Trial and Error
Three words sum up what is has been like living with psoriatic arthritis; trial and error. From the day I received my diagnosis and right up to today, those three words have ruled my life. To this day I feel like I am a scientific experiment.
Medically, I have tried many different forms of treatments; pharmaceutical, natural, and alternative. While many of them failed to reduce my pain or improve my life, they did provide lessons of what not to try in the future. I now know which treatments I am allergic to, sensitive to, and which have side effects that I refuse to ever experience again. However, I also know what works. I have found therapies that do decrease my pain and inflammation. In addition I have learned how far I am able to push my body before it decides to revolt and recognize when it needs a break.
On the home front
I have tried and failed to keep rigid schedules. Even when I didn’t have to follow a rigid schedule, I tried my hardest to make it happen. Why? Because, I was trying to live the same life of my healthy friends and family and yes, you guessed it; I failed at being like them! But do you know what I learned? I learned that it is okay to follow a schedule that my body prefers. By doing this, my body is more apt to permit a more structured day now and again.
Life in general
I spent several years living with chronic pain from psoriatic arthritis, fibromyalgia, and my other chronic illnesses before ever being diagnosed. From the point of being diagnosed and to this day, I continue to try new things and not everything I try is a winning solution. I tried salvaging my pride by not using mobility aids. Yep, I failed. The only thing that wasn’t scratched or bruised was my mobility aid. I tried living life the way I used to only to fall flat on my face. By not allowing for changes or alternative ways of doing things my body rebelled by mimicking a stroke and sentencing me to weeks of bedrest.
Enjoying life even with my chronic illness
Life with a chronic illness is never going to be easy. Until a cure is found, we are always going to be trying new treatments or different combinations of them. Unless we have maids, butlers, drivers, and cooks, we will always have to try new ways to not just get the job done, but to do it without needing days or weeks to recover. Does that make our lives less desirable or worthy of living? No, in fact it is the opposite because it shows that we aren’t quitters! Trying new things and allowing for failure allows for creativity. The more I failed, the more determined I became. That determination continues to drive my quest of finding more ways to make my life not just less painful, but more productive, efficient, and enjoyable. I would have never known that it was possible to enjoy life with multiple chronic illnesses had I not been willing to try and fail. The reality is this, life is hard whether you have an autoimmune disease or not. We make it more difficult when we refuse to try, fail, and try again...
Do you regularly track your psoriatic arthritis symptoms?