Outsmarting Psoriatic Arthritis With A Smart Home
Last updated: May 2021
When people think of pain management, they typically think about medication or physical therapy. But there is so much more.
For as long as I can remember, psoriatic arthritis has complicated life on the homefront. Back, hip, foot, neck, shoulder, and hand pain have all gotten in the way of my ability to complete simple housekeeping tasks.
Managing daily life with PsA
As a stay-at-home mom, my body’s inability to keep up with basic cleaning did more than leave me with a messy home; it shattered my self-worth. As I neared my 20th diagnosis anniversary, I began noticing more and more things that society considers as easy that I would consider an energy sucker.
With my husband’s career becoming more demanding and my chronic illnesses creating more limitations, we began brainstorming ways to keep my pain low while also keeping up with daily tasks. And here is what we came up with...
I haven’t been able to vacuum or mop my home for close to 17 years. I vividly remember explaining to my husband how painful it was to perform either task. What makes this memory unique is that instead of criticizing me for my lack of ability, he took responsibility without complaint. For him, it wasn’t about who was doing what but that I wasn’t experiencing so much pain.
In the past few years, his career has become more demanding. With more of a need to relax during his off-hours, we added a few new gadgets or family members, as I like to refer to them, to take care of some basic needs.
Roberta, our iRobot Vacuum, and Molly, our iRobot Mop, keep our floors clean! But they do more than that. They prevent me from thinking, oh, I can do it, and then triggering a painful flare. Our robots give us more time to enjoy each other.
Look Ma! No Hands!
Before welcoming robotic cleaning tools into our home, my husband outfitted the entire house with voice and app commanded outlets, speakers, and control panels. A voice command or touch of an app can turn on or off every light in the house.
The speakers create an intercom system that can alert family members if I fall or need something while flaring. And my favorite addition has been our smart thermostat.
Knowing which hours my body overheats while sleeping, we set the temperature to adjust to my needs. This gadget alone has put a stop to waking up unnecessarily in the middle of the night.
Techonology will always play a part
Until someone has experienced chronic pain or had a lengthy recovery period from an injury, they will never understand the positive impact these “luxuries” can have on the lives of the chronically ill.
For someone living with chronic pain, these electronic gadgets prevent flares and pain. They give us a little more energy and time to spend with family, friends, work, and even advocating for fellow autoimmune sufferers.
Technology plays a massive role in my pain management plan. From my power wheelchair to my robotic vacuum cleaner, each device allows me to live with less pain.
How does technology fit into your pain management plan?
Do you ever feel burned out from psoriatic arthritis management?
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