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What Is Next After A Diagnosis of Psoriatic Arthritis?

Many of us know what we have before a formal diagnosis. All the warning signs are there. We almost see it coming. Yet, it can take some of us a long time to decide to get seen by a professional.

Seeing a professional means we must deal with the reality of our situation. It means that we cannot just ignore it and possibly face it a little later. On the flip side, this can be deeply damaging to your health. A proper diagnosis informs us exactly what we are dealing with.

Deciding what to do next after a diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis

It may feel like things have come tumbling down on your head and this is partly because they have. I promise, your world is not ending, it is changing. Things will be different, and you will need time to adjust.

With the right resources and people in your corner, you will learn to manage this just fine. There will be days when it all feels too much and there will be days when you feel stronger. Both of these are okay. You need to feel and process things in a way that makes sense to you.

Take everything step by step.

Go back for a follow up

Going back for a follow-up appointment is a really good idea, it gives you some time to have a little think about it. Make a list, and take it back with on your next appointment. In fact you could have it ready when you go to the first one too.

Things to jot down on the list include all your symptoms, even if you think that they are irrelevant. These things often help form a bigger picture, when all puzzled together. Also, jot down any concerns you have about anything relating to your diagnosis. This includes the side effects of possible treatments.

You have the right to ask anything and everything that is of importance to you. Writing it down can often help you to organize your thoughts and make sure you do not leave without having asked something important.

Build your own community, step by step

Once you have decided on a treatment plan and a way forward, you may find yourself asking what is next?  My suggestion is to reach out to some online communities or local support groups.

Speaking to people who are going through, or have gone through the same, or very similar thing helps. They truly understand what you are going through and are relatable. In my own experience, an online community has often been my saving grace.

Induldge in the creature comforts

Look into some creature comforts for home. Spoil yourself with some ice packs, a good warm blanket, and even an eggs shell mattress topper. This made all the difference to my sleeping. To date, it is still my favorite creature comfort.

Make sure that your room is rigged in a way that works for you. Look into good walking shoes too, these can change the face of your comfort and pain.

Take your diagnosis step by step

You are learning to cope with a lot. Be kind to yourself and be patient with yourself. These things take time and most of us are still figuring it out as we go along. Treatment options change and there are many ways to try and manage this condition moving forward.

Take the time to rest when you need to, be aware of any new symptoms and report them to your doctor. There is nothing wrong with taking the time you need to cope and there is no shame in needing help. Reach out to your loved ones when you need help with something.

This is a new journey, and together we can cross all the obstacles and all the steps that come your way.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Psoriatic-Arthritis.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • Tamkatt
    2 weeks ago

    Assistive devices can be your best friend!!!! I have wheeled walker, seat walker, a grabber stick, a wheeled chair in kitchen, shower chair, elevated toilet seat. Don’t need each of them every day but I have for when I need. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! That’s what has taken the longest for me to get used to. Hubby is great about doing things to help me, like we have groceries delivered, he carries them from door to kitchen, pantry, bathroom. Wherever they go and then I can put away the way I like!
    My next adaptive device is probably going to be a bathtub lift. I can get into the just fine but can’t get out. Soaking in a tub is something I love so having a lift to help me get out will be so wonderful!!!!

  • wtfhappened
    2 weeks ago

    Hi,i wish someone had said this to me long time ago,I’m finding it so hard to come to terms with this life changing condition. It’s taken 18months for me to get a proper diagnosis and now started on treatment. I’ve had some very low times especially as my employer just didn’t believe I was ill, I’m a pharmacy dispenser as soon as I told what the doctor suspected my employer said I might never work again ,i was so upset. I’m single and dont have family near me but my son lives with me and works hard instead of going to uni. I cant look at the future, I did have plans, one day at a time now. I still find it hard to accept this but I’m learning. All tips on care are much appreciated thanks.

  • ClairG moderator author
    2 weeks ago

    @wtfhappened, Thank you so much for stopping by. 18 Months is a very long time to figure out what is going on, and those times can leave us feeling so unsure. You will figure it out one thing at a time, work with your doctor. Hopefully in no time at all, you will have a regiment that works for you and will see you working for many more years. We are here for you along the way, Warm Hugs. – Clair, Author

  • magnolian
    3 weeks ago

    Well said! … I think the best thing someone with a similar condition (RA) said to me at the start of my journey was “Just so you know… this is the hardest part of it… it’s going to get better and better with your treatment” … It brought me so much comfort.

    Also, don’t be afraid/ashamed to use assistive devices. There’s nothing like having a seat in your shower because it hurts so bad to stand, or using a cane to help you balance. I mostly don’t need/use these anymore at my point in my journey… but I still reach for them on my more difficult days.

  • ClairG moderator author
    2 weeks ago

    @magnolian That really is very helpful, knowing that there is a light at the end of a dark time. Not being ashamed to used the things that can make our lives easier, It is gold! So very important. So happy to have you here. – Clair, Author

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