Three Gifts Psoriatic Arthritis Patients Want the Most
‘Tis the season of endless gift guides! Am I right?! There are holiday gift guides for the chronically ill, moms, dads, kids, grandparents, dog lovers, cat ladies, and even psoriatic arthritis patients!
These gift guides typically list a bunch of self-care and pain-relief products. Some even surprise me with ideas that I haven’t even thought of trying. Yet, every gift guide for psoriatic arthritis patients is missing what we need and want the most.
What psoriatic arthritis patients truly want
For many of those living with psoriatic arthritis, it can be hard to talk about the challenges and frustrations they face daily. There are many things they wish their loved ones knew, such as how tiring the condition can be and how simple tasks can feel the most difficult.
Here are three true gifts that psoriatic arthritis patients truly want.
If I share that I am experiencing a high fatigue day, the last thing I want or need to hear is how someone without an autoimmune illness just pushes through when they feel tired. There is no comparison between being tired from doing something and the fatigue that prevents us from doing anything.
When people dismiss or belittle our debilitating psoriatic arthritis symptoms, they clearly display a lack of respect. The best gift would be hearing the words “I am so sorry that you are struggling right now.” That’s it. One simple sentence that does not dismiss what we are experiencing.
A little compassion is all we really want. I, like many other psoriatic arthritis sufferers, try our darndest to follow thru on the commitments we make. But every now and then, PsA overrides our will and makes it impossible to keep up.
Trust me, when I say that I am unable to go out, chat on the phone, or just hang out with you in my own home, it is because I am really not able to. Trying to guilt or push me into it won’t help. In fact, it will guarantee that I will make fewer plans, if any, with you in the future.
Physical pain is just one of the many psoriatic arthritis symptoms that make our lives difficult. I can and am usually willing to modify plans if the pain is the only issue. However, pain and inflammation do more than cause painful joints, they also create brain fog. I know it is hard to understand if you have never experienced brain fog, but it makes concentrating, conversing, and thinking extremely difficult.
Finally, the best gift of all would be for friends and family to accept our diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis. I don’t mean that they just acknowledge that we have it, but that they accept that it is incurable.
I rarely discuss my pain or symptoms with those outside my chronic illness bubble. One reason is that friends and family members assume that PsA is curable and I am not doing enough to cure it. Another is when they become hell-bent on curing me that they never want to discuss anything else. But mostly it is because they do not understand that even with an excellent pain and symptom treatment plan, flares will still occur.
Would I love receiving a foot massager, CBD bath bomb, or pain-relieving lotion? Of course, but not if they don’t include the gift of respect, compassion, and acceptance.
Which of the gifts in this article would you like from your friends and family?
Do you have a sleep disorder (eg. insomnia, sleep apnea, RLS) in addition to your PsA?