I Have Been Cured
Now that my pain from psoriatic arthritis, psoriasis, and fibromyalgia is so well managed, I am doing more than I have ever done throughout my chronic life. In fact I am more active than I was during the years before my first diagnosis. While I am thrilled to be so active, my activities have created the illusion that I have been cured.
There is no cure
Not one of my chronic illnesses is curable. They will be with me until the day I die. All doctors and patients can do while we wait for a cure to be discovered is to treat and combat our symptoms. Yes, our diseases can be managed well, but there is no “one size fits all” treatment. What helps one person may not help another.
Looks are deceiving
Just because I no longer need my wheelchair, it doesn’t mean that I don’t experience any pain from walking all day at Disneyland. Instead, the pain I experience isn’t as bad as it used to be. Don’t get me wrong, living with less pain is a dream come true, but the way I get through each day remains the same. I still have to be aware of my limits, listen to my body, rest when my body demands it, and I have to be conscience of how every inch of my body is feeling 24/7.
Diet and exercise are major players in my pain management plan, but not everybody recognizes that. Instead they assume that I eat the way I do to lose weight. While I am happy to be losing weight, the real reason I follow the diet that I do is because it doesn’t increase my pain level or trigger flares. Same goes for exercising daily. Working out is not a hobby, it reduces my pain and strengthens my body. The pain I experience if I don’t exercise is not worth taking a day off. Friends and family aren’t the only ones who struggle to understand this, many of our fellow chronic illness warriors do too. When they see someone doing better than them, they assume that the other person didn’t really have the same disease. The truth is we are fighting the same battle, just differently.