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You Are So Lucky

Although I didn’t receive my first diagnosis until 2001, I have been dealing with chronic pain from psoriatic arthritis, psoriasis, degenerative disc disease, and fibromyalgia since 1999.

Throughout the past 20 years, I thought I had heard every awful remark that could be made. Comments like “You don’t look sick” and “I wish I could be pushed around in a wheelchair”.

Since drastically reducing the amount of chronic pain I experience on a daily basis over the course of 7 years and with the largest reduction taking place in the past two, a new comment has cropped up. And this one makes my blood boil.

What does luck have to do with psoriatic arthritis pain?

In the past two years, I have been told that I am lucky to be doing so well. To put it into context, it is never said with good intentions like by referring to being lucky to have been chosen to try a treatment or that the treatment was successful. Instead, it is stated in a manner that insinuates that I have no clue what it is to live with debilitating pain. Here is an example “You are lucky to be doing so well. Most of us experience paralyzing pain and can’t enjoy life like you.” Or “I wish I was lucky enough to live with less pain.”

These statements confuse me. I didn’t win a chronic pain level lottery! Nor did I go to bed in pain one night and wake up pain-free the next. Luck has nothing to do with my decreased pain level.

Pain management takes work

I worked hard and diligently to achieve a lower level of pain. I didn’t go from not being able to walk, sit, or stand for more than five minutes to where I am today by doing nothing.

I work even harder at maintaining a lower level of pain. To be told I am lucky dismisses the effort that I put into caring for my body and illnesses. I study, listen to, and follow the demands of my body. Every day is spent thinking about what I am putting into it. I modify or replace activities that trigger pain so that I can do more.

Not a day goes by when I am not addressing a pain source before it escalates. It took years to learn exactly where those pain sources were located! To be told I am lucky makes it sound like I don’t put any effort into my health. My chronic pain didn’t just decide to not flare while dealing with injuries from a car accident, a fall, and multiple broken ribs in the past year. That was the result of how I address my pain, not dumb luck.

Psoriatic arthritis pain does not discriminate

Calling someone’s hard work luck is insulting. Imagine if I told my son that he was lucky to have a successful business. That would dismiss all the blood, sweat, tears, and sleepless nights that he put into creating and growing his company.

Calling someone lucky is almost as bad as saying, “At least you don’t have cancer”. Both comments dismiss the severity and complexity of what it is like to live with psoriatic arthritis.

No matter where your pain level falls, know that I have been at every level of the pain scale and I understand how much effort goes into getting through each day. Just like I would never say “Sucks to be you” to someone who is experiencing the worst pain known to man. I would never tell someone they are lucky if their pain is well managed or in remission. Instead, I would ask what they did to achieve it!

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.


  • Acceptance
    2 months ago

    Hi Cynthia,
    Well said! I too have been “at every level of the pain scale”!!! I have also reduced my pain levels through hard work by listening, adjusting and caring for my body! As you said it is an ongoing process. I applaud your efforts and think you are amazing for coming so far! We all are!! ❤️

  • Noel.martin
    2 months ago

    HI Acceptance… wow..I love your positivity! Thank you so much for being a member of our community and sharing your are amazing as well! Best, Noel Team

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