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Playing Jenga: Taking Risks With Each Piece

One of the things I’ve noticed about living with psoriatic arthritis is that no two days are the same. There is a wide variance of factors that can impact how we feel from day to day. Stress, illness, too much activity, too little activity, right medication or wrong, heck, even the weather can all impact how we feel on a daily basis.

Finding the right combination takes time

It has taken me quite a bit of time to even come remotely close to a combination of meds, exercise, dietary changes, and pain management techniques to get the best results possible. I’m on my fourth attempt at prescription medication to slow down the damage. I follow a strict autoimmune diet protocol and have added yoga to my routine on days I can manage it. I’ve even figured out the right dosage schedule for my CBD supplements.

Join me for a game of Jenga

But even with all of this, it feels like I’m playing some crazy game of PsA Jenga. If I remove a piece, I could topple the whole thing. If I put something back in the wrong place, down goes my carefully constructed leaning tower of life. Even knowing this, how unstable my life is, I struggle to maintain my healthiest, consistent routine.

Down comes my tower

I get lazy. I get complacent. I get busy “enjoying” the slivers of time in which everything falls into place, and I can actually focus on living my life instead of spending so much time managing my disease. Then it happens. I slip up and eat inflammatory foods like sugary treats or heaven forbid, delicious bread. Or maybe I go several days without taking my CBD oil or using my PEMF device. Then, WHAM! I am right back where I started, trying to pick up the pieces of my life and rebuild my toppled Jenga tower.

Maintaining a complex routine

Life is funny that way sometimes isn’t it? We WANT to feel better, we often know at least some of what we need to do to feel better. But at the same time, it can be so hard to maintain such a complex routine. It is hard to keep all the pieces of the PsA puzzle in place and manage to have a life at all, outside of simply managing my disease.

Playing Jenga with my life

So what happens? We lose a piece. We drop a block. We slide a block in where it doesn’t quite fit. And down everything comes around us. We are left with questions. What did I forget? What happened? How could I have been too busy living my life to remember to eat right, keep up with medicines and doctor appointments, exercise, and supplements? Knowing how important each piece is, how could I let this happen?

Take a step back

It is at this point that we need to take a step back. Make a choice not to be so hard on ourselves. We only do the best we can do, with what we have to work with. Sure, my tower might be leaning more than it should. It may be missing way too many pieces and it may be ready to topple on top of me at any second. But it’s mine and I’m doing the best I can, with the blocks and pieces I’ve been given.

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.