Are You Newly Diagnosed With Psoriatic Arthritis?
First off, I want you to know that psoriatic arthritis is a chronic illness. Go ahead and read that sentence again. It's chronic and with most chronic conditions, its impact on quality of life is substantial.
A few tips for those starting this new journey...
I went through many years of my life not knowing this fact. While our illness can be controlled with the help of treatment, there is no cure. This doesn’t mean that we can’t manage this disease and live a normal life. Finding new and different ways to cope is just a part of the ride.
Research can help.
Navigating the early stages of this disease can be stressful. I'd like to share some guidelines that may help. Once you are diagnosed, do your research. Don't completely rely on your doctor to find information. The research will help you feel confident and hopeful about what is going on in your body.
Talk it out.
Don’t hide your emotions - honesty can be freeing, especially to our family and friends. Find an online community or support group - validation is out there and connection can make all the difference. When you listen and share with other people who have the same problems as you, it can motivate you.
Accept the fact that you have a disease and be ready to learn how to manage your life. Set short-term goals for yourself. Sit with and find new ways to understand your body to have some control of your mind and health.
To have a normal life you should mentally prepare yourself for the worst that can happen so that you do not panic. Discussions with your doctor can help you face things in a much better way. Having PsA or any kind of illness is not something to be ashamed of.
You should be able to confidently share it with others. It will help them to understand your situation better. For example, if you are inclined to do so, tell your coworkers about it beforehand so that they can handle any such situation efficiently.
Ask for help.
Do not try to handle every situation on your own. You should ask for help whenever you feel helpless or tired. Sometimes all you need is an ear that can hear you. Never feel embarrassed in sharing your problems with your doctor or a loved one.
The main aim of giving any advice is to help you live your life in a better way. I wished someone had shared a little bit of knowledge with me years ago. I could have avoided a lot of tears and struggles.
Let’s move forward.
Mindfulness and staying present can help you put one painful foot in front of the other when you desperately need it. Managing life with a chronic illness is a journey so remember to be kind to yourself along the way. This doesn't define you - it's just a part of your life. With any life, there will be good days and bad days.
Oh, trust me on this one, you can still live a great life with psoriatic arthritis.
Have you ever gotten a second opinion from a different doctor about your PsA?