Telling My PsA Story, My Way
It all started when I was 5 years old. My whole body was covered with flakes. I was scaly. I had itchy spots that were alarming and uncomfortable. When I became a teenager, all my insecurities kicked in. I never went to parties or other events where I could wear long shirts and pants. Owing to the flares and the skin which could not let me wear gorgeous dresses like those of my friends.
I have lived with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis for over 50 years. It took me years to accept that I had an incurable illness.
PsA has held me back
When my sister was getting married, she asked me to be her maid of honor. Unfortunately, I had to turn the request down due to the dress choice. I just know that people look at my exposed psoriasis skin and I could just hear the other bridesmaids gossip behind my back. I couldn’t do this to my sister. Turning my sister down made me feel guilty for years.
My high school experience was the worst. I really wanted to join the cheering squad, but I was denied the chance because of my skin. I wanted to do many things in school, but my low self-esteem couldn’t allow me to even try out for certain events.
Partnered with physical symptoms there has been anxiety, dread, and low self-esteem. Psoriatic disease has often denied me many chances, and therefore I did not accomplish as much as I wanted to do.
The impact of a diagnosis
I started suffering from joint problems, exhaustion and found myself rigidity at the age of 25. I was pregnant at the time so many of my doctors said this was why I was such symptoms. It took me another 25 years to get the proper diagnosis for psoriatic arthritis.
I’ve had nails that were breaking, hair breaking, painful joints, and long tiring days. The term psoriatic arthritis was new to me. No doctor had ever mentioned this to me. But I’m lucky I have my husband who loves me and my two kids that I adore the most. The bad news is that I can’t give it all to them because of the condition.
Finding ways to feel positive
When I looked back over my life, I feel bad that there were times I had failed to take my children swimming or for a walk in the park because I’m wasn’t able to get out of my bed. It was all due to the silent assassin of PsA that comes with extreme pain, fatigue, and general soreness.
Generally, this disease really impacts my day and slows me down. I have discovered some strategies that work for me as I manage my life with this condition. I make sure I have enough sleep, do gentle stretches including yoga, and go for long walks. These things allow me to feel a positive difference in my body.
Do you regularly track your psoriatic arthritis symptoms?