Do You Ever Think of Your Psoriatic Arthritis as a Flat Tire?
A week ago I took a trip to meet a friend. To get to where she lived, it was a two-hour drive to get there. I was so happy to be making this trip. I was looking forward to getting away. It had been busy the last month and driving, listening to music always puts me in a relaxed mood.
Forty-five minutes into the trip everything was going fine until it wasn’t. I hear a pop and proceed to see bits of my tire go flying.
Gathering the strength & tools
Luckily the tire stayed inflated. It turns out that it was the top layer of the tire so I was able to make it to the side of the road safely. After I took a few minutes to compose myself, I started taking out the tools I would need to change the tire.
Yes, I know how to change a tire. I had a grandfather that believed in teaching his daughters and granddaughters how to change a tire. Over the years I have been very grateful for that knowledge. Once I got all the tools together I started doing what I needed to do to change the tire. It really took a lot of effort on my part to get the lugs loose.
When the heat meets fatigue
All I could think about was getting that tire changed so I could be back on my way. What was not on my mind was the heat. Living in Louisiana during the summer is living through sweltering heat. That day was no different. It was 95 with a heat index making it feel like 105. Trying to get those lugs loose, I was pouring sweat.
Boy, you wanna talk about my back hurting. My psoriatic arthritis pain is primarily located in my lower back so I was truly in some pain. What I was not expecting was the fatigue from the heat and the unplanned activity. Fatigue is something I battle all the time anyway with PsA. It was so bad that I had to sit down in the truck.
Why not call roadside assistance? I did. I was in such a remote location, no assistance was available. No one was willing to come, just to change a tire. There had to be at least two hundred cars that had passed me and kept right on going. A sign of the times I guess.
Connecting my psoriatic symptoms
All I could do was to call my husband to come and get me. It took him all of ten minutes, I swear, to change that tire. After all that time of sitting in the truck, in the heat, I had no energy. I was completely spent. While my husband started following in the truck behind me, my mind starts racing. The strangest thought came to me: my psoriatic arthritis is just like a flat tire.
Think about it. Over time we lose layers of ourselves like that top layer of that tire. When the layers come off we hit the fatigue layer. If we keep going, eventually we are flat. No air left to get anywhere. What about roadside assistance? Isn’t that support or assistance what we need from our family and friends when it’s really bad? A lot of times we come to find there is no assistance.
It took me days to recover from that experience. I wonder how many flat tires anyone else has experienced with psoriatic arthritis. It’s crazy how life experiences bring to mind how our psoriatic arthritis is in comparison to the situation.
Will you help others by taking our Psoriatic Arthritis In America survey?