Play the Long Game with Psoriatic Arthritis
Last updated: March 2023
Even if you’ve only been in the psoriatic arthritis world for a hot minute, you’ve probably seen the commercials featuring professional golfer, Phil Mickelson.
I know, I know. In many PsA circles, he gets a bit of a bad rap for how “amazing” he looks managing life with psoriatic arthritis. Sure, he probably has a great team of doctors and no problem paying the hefty copays and insurance premiums. However, I do think he might be onto something with this whole driving and putting thing. What do I mean? I’m talking about the classic golf phrase known as: “Playing the long game.”
Psoriatic arthritis impacts everything
The longer I live with psoriatic arthritis, the more I see so many different areas of my life that this condition plays a role. Everything from the complex planning of my daily activities to the simple selections of my snacks.
Psoriatic arthritis seems to factor into and play a role in all the decisions. Need to open a jar? How can I do it with my gimpy hands? Have a birthday party to go to? Where can I find time in the schedule to rest before and after it? You get the idea.
What does it mean to play the long game?
You’ll have to forgive me for a bit while I stumble over a few of the ins and outs of golf to illustrate where I’m going with this. To play the long game in golf is to hit the ball for distance and accuracy. In summary, if you have a good long game, then you hit the ball with great distance and it lands pretty close to where you want it.
This approach focuses on the bigger picture and overall long-term goals of getting where you want to go.
What is the connection to psoriatic arthritis?
The problem with this is that we can get really caught up in the problems, pain, and fatigue of daily life with psoriatic arthritis. Moments of pain and fatigue pile up on each other so much that one day easily blends into the next.
Before you know it, you find yourself swallowed up in all the details of day to day life because we forget that with psoriatic arthritis, we need to play the long game.
What about the short game?
There is nothing “quick” about psoriatic arthritis. It usually takes a long time to get correctly diagnosed. This is then followed by a long process of trial and error as we try and find a medication to slow down the progression of disease activity.
For many of us, it takes months to figure out if a medication is working, and likely several medications to finally find one that does. Our vocabulary doesn’t include words like fast, quickly, or speedy. It feels like our insurance companies drag their feet almost as much as we do getting out of bed in the morning.
Let's play the long game
But because we are attempting to manage daily life with psoriatic arthritis, we tend to get caught up in the details and miss the fact that we need to step back and play the long game.
In order to take steps to protect our mental health with psoriatic arthritis, we need to remember to step back and look at the grand scheme of exactly where we want to go and how we can get there with as much accuracy as possible.
Do you usually need to recover from a vacation?