Pain Makes Patience Short and Days Long
Pain, frustration, anger - all of these impact our ability to be patient with life’s daily struggles. Let’s face it, working around my psoriatic arthritis pain and symptoms often tops the list of struggles every day. There was a time, not that long ago when I would have said that many other things drain my patience like my toddlers or my co-workers. But sadly, that is not the case anymore. In fact, nothing takes a toll on my patience like psoriatic arthritis.
If all my patience is taken up managing my pain, I find myself yelling more. Quick to anger and slow to process simple logic. The people I love most in my life suffer the most when my patience runs short. My words are harsher than I really intend them to be. My responses are clipped and my tone is short.
When time has passed and my mind has caught up with the words spoken in anger and impatience, the guilt sets in. It is not their fault that I’m not as patient as I used to be. It is not their fault that mommy has psoriatic arthritis. I look into their eyes. They know I’m not myself, but that doesn’t make them or me feel any better.
Guilt from PsA anger
I want to crumble under the weight of the guilt. Heaped on top with the continuing pain and fatigue of PsA. Being a parent is hard enough. Being a parent with PsA feels downright impossible today. I apologize but it really doesn’t make either of us feel better. I hug them close and kiss their heads, trying to calm the anger. Whatever they did, or didn’t do, doesn’t warrant such wrath. Besides I’m not angry at them, not really.
I’m angry at myself. Frustrated and mad that today, I let PsA win. I let PsA use up all the good I have inside me. PsA pain burned through all my patience to fight through the unending pain, the unending fatigue. And just mere hours into my day, I’ve hurt the ones I love the most and now must carry the extra burden of guilt.
These are the days I hate the most. I used to think it was the flare days, the extreme pain days. But that is not what I believe anymore. It’s these days that are truly the worst. These days when it is the hardest to be the one thing I’ve wanted to be for my entire life.
The kind Mom.
The patient Mom.
The forgiving Mom.
Parenting with psoriatic arthritis
But when you think about it, I guess that is a great deal of what it comes down to... forgiveness. Yes, my children didn’t pick up their toys. They left legos, cars, and dolls scattered everywhere. They were more interested in doing what they wanted to do than what I told them to do. But I yelled. I pointed angrily with eyes blazing. So when it comes down to it, we were both wrong.
But I’m the grown-up. It is my responsibility to model the traits I’d like to foster in my children. So I must take the first step and say I’m sorry. I have to accept their forgiveness and give my forgiveness in return. Because when it comes down to it, living life with psoriatic arthritis doesn’t just affect me, it affects everyone that loves me too.
If I am going to be able to grow strong relationships with the love and support of family AND live with the pain of PsA, then we both must learn to forgive, especially when psoriatic arthritis pain makes patience short and days long for all of us.
Do you have a sleep disorder (eg. insomnia, sleep apnea, RLS) in addition to your PsA?