My Psoriatic Arthritis Story

My Psoriatic Arthritis Story

So many people have told me over the years that I don’t look sick. I say, I know, but it takes a lot of work to look this well every day and it’s very challenging. I've had psoriatic arthritis for over 25 years now. What does psoriatic arthritis look like?

I remember 25 years ago when I didn’t have this disease. One day my life was pain-free, except for the psoriasis, and then out of nowhere my body felt physically broken.

The pain is the worst

The pain is the worst part for me now. It has begun to be a daily struggle. My symptoms have been achy joints to swelling and joints with inflammation. Sometimes this pain can last 24 hours a day or more.

I feel like some kind of deformities have set in my body. My fingers and toes are swelling. I’m having foot pain and stiffness in the joints.

My body is so riddled with pain. My biggest fear is that one day I will be confined to a wheelchair. The sad thing is that I was misdiagnosed for years and a lot of this could have been avoided.  Each day I’m finding it harder and harder to function on a daily basis with my psoriatic arthritis.  Anyone living with this disease knows that you can have your good days and your bad days. There are days when my disease is in control. I feel absolutely hopeless.

I have met numerous people over the years who are in a debilitating state because of their psoriatic arthritis. I don't take anything for granted; just the mere fact I am able to get around, makes me very grateful. There are some mornings when I have to hold on to something to get around.

Today I move a little slower

Sadness has become a reality to me. There are days I feel helpless and feel there is no hope in sight. I'd like to say that one day we will find a cure for this disease. Those of us with psoriatic arthritis don't have to walk around feeling that our whole life will be a pain. I have to tell myself that this is not my fault, stop being hard on yourself.

Today I move a little slower, but trust me I will never give up the fight. There are moments when I can be my own worst enemy. I ask myself what could I have done differently; why didn’t you be persistent and find a doctor 25 years ago? Could this have been avoided? Will my bones be deformed?

I feel like I have been dealt a double whammy with having psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. It’s hard enough to cope with one, but to deal with both takes a very special person.

These are some things I do to help me cope. Get plenty of rest and eat healthy. Try swimming and walking to help ease some of your pain. Drink plenty of water.

It’s important to join a support group or talk to a counselor. This will give you more possible sources so that you won’t feel alone and be down on yourself.  I have found that support groups will help you communicate better, but you are also surrounding yourself with people who want to help you and heal themselves.

I hope that telling my story today will speak volumes to the community out there and let them know we will not let psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis break us. We will never be helpless in this journey.

Over the years I have been an active advocate for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, speaking up and out about this disease.

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