Defeated woman sitting at the bottom of a flight of stairs leading up to an apartment door

Up and Down The Stairs With Psoriatic Arthritis

Last updated: April 2020

For the past month, my stories have been about the new addition to our family, our new granddaughter. Having a new baby brings big changes. I bet you are wondering what that has to do with stairs given the title to this article. Well, here is the deal with the stairs.

The pains that come from climbing stairs

Having psoriatic arthritis is no fun when you have to climb flights of stairs day in and day out several times a day. That's right. My son lives in an apartment on a two-story complex. It is thirteen stairs from the ground to the top and I should know because I counted them.

One of the problems with psoriatic arthritis is my knees do not like climbing those stairs consistently.

When the stairs became the only option

My son likes to say that I have a grandpup as well as a granddaughter now. They have a small dog they rescued from the pound. They named him Zilla. He is housebroken, but that means that he must be taken outside several times a day to take care of his business.

My son works every day and with the new baby at home, his wife is not able to take the dog out. That tasks left up to me. Most days. I did okay. However, by the end of climbing those stairs for the second time, my knees would start to hurt.

Now imagine the pain level of descending and climbing those stairs at least five times a day. Suddenly by the end of the day and given my pain, this cute puppy was not looking so cute.

Fight the flight (of stairs)

I look at my daughter-in-law as being the daughter I never had. We have a great relationship that has only gotten stronger since her mother passed away two years ago. She has shared and told me that she considers me her surrogate mom. How am I suppose to tell them that my knees are hurting too bad so I cannot do the things that need to be done to help her or my son that day?

I have always been the one to push forward no matter what. It is one of the things I find so frustrating about psoriatic arthritis. Your body is being attacked so it lets you know by giving you pain and swelling. That was my daily struggle with the stairs. Pain and swelling in my knees saying no you do not need to climb them today.

Considering steps a problem

After a week of climbing these steps, my knees became extremely swollen. Still, I said nothing. Instead of saying something about it, I accidentally let my daughter read something I was writing. In this letter, I made mention of my legs hurting. Her response was priceless to me.

She said, "Mom, we never considered the steps being a problem for you." My son and daughter, of course, know about my psoriatic arthritis. But the thought of me climbing stairs never became a question of concern. Now, suddenly, with my daughter reading about my knees and how bad they were hurting, it truly put it into perspective for them.

A welcome relief from pain

From that time forward, when the dog needed to go out, my daughter took him. I was to sit and watch my granddaughter. It was a compromise I could deal with. Think about it. A walk with the dog or a chance to spoil that sweet baby. I went with door number two.

From that time forward, my children limited the number of times a day I would have to climb those steps. My knees along with the psoriatic arthritis were grateful for this change. If there was a lesson to learn from this I guess it would be to say something before letting it get to a point of swollen knees and extensive pain.

Let's learn together to speak up so the battle with psoriatic arthritis is a little less.

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy.

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.

Join the conversation

Please read our rules before commenting.

Community Poll

Do you have any questions about PsA?