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?
Do you usually need to recover from a vacation?