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Hand holding up flashcards with pictures of terms associated with having psoriatic arthritis

Daily Life Psoriatic Terms for Newbies

When you are diagnosed with a chronic illness like psoriatic arthritis, you probably know that there is a whole other language that you have to learn. I affectionately call it “doctor-speak.” These are all of the medical terms for tests, diagnoses, and treatments that are necessary to have any conversation with your doctor. But within the PsA community, there is a whole other language and set of terms that express life as a psoriatic arthritis patient.

Flarejail

First, we have one of the most frustrating and painful terms, flarejail. Flarejail is, loosely translated, a metaphorical jail, or restricted activity level that you find yourself in when you are in the throes of a flare. Flarejail prohibits admittance to parties, stores, and restaurants. Heck, depending on your “crime” sometimes you can’t even leave your bedroom. You can be stuck in flarejail anywhere from a few hours up to eternity.

Painsomnia

Your head is foggy. Every limb feels like it weighs a thousand tons and scratching your head seems to take the strength of a thousand men. And yet strangely, you can’t sleep. My friend, you have entered the painsomnia dimension. You are tired. Sooooo tired. But sleep eludes you like a flattering haircut on Donald Trump.

Shot fatigue

When I first experienced shot fatigue, I wasn’t exactly sure what it was. I had taken Benadryl with my biologic treatment and spent the next 24 in a total stupor. However, I couldn’t think straight or even barely hold my eyes open.  Even though I attributed it to the Benadryl and thought that was it. Yet, here I sit, years later, minus the Benadryl and still behaving like a zombie that first 24-48 hours after my injections. I’m pretty much totally useless. Now, I’m not sure if this applies to those who do injections weekly. If it does, let me know in the comments below. I currently do mine every 12 weeks so at least I can plan for the dreaded shot fatigue.

Brain fog

This is one of the most common states to be in when you have PsA and I would argue that it could be even more detrimental than Flarejail. You never know what you might forget. Oh, and you think you might want to carry on a semi-normal conversation? Forget it. When brain fog strikes you might as well just throw in the towel and just hope that nobody gets hurt.

I’m good/I’m fine

Both of these are code for, “No, I’m not fine but I don’t want to talk about it because there is no way you can understand, not that you’ll actually listen to my response anyway. But, I appreciate you asking.” Simply put, for the most part, we are never good and we are never really even fine. But for a variety of reasons, this has always historically been our go-to response because well, it’s just easier.

Now, keep in mind, these are just the “101 class” equivalent terms of living with psoriatic arthritis. The longer you live with it, the more extensive your own language will become. Psoriatic arthritis forces us to be able to communicate with others like us. And it demands that we find ways to define what everyday life is like for us. What words would you add to our special little dictionary?

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Psoriatic-Arthritis.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • Wimbersno1
    2 weeks ago

    Jake,
    I’ve been using Taltz for three years. I was part of the clinical trials in 2016 and was able to get it prescribed by my doctor.

  • DebeeC
    4 weeks ago

    Painorama* Like an all encompassing pain affecting nearly every joint in my body!

    I joke that I hurt in places… that I didn’t even know were places.

    Only PsA people truly understand!

  • Randy
    3 weeks ago

    This is a great word! Exactly describes this condition.

  • Ansam
    4 weeks ago

    Odd though it may seem I find curses help, especially when getting up from kneeling; it only works though if you you say it loud and mean it.If you are uncomfortable with curse words, simply replace them with words like ‘sardines’, but above all be imaginative and sincere.

  • Jake moderator
    2 weeks ago

    I doubt you’re alone in finding this helpful, @ansam. It can feel pretty good to verbally express how you’re feeling, especially when it comes to the experience of pain. Maybe I’ll give ‘sardines’ a try!

    – Jake (Psoriatic-Arthritis.com Team Member)

  • Wimbersno1
    4 weeks ago

    My biologic is Taltz. I take it once per month. It actually relieves my pain to the point where I am virtually pain free for about three weeks. I sleep more deeply and no brain fog either.

  • Jake moderator
    2 weeks ago

    Love hearing when those in the PsA community find a treatment that gives them some relief, @wimbersno1. Virtually pain free for three weeks sounds wonderful – especially considering the better sleep and decreased brain fog. How long have you been using Taltz?

    – Jake (Psoriatic-Arthritis.com Team Member)

  • Dkburns331
    4 weeks ago

    Taltz is working for me as well. But when I started taking it every 4 weeks, my symptoms returned. I am now back to taking injection every 2 weeks and it’s helping me to feel better.

  • Jake moderator
    2 weeks ago

    Glad to hear you were able to switch things up to help manage your symptoms, @dkburns331. Sounds like you’ve got a good relationship with your doctor!

    – Jake (Psoriatic-Arthritis.com Team Member)

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