How My Power Wheelchair Makes Living with Psoriatic Arthritis Less Painful
With the health setbacks, I have experienced over the past two years and no hope of them improving in the near future, purchasing a power wheelchair became a priority.
Self-sufficiency has been one of my top goals since my psoriatic arthritis diagnosis 19 years ago. Unfortunately, there have been many times when I would not have been able to leave the house without a family member or friend to push my wheelchair.
What are the benefits of a power wheelchair?
Between 2017 and 2018, I was reminded of how good it felt to be independent. During that time, all my chronic illnesses were responding to treatment. My body was allowing me to go out with just a rollator and often without a mobility aid at all. But like all good things, my reign of independence came to an end in 2019.
Going back to being dependent on not just a wheelchair, but my family to push me was a big blow. After a year of relying on others, I became depressed and dreaded leaving the house. It was then that my husband and I began discussing my need for a power wheelchair.
While I knew it would restore my independence, I did not realize just how much pain could be avoided by using one! Here are a few ways that my power wheelchair makes my life with psoriatic arthritis and a handful of other health issues less painful.
In the months prior to getting my power wheelchair, I experienced increased fatigue levels. My body was exhausted. Between PsA, fibromyalgia flares, and my undiagnosed abdominal pain, a trip to the grocery store would wipe me out for days.
There were times when I felt like I was going to pass out after just a few minutes of shopping. Abdominal pain prevented me from using the mobility carts provided by the stores because I was unable to bend forward to reach the handles.
With my power wheelchair, shopping is fun again! I can sit comfortably and shop without causing additional stress to my body. The best part is the money we save because I am back to hunting down the best deals instead of grabbing the most convenient and usually expensive items.
Save the knees!
Prior to the pandemic, I tore the meniscus in my right knee. Right after it began, I tore the left one. With southern California hospitals currently overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients and my abdominal pain needing to be addressed first, it is going to be a long time until my knees can be fixed.
In the meantime, my power wheelchair allows me to go out and enjoy life without causing more damage to my knees.
Head to toe happiness
Something I did not expect from my power chair was comfort! My wheelchair may have kept me moving, but it was not comfortable. I felt every bump and would end the day with my hips and tailbone hurting.
With my power wheelchair, it is like riding in a car. The no-flat tires provide a car-like ride. It feels like I am bouncing over bumps. Speaking of bumps, my hips, tailbone, and spine are not jarred by them. When out with my power chair, I no longer feel worse when I end my outing.
Do you have a sleep disorder (eg. insomnia, sleep apnea, RLS) in addition to your PsA?