Woman carrying an egg across a landscape with many smashed eggs representing her mistakes behind her

Learning from the Pain

I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis when I was 23 years old. It was quite the shock and the time I was suffering from recurrent pinched sciatica nerve. Pain like nothing I had ever known before, I recall needing to be carried down the stairs from my studio apartment.

As I could put no pressure on my one leg, the pain was incredulous. Being young and relatively fit, albeit a little round this was very hard for me to deal with.

The journey to (avoiding) diagnosis

My cousin referred me to her chiropractor, as I was not yet diagnosed. This seemed like the logical step to sort out what I thought was back pain.

Two sessions and possibly 500 questions later, a few tests, and a solemn look on his face. My doctor handed down my diagnosis and referred me to a rheumatologist. What next?

The fear of more pain

I will be honest, I did not go to the rheumatologist at first, as I was confident in this doctor's diagnosis and possibly I was too afraid to go. It was a scary time. Being diagnosed with something that is degenerative and chronic is hard on the heart and mind.

I started taking better care of myself, eating better, moving more carefully. Figuring out that there were certain movements that hurt more than others was a great help. There were things that I could no longer do, and my twenty-something brain did not want to understand that.

The impact of being careless

The sciatica pain became a recurrent issue and believe it or not I learned to live with it. I took NSAID drugs and carried on with life. Choosing to ignore the possible severity of what was going on in my body. Admittedly this was not my brightest moment or idea.

Hindsight, always being 20/20, I should have taken it more seriously, there could be excuses if I looked hard enough. Not as much was known about the disease in my country as there is now. The list can go on, the bottom line is though that I was careless. When I had my daughter something shifted in my body and the chronic sciatica pain let up. The relief there are no words to express how wonderful it was to be out of constant pain.

Increase in pain, increase in years

This year that same little girl is turning 5. How time flies by, and this year is the first year that I can feel how badly my body hurts. Chronic costochondritis has me just short of losing my mind. It started earlier this year, add the stiff toes and fingers, no walk in the park I tell you.

Feeling it more in winter than in summer. Certainly, it is worse than what it was years before, painkillers are not as effective and movement is restricted. I made it through winter on prayer and some luck, knowing that when summer comes my relief does too. Summer is here and my pain is worse than ever. It radiates I swear, this year would have to top the charts as one of my most painful.

Lessons learned

I will be seeing a rheumatologist soon, I have learned from my mistakes and will not be postponing this as I did before. Maybe it is because I feel the severity of the pain so much more.

Maybe it is the wisdom that comes from now being 30 something and having a few grey hairs. Unsure of where it comes from, I know that it is time to step up how I am treating my joints and my body.

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy. We never sell or share your email address.

More on this topic

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.

Join the conversation

or create an account to comment.