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Vowing To Be Healthy Despite Having PsA

For the first fifteen years of my chronic life, I used psoriatic arthritis and my other chronic illnesses as an excuse to not take care of myself. I ate whatever I craved or desired in a quest to comfort myself. I gave into all levels of pain because I didn’t believe that moving my body could actually help me. Unfortunately, eating foods that weren’t good for me and my lack of physical activity only made me sicker than I really was. Several years ago, I put a stop to my self-sabotaging ways by striving to be as healthy as possible despite my chronic illnesses.

What I did

I began by making dietary changes. They weren’t radical, nor did I attempt a diet that I knew I would be doomed to fail. I made one change at a time. It’s been three years since I began making changes, and I am not only closer to my ultimate goal, I no longer crave the foods that were fueling my diseases in the past. In January 2017, I vowed to move my body as much as possible, but to be cautious to not run myself into the ground. I did what I could, when I could do it. Adding physical activity has surprisingly improved the pain that I experienced from my other conditions.

Why I did it

Having my doctor tell me that I was pre-diabetic is what prompted me to take action. The last thing I wanted was another health issue to contend with. Instead of accepting my doctor’s prescription, I asked for six months to bring my numbers down. He agreed and during my follow-up visit he joyfully congratulated me for a job well done. That appointment proved to me that while I may not be able to cure my body of its chronic diseases, I did have the ability to control other aspects of my health.

Reaping what I sow

One reward from these changes has been a reduction in pain. The decrease of pain is not necessarily from the conditions themselves, but instead because I am no longer adding to the pain they inflict. Having less health issues to battle is another perk! However, the most rewarding aspect of improving my overall health is that my doctors can no longer blame symptoms related to my chronic illnesses on what I eat or my physical activity. My ultimate goal is to be the healthiest chronically ill patient possible. My hope is to live long enough and to have the strength to take my future grand and great-grandchildren to Disneyland. The improvements I have experienced to my overall health have made me realize that I have more control over my health than I had originally thought. I no longer find comfort in food or inactivity. Knowing that I am preventing other health issues is all the comfort I need. My only regret is that I didn’t start sooner.

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