Learning to Help Myself

There are so many devices, treatments, and products designed to help make living with psoriatic arthritis a little easier. Judging when we need to use the different aids can be very difficult. It is often compounded with the emotional complications of the decision. For a while, I avoided using various things because to me, it felt like admitting defeat. Like I had lost some secret battle with my body by intentionally making my life easier.

First the can opener

I have a traditional hand crank can opener-total old school style. I’ve had it for years. When I started having pain in my hands, I started to dread the simple chore of opening a can. If my kids wanted spaghetti o’s, I’d talk them into hot dogs or pb&j. I’m not even sure that I consciously did it, rather it was just another small part of my life that I automatically cut out because of the pain of psoriatic arthritis. When really, I should have simply purchased an automatic can opener and been done with it.

Then the broom

I have hardwood floors in my kitchen and hallway. I spend an hour with a broom cleaning them, sending my hands and wrists into a flare, then literally 3 seconds later it looks like I never touched them. Not only is it defeating, it makes me wonder why I even used up my precious energy on them to begin with. So, then what? I can’t let them gather dust, dirt, and grime endlessly. Lo and behold, we were out of town visiting relatives and I ran into the same problem. My children had breakfast, then the floor looked like I had literally dumped the whole box right on the floor. I went to find the broom to clean up the mess, but I didn’t find a broom.

What I did find was a super light-weight, swivel head, pivoting hardwood floor sweeper. This thing was like a dream. I turned it on, effortlessly sucked up the crumbs and went on with my day. I was shocked! The chore took mere minutes and used hardly any energy. It had made such a difference. Why had I made excuses to just carry on with my old broom and dustpan? Needless to say, I hopped online the next day and had one of my very own delivered. I know it seems like something small, but again, this simple thing has made a difference every single day since. It is so much easier my kiddos can even do it and they are still young enough that cleaning is still fun for them. I call that win-win!

Why does it even matter?

So is this whole thing really about using can openers and light-weight vacuums? No. Am I telling you to go out and buy and new can opener or vacuum? Nope, not at all. I’m telling you to look at your life, examine the hardest parts of it. What are you avoiding because of PsA? Why aren’t you doing all you can to make you life easier? Is it like me, are you having trouble feeling like it is like admitting defeat? Do you feel like a failure simply because you need help, in whatever form that may take? There is something bigger going on here. I find that I tend to do this a lot- instead of using the things that are designed to make my life easier, I don’t “give in” and use them.

Ask yourself:

What is keeping me from making the best of my life with psoriatic arthritis?

What are some things that I avoid, everyday, that could be easier?

What steps can I take to ensure that I protect my physical and emotional health?

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Psoriatic-Arthritis.com 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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