The Impact of the Pandemic on Life With Psoriatic Arthritis
This pandemic has changed everyone’s life in one way or another. Some fought and won their battle with COVID-19, while others lost loved ones to this awful virus. Everyone’s daily lives has been changed overnight, even for those of us with psoriatic arthritis.
Balancing the positive and the negative
While many of us may be accustomed to staying home and avoiding crowds, not everyone was used to having their entire family home 24/7. And some realized how lonely life could feel when not able to gather with friends and family that lived outside of their home.
When the pandemic first hit, I did not think it would have a huge impact on my life. It is not like I was on the go every day before it hit! But I was wrong! Here are a few of the positive and negative effects it has had on my life.
The negative impact
- No access to physical therapy. To keep my pain level from escalating after exercising, my body requires aquatic therapy. Here in southern California, public and gym pools have been closed and will remain so for quite some time.
- I have become fearful. I fear traveling out of state to visit family and friends but also fear that I may never get to see some of them again. I fear getting sick and having to be hospitalized. I fear being around people who take no precautions to protect themselves or others from the virus.
- My anxiety is in overdrive. Not being able to access care through my HMO because my issues are not worthy of an emergency room visit, but also not related to COVID, political unrest, along with friends and family fighting over their point of view has added to my already stressed life.
- Family time. More time with my husband and daughter. With nowhere to go we do more together.
- No social life.I have no plans to cancel!
- Energy saved. I have embraced online shopping and curbside delivery. Although I currently physically visit a grocery store at least once a week, it is only because there is nothing else to do. However, once things begin reopening, I plan to use that energy elsewhere!
Living in a new normal
While waiting for things to begin returning to normal, I am trying my best to deal with all the effects the pandemic has had on my life. I deal with the emotional aspects through prayer and meditation. Physically, I plan on purchasing a therapy pool for a home that I can heat with solar panels and use all year long. It's time to start taking precautions to avoid injuries that would require an emergency room visit.
As for my home life, I am open to embracing more tools and resources that make living with my chronic illnesses easier. As for family, I hope the people who are upset with my not visiting will someday respect my choice.
How has the pandemic affected your life?
How do you plan to recognize PsA Awareness Month?