The Pain Boss! The Pain!
Most of my life I have learned to handle pain. I remember at the age of 5, trying to play outside and having to hold on to the side of the house to steady myself. My psoriasis was very thick and scaly. I was 80% covered and didn’t have a clue why. I always thought pain was a part of me and learn to live with it. I remember scratching until I would bleed and the pain feeling so good. I have had psoriasis for over 50 years and psoriatic arthritis for 25.
Getting out of bed can be a struggle
Years later when my psoriatic arthritis would start to flare, I knew this would not be an easy task to bear. My friends and family don’t understand what I go through on a daily basis. They don’t have a clue of my pain or daily struggles. I smile every day and always keep a positive attitude.
There have been days where getting out of bed or walk to do everyday things is a struggle. The pain can last as long as a few hours to a few months. My joints would stiffen up, especially in the mornings and get better throughout the day. The soreness in my neck, lower back, and joints would be unbearable at times.
Can you imagine yourself without psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis? What would it feel like to have clear skin; no flakes; no plaques or not to scratch? Imagine a world of not having to watch what you wear or have someone brush flakes off your shoulder. Wouldn’t this be grand?
I understand what other people are going though who have psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. I can feel their pain. I have learned to accept it and found ways to make my days very comfortable.
Advice for your journey
Walk as much as you can, eat right and follow doctor orders. When you are having a flare, life is not easy. It has got harder and harder over the years to walk, go shopping, dance and even enjoy a day out with the grandkids.
My doctor told me that 30 percent of people who get psoriasis will also get psoriatic arthritis that can cause pain, stiffness and swelling around the joints. You can get it at any time. Your genes are believed to play a major role in this disease.
You should be tested early for psoriatic arthritis. This will help prevent joint damage or other ailments. Seek the help of a dermatologist or rheumatologists and follow the doctor’s orders. Because psoriatic arthritis symptoms can vary among individuals, there is no one specific test for psoriatic arthritis. They will do a detailed medical history and a physical exam.
My advice to anyone would be to eat right and exercise as much as possible. If you are taking medications; take the correct dose; know what you’re taking, research side effects and interactions with other medications. Make sure you have a list of medications to give to the doctor. If you don’t understand something, ask and ask again if you don’t get it.
Remember, we must never give up the fight and love your body. We are not in this journey alone. Let’s help each other be pain-free and be thankful for the pain-free days.
Over the years I have been an active advocate for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, speaking up and out about this disease.
Do you have a sleep disorder (eg. insomnia, sleep apnea, RLS) in addition to your PsA?