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Adult with psoriatic arthritis having a tantrum because of frustration about their disease

7 Ways My PsA Turns Me Into a Toddler

When my psoriatic arthritis is active, I often feel like a woman twice my age. I’m stiff and sore and don’t move very well. As crazy as this sounds, lately, I’ve actually felt I have more in common with my nieces and nephews who are toddlers. Check out what I mean:

1. Tantrums

Just like a toddler, I get cranky and frustrated when things don’t go my way. When I’m in a psoriatic arthritis flare, plans often don’t go my way. I have to cut the evening short or I may have to cancel altogether. I hate it! So, I do what any toddler does: I get cranky and throw a fit. Ok, maybe the fit just happens in my head and under my breath, but once in a while I have to let it all out and give a good scream to make myself feel better.

2. Physically challenged

It’s so exciting when a baby takes her first steps. She’ll wobble back and forth to get her footing, all while mom and dad clap and cheer. While I may not have the excited cheering section, psoriatic arthritis does make me stumble, and I give myself a big pat on the back when I make it down the hallway when my hips are on fire. One big difference, though, between and toddler and me: I don’t look nearly as cute as that one-year-old when I fall down.

3. Naps

If you have psoriatic arthritis, chances are you also have fatigue. Who doesn’t need an afternoon nap to feel refreshed? That is, unless you have painsomnia, and you don’t seem to get any sleep at all. Unlike little ones who need sleep and try to fight it, I welcome an hour nap in the afternoon. Sometimes, it is just what the doctor ordered.

4. Eating soft foods

Maybe not so much for toddlers, but while babies are still waiting for their teeth to emerge, soft foods are usually on the menu. When my jaw hurts from psoriatic arthritis, I also reach for the oatmeal and yogurt. Lots of chewing is just too painful with arthritis.

5. Baths

Who doesn’t love a good, long bath when joints and tendons are tender and painful? Count me in! Just like a child taking a bubble bath, I could stay in the tub all night. I’ll just trade a rubber ducky for some soothing music and bath pillow.

6. Refuse to sit still

Kids are always on the run. They never seem to sit still. I might not be able to chase after them, but I do need to keep moving. Sometimes that is the only thing actually makes me feel good. When I’m sitting or standing for too long, my hips and knees stiffen up and the pain starts. For me, it’s better to be proactive and keep moving to avoid the pain that’s sure to come if I sit still.

7. Forget where I put things

Brain fog. It’s a common thing for me, especially when my psoriatic arthritis is active. I’ll walk into a room and forget why I’m there. I’ll actually stand there for five minutes trying to figure it out. Or sometimes, I will go into the kitchen three times before I actual remember to grab my glass of water – the exact reason I went into the kitchen the first time. For me, out of sight, out of mind is a daily occurrence. Toddlers might think it is fun to play peek-a-boo or hide and seek, but I take no joy when I can’t find my phone (talking on it) on my way out the door (where are the keys?) to a place I can’t remember (dentist appointment) where I was supposed to be ten minutes ago. Yes, I can blame multitasking and stress from time to time, but I honestly used to be so good knowing where everything was and what I was doing. Now I feel like my brain is just mush.

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