The Physical Support Needed When Living With Psoriatic Arthritis
Learning to live with psoriatic arthritis takes time – and practice. Part of the journey is learning where your physical limits are and what works for you to feel good every day.
If you have been diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis, you may find that dealing with the emotional toll of the disease can be just as difficult as handling its painful and sometimes debilitating physical symptoms.
Understanding physical limits
We wanted to learn more about the changes and adjustments that our community members have used to make everyday life easier. We reached out to followers of our Facebook page and asked you, “What kind of physical support do you need today?”
More than 100 community members responded. Here is what was said:
Taking rest and breaks
With psoriatic arthritis often comes fatigue, which may mean taking time to figure out what works for you. You may need to take more breaks at work or in-between household chores. You may find an earlier bedtime helps. Each person is different. Remember that it is OK to take more rest than you did before diagnosis.
“To take breaks from study and work throughout the day as needed.”
“I need a break from my pain.”
Getting help to move around physically
Several community members shared that what they most need is help getting around physically. That may mean help getting in and out of the car or help with the grocery shopping. Having an extra person for support and stability can be a huge support.
“I need my daughter to drive me, get my walker into the car, and help me bring my oxygen into the doctor’s appointment.”
Even mealtimes might look different after diagnosis. If it is an option, ordering takeout when you are too tired to cook can be a relief. So can buying prepared or mostly prepared meals from the grocery store. Another option is to make meals on a day when you are feeling symptom-free and then freezing portion sizes that work best for you or your family.
“We order from Grubhub and DoorDash a lot.”
Asking for help with cleaning
For many people with psoriatic arthritis, cleaning is one of the biggest challenges. It is very physical work that needs to be done again and again. Over time, most people find they need to compromise and let go of the expectations they had of keeping their house as clean as it was before diagnosis.
Or, sometimes it helps to find cleaning hacks, such as a robot vacuum. It is also worth mentioning that it is ok to ask for help with housework. Friends, family, church members, children, or neighbors may be available to clean.
“He even bought me a robotic vacuum.”
Receiving physical comfort
One big part of living with this diagnosis is that it adds stress and strain to life. It can feel isolating to not know others who understand what you are going through. However, one thing that anyone can offer is a hug. It is OK to ask for more physical comfort from your partner, children, or friends.
Another way to get much-needed physical comfort is to visit a dog park or volunteer at an animal shelter, which can provide endless love and comfort. If you cannot remember the last time you were hugged, it may be something to consider.
“A hug from my husband.”
You may feel overwhelmed as you grapple with the physical symptoms of PsA, but you do not need to go through it alone. There are thousands of other people out there who are going through some of the same challenges as you.
Thank you to everyone who shared what is working for them. We very much appreciate how freely this community offers up support to one another.
Do you have a sleep disorder (eg. insomnia, sleep apnea, RLS) in addition to your PsA?