Psoriatic Arthritis Make Me Feel Both Older And Younger Than I Am
Do you feel your age? For example, I am 52, yet there are days when psoriatic arthritis makes me feel like I am 99 or 29.
Before my psoriatic arthritis began presenting itself, I never felt any older or younger than I was. When I was 25, I felt like I was 25. Everything changed after my 30th birthday. That is when one after another, all of my chronic illnesses began torturing my body.
Psoriatic arthritis has changed me in so many ways
After my 30th birthday, I never felt what I expected to feel like during my 30s,40s, and now 50s. Psoriatic arthritis has changed me in so many ways. Too many to talk about in one post. With that said, I have pinpointed a few reasons that you might recognize in your own chronic life.
Reasons for feeling older
The great slow down. My number one reason for feeling older is that psoriatic arthritis has slowed me down. I walk, eat, talk, and think slower than I did before PsA. It was one of the first things I recognized just months into my diagnosis at 33. It didn’t help that when I decided to walk at the mall in the mornings, people who were 2 or 3 times my age were running laps around me. Brain fog humiliated me by stealing my words and thoughts.
My need for mobility aids. Needing extra support to get around makes me feel so much older than I am. Purchasing my first mobility aid at the age of 35 was heartbreaking. Having people tell me that I was too young for one didn’t help.
Home or hospital? My third reason for feeling older than I am is all of the accessible home modifications my husband and I have made to our home. For example, our master bathroom is beginning to look more like one you’d find in a hospital room. I have a bath chair and plan to install bars in the tub and around the toilet very soon.
Extra sleep. Last but not least, my body demands naps! Like my use of cannabis for pain relief, my need for naps is medicinal, not recreational.
How does PsA makes me feel younger?
You might think that feeling younger is a good thing. But as you will quickly see, it just might be worse than feeling older. I spent most of my 30s in and out of hospitals. Complications from a botched hysterectomy that was supposed to end my issues with endometriosis created unbearable pain. I spent four years bouncing between emergency rooms, surgical consultations, and surgeries.
Where to spend my energy.For example, did I really need to go grocery shopping, or could I spend a day doing something with my family? Since I can remember, I have always recalled different times in my life by events. Like a vacation, family reunion, and life celebrations. The number of events that I could attend began dwindling.
Losing time. It hit me after my final surgery in 2008 just how much time I had lost from pain. Psoriatic arthritis and fibromyalgia must have felt put out during my 30s because their flares raged as I entered my 40s. I would spend days and weeks waiting for the flare to subside.
I may have been alive for 52 years, but I have not lived them. It’s your turn. Do you feel your age?
Do you regularly track your psoriatic arthritis symptoms?