How Support Can Improve Life with Psoriatic Arthritis
Last updated: June 2023
I have lived with chronic psoriasis since the age of 5. I have always felt alone and isolated. These feelings hit their peak when the joint pain developed and my muscles hurt like crazy - a mere 20 years later.
That's right, I was 25 when the joint pain began. Considering to be too young to have arthritis, I didn't receive my official diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis until many years later. I was in my 40's to be more precise.
A diagnosis can change your life
Having been diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis at an older age, I was partly relieved and partly overwhelmed. I had a name for my pain but now a new condition to battle against.
Just as quickly as a diagnosis changed my life - so did one interaction. I'd like to share how I managed these dark feelings - and how one conversation with one individual turned it all around.
Why did PsA have to happen to me?
At the time, I was working on improving my lifestyle. I tried new approaches to my diet and made an effort to stay healthy. Nature had other plans, I guess.
I started feeling intolerable muscular and joint pain - pain that wouldn’t let me leave my bed. I felt tired and drained all the time - it seemed the pain was getting worst each day. I expected that it was PsA, just getting the doctors to agree was another story.
Soon enough, I did not want to leave my bed or home. I lost my social life. Missed my workouts. I found myself just lying in my bed, drowning in my own tears, complaining to God asking why this had to happen to me?
Just like nature has its own ways, a small piece of motivation was when I joined a PsA support group. I was lying in my bed reading every post and procrastinating about my state.
Power in connection
One day a man posted about how happy he was for achieving a new milestone in his work, at an older age. At that very moment, I felt less lonely. I sent him a message with shivering hands.
He was kind enough to respond back immediately and calmed me down. I literally wiped off my tears.
His success story was like a window of a new beginning. I listened to him attentively when he told me that I need to leave my bed and walk around. He shared that doing nothing wasn't going to help. He said that staying mobile is one way to combat this and I had to get out of bed.
He motivated me and the fact that I was able to continue seeing him happily living his life has been a blessing. Our whole interaction was enough for me to wash my face and get back to what I loved doing, being my own person.
One step at a time
Recently, I joined a gym. I've given myself this new hobby to keep myself moving. My gym instructor is understanding and has made my plan accordingly. I feel more in control.
Since I have talked to people who are going through similar conditions, it made me believe that it is manageable and not the end of the world. Just like psoriasis, I will and contoniue to conquer this path too.
This or That
Do you experience enthesitis alongside your PsA?
Has PsA changed how you think about sex and intimacy?
Join the conversation