Insufficient Funds: Psoriatic Arthritis Life Struggles
I often imagine checking my body’s energy level like I would my bank balance. After pressing a few buttons and answering a few questions, my body would spit out a receipt showing me its energy balance.
Unfortunately, there hasn’t been much need for checking my energy balance. Like a bank, it has been sending me insufficient funds notices.
What is my body trying to tell me?
Insufficient funds notices from my body are not much different than one from a bank. There are no funds to use towards my daily needs. However, the difference is that I can earn, borrow, or be gifted money to deposit into my bank account. The same can not be said for a psoriatic arthritis deficit.
Here are a few examples of PsA negative balances.
Running on empty
Energy is a hot commodity for those of us with psoriatic arthritis. There never seems to be enough. And when we are gifted with a decent amount of energy, it is still never enough to fully catch up on everything.
While it would be amazing, I cannot borrow or be gifted energy. Instead, I have to wait until my body produces enough for me to do something. I am forced to rest when my energy funds are depleted. It takes time and attention to symptom care to achieve a positive balance.
A lack of relief
There always seems to be a lack of relief, especially for people like myself who have been diagnosed with multiple chronic illnesses.
It never fails. When I find something that helps one condition, another stops responding to its treatment. And so on. Sometimes my body just decides it no longer wants to respond to treatment, and other times, the hope of relief from another is out of financial reach.
Running out of Time
Before becoming chronically ill, I never imagined living a life where I had to choose between work, errands, housework, family time, and socializing. Yet here I am, faced with the dilemma of choosing what will get done each day.
That is if my body decides to give me a choice. Sometimes it decides that nothing will get done whether I like it or not.
Drained, drained, drained
Meeting a friend for a cup of coffee used to feel like a relaxing break from the hustle and bustle of life. Not anymore. That type of outing is just as if not more exhausting than going grocery shopping.
I am physically out of my element and my body’s comfort zone. Socializing jumps a level because it is also emotionally exhausting.
Life with psoriatic arthritis or any combination of chronic illnesses is expensive. Insurance only covers so much. And quite often, getting treatments covered comes at the cost of spending precious energy fighting with them.
Medication should be affordable, not something people have to beg and fight for. The same goes for disability tools, clothing, and accessories that make our lives easier and less painful.
Many PsA patients live on fixed incomes. Their budgets not only lack wiggle room for emergencies but there is no way they could afford most of what others suggest when they share their struggles. A person on a fixed income cannot afford to hire help. While grocery delivery sounds like the perfect solution, some patients cannot spare the delivery fee and tip.
Each one of these struggles is in addition to our pain and symptoms. And they all have the power to increase the severity and duration of flares.
If given the option to eliminate one of the issues from my life, it would be financial. If finances weren’t an issue, I could afford as many services as needed to make up for the rest of my deficits. Which would you eliminate?
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