It’s Not Easy Explaining the Impact of an Invisible Illness

Believe it or not; I used to run track when I was very young. It was not easy explaining to people the pain I was having in my knees. I was diagnosed with psoriatic disease very early in life. Along came the swollen fingers, wrist pain, and flakiness. Overtime, general weariness, and swollen knee joints reared their ugly head in my life.

What has been my experience with depression?

Sadly, over the years, I developed depression when I was younger. I was treated for this, but they never got to the root of my problem. Most people who talked to me only heard what they wanted to. When you’re young and vibrant, but crying on the inside, they just don’t get it. Unfortunately, I was treated differently by my doctors, so the problem persisted.

How has psoriatic arthritis affected my body?

Psoriatic arthritis has had a significant impact on me. Particularly in terms of weariness and discomfort in my wrists and hands. This caused me to feel as if the bones were grinding together. I still to this day, have to occasionally get a shot to relieve the agony.

How has this impacted my life?

It gets worse when I'm stressed out or during the winter months. This slows down my motions and causes most of my activities to stall. I had to use my hands and legs for work, so they needed to work correctly. There were times when my knees and wrists occasionally refuse to move, making it hard to work.

How has the invisibility affected my life?

PsA is difficult to explain to people because people don’t see it. Most of the time when you are in pain, people think I'm faking it. I was accused of trying to avoid doing certain activities. This is never the case, at least not for me.

I've lost a lot of good financial opportunities, missed family gatherings, and lost friends due to my illness. I've also spent a lot of money attempting to treat my disease. Seen multiple doctors and tried several medications with little or no change at times.

How have I been treating my PsA?

Sadly, I've been to the emergency room multiple times due to severe pain and swollen knees. As we all know PsA is unpredictable. You never know when it will strike next. Most of the time you have to manage your routine accordingly.

Over the years I have gone to several rheumatologists and finally found one who believed me. I was introduced to a biologic and started noticing significant improvement. We added in therapy and I was encouraged to begin exercising. This turned out to be beneficial.

How have I made changes to my lifestyle?

I was told to avoid certain foods from my diet, such as dairy and eggs. My doctor thought these foods aggravated my condition. A healthy diet is essential for managing my disease and following my doctor's advice. Twenty-minute short walks twice a day help. This was done in the morning and evening.

I try to manage my stress as much as possible because it is one of the factors that can contribute to PsA. I prioritize quality time with my family and friends and avoid anything that may cause me worry.

Never judge a book by its cover. We are all in this together.

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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.

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