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Working Full Time at a Job That Doesn’t Pay

Constant pain can make it hard to think straight. Reason and logic are hard to come by when my thoughts are constantly interrupted by pain, fatigue, and brain fog. It takes energy to complete even the simplest tasks. Managing my psoriatic arthritis is like working full time at a job that doesn’t pay.

We grow up thinking that jobs come with payment in one form or another. I did chores at my house, earned an allowance and a roof over my head. I scanned goods at a store and earned a weekly paycheck. But here I sit, working overtime to manage my psoriatic arthritis and what do I earn? A lifetime of pain? Swollen joints? Medical bills piling up left and right?

If I were to take out an ad for my full-time job that doesn’t pay, here is only part of what the job of living with psoriatic arthritis entails:

Being a medicine manager

Keeping track of all the medicine I take, and when I take it is a full-time job in and of itself. Reactions, side effects, and interactions all blend together like branches of a vine climbing higher every day. There is no payout for a job well done. No financial bonus at the end of a productive year. Tracking refills, copays, and flexible spending reimbursements keep my to-do list never-ending and my inbox overflowing. All part of working full time at a job that doesn’t pay.

Check out clerk

With all the changes in insurance, everyone wants me to get my prescription meds filled online instead of the pharmacy. On top of that, I have to find the right heating/cooling pads, supplements, finger splints online for the best price. So I spend hours reading reviews, adding refills to my cart, and trying desperately to find a free shipping coupon code.


Let’s face it. When you live with psoriatic arthritis, there is a very likely chance that you will struggle with anxiety or depression. I know I’ve certainly had a rough time with it. Too often, I find myself trying to be my own therapist. I have to talk myself off the ledge every time I spend too much time with Dr. Google. I somehow manage to convince myself every single time, that I’m headed to certain death.

Insurance ninja

I’ve considered, on more than one occasion, getting a certificate or degree in medical coding and billing. I spend countless hours trying to decipher my “Explanation of Benefits” and bills from the doctor’s office. At least if I had a degree in it, I might have a prayer of figuring out what all of the abbreviations mean.

Information about copay programs, qualifications, and out-of-pocket expenses dance through my vision as my brain tries to figure out what all of it really means. Not to mention double checking everything before I pay it to be sure it was done correctly. Which more often than not, it wasn’t. Don’t even get me started on trying to navigate disability. That is a whole other article, or seven!

All this work and no paycheck to show for it.


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.