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What Are Medical Books Missing When It Comes to Psoriatic Arthritis?

During a recent discussion with someone, I was telling them my history of psoriatic arthritis. It’s the same old tale that most of us have in that it took way too long to get the proper diagnosis.

Once that proper diagnosis was reached, it took forever to find the right doctor to treat it. The same things that all of us have been complaining about forever, right?

After telling my story, I was asked a very serious question: What are the areas that medical books fail to cover when it comes to educating new doctors about psoriatic arthritis?

What information I would include in psoriatic arthritis medical books

While a couple of things came to mind right away, for the rest of it, I had to take several days to think about my response to what I deemed a really important question. Now, I want to share it with you.

The dreaded pain scale

In fact, this one can be tossed out. I really wish I could help write medical books because this would be the first line I would put in them.

If it were up to me, I would tell medical professionals how we live with pain on a daily basis. We have gotten good at forging ahead even when our bodies are screaming at us to stop.

That pain scale that is in existence doesn't even come close to what we deal with. Here's an idea: invent a new pain scale just for PsA sufferers.

Start it out at five, meaning pain I can deal with, and extend it to 15, meaning it's a horrible pain, and I can't function. That might come close to an actual pain scale for us.

No, we are not seeking pills

I would put this in bold print. Stop believing we are coming to you just because we want pain pills.

What we want is a way to function so we can live our lives without being in so much pain. As it is, we already take a lot of medication, or at least I do.

I want to be able to do things like I used to without being laid up in bed for days because I tried to do them. Listen with open ears and try to show compassion for what we are telling you. Maybe then you will be better equipped to provide the best care possible.

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Take the time to get to read our medical history

Before you walk in that door, take a minute or five to read our files. I understand you have a lot of patients to see, but only spending five minutes with us, especially if we have had PsA for a long time, is not proper care.

In all my years, I can only think of one time when the student doctor took the time to read my file. Can you imagine how mind-blown and impressed I was? Because she took the time to read my file, she was able to tell the attending physician the correct answer to a question she asked about medications I had taken. Imagine what it would mean to the care you receive if they all did that.

Learn about psoriatic arthritis

If you are becoming a Rheumatologist, learn about all the different forms of arthritis. It is not easy to jump to the conclusion that it is osteoarthritis.

I have gotten so tired of hearing that when I knew it was something more. I understand there is not a definitive test to tell you it’s psoriatic arthritis, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have it. The earlier we get to the proper diagnosis, the sooner the destruction PsA causes can be eliminated or treated.

Changing the medical narrative

This is what I came up with. Now it’s your turn.

I’m sure you have more that you could add to a medical book if we as patients were able to write one. Add to what I have here or write another section to this book.

I’m sure there is more that I haven’t thought of but immediately came to your mind. List them in the comments below.

Who knows. One day our book might become a reality.

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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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