Mornings with Psoriatic Arthritis
Alright y’all, let’s talk about mornings. How long it takes me to get “moving” is often used by my doctor as a means of evaluating the efficacy of my medications. Does it take 45 minutes or 2 hours?
With the combination of pain and stiffness, the morning is when I struggle the most to put a smile on my face. I used to think that it was the evenings when I was the most exhausted, but after a pretty rough run of mornings, I’m now officially convinced that mornings with psoriatic arthritis are the worst!
The morning struggle with psoriatic arthritis
Yes, I’ve developed strategies to try and get myself out of bed in the morning. Even waking up with a grateful heart and a semi-functioning body. But that simply isn’t possible every single day. Try as we might, there are just some days when our bodies just don’t want to move, no matter what type of bribery or cajoling we try to do.
When I wake up in the morning, it is difficult to guess where my mind will notify me of pain first. Oh, will it be my back? My hands? My feet? Oh, let’s just go crazy and throw my knees in the mix today, what the heck.
Surprise! It’s actually everywhere! Some mornings, the pain with every step is blinding, as in literally, seeing white spots, blinding.
The stiffness of psoriatic arthritis
Morning stiffness is so very difficult to describe. If I were to try and explain it, I’d start with the idea of a rubber band. However, It isn’t as simple as trying to stretch a vegetable rubber band to fit around, oh, say an elephant. Nope, that would be too easy.
The stiffness is more like when you locate a long lost, years-old, ancient, rubber band in the back of a drawer. Then you take that brittle, poor excuse for a rubber band and try and stretch it around all your medicine bottles without breaking it. That’s the stiffness. That is what my body feels like from the moment I open my eyes in the morning.
Fighting morning fatigue
No one will understand (and even I struggle understanding it myself) how a person can sleep for 8 or more hours and still feel the ever-present level of fatigue. It is the fatigue that feels like a 1,000-pound weight is pressing down on my body making it a monumental task to simply lift my arm.
But in the morning, when I’m lying in my bed talking myself into sitting up is when the mental effects of the ever-present fatigue are at the worst. Because there is no “logical” excuse or reason for me to be tired. At least at the end of the long days, fatigue can be “understandable.”
It’s the morning brain fog
Yep. Even when I just open my eyes I can’t really think straight. There is no such thing as waking up “refreshed” and “ready to take on the day” in the mornings with psoriatic arthritis. Brain fog is bad. Yes. But morning brain fog is a whole other beast. Am I the only one to notice this? Am I the only one who can categorize their brain fog?
Let's hear about your mornings with psoriatic arthritis
So what about you? What are your mornings with psoriatic arthritis like? How long does it take you to convince your body to get out of bed and moving? Is there a part that is worse for you- the pain, stiffness, fatigue, or brain fog?
Can you exercise with your PsA symptoms?