What Does Remission Look Like?
Can you imagine being in pain that is a hindrance to your everyday life? You can't see the light at the end of the tunnel. You're miserable and just want relief.
What is remission?
But what if one day you wake up - after many, many years of pain - and didn’t have pain? It’s a place you cherish when you have psoriatic arthritis. It's almost unbelievable. You know even though it has suppressed itself, we never know when it will show up again. Remission simply means, temporary at a standstill, not showing symptoms.
I have the pleasure of being in remission from my psoriatic arthritis. Can I tell you this is the first time since my diagnosis that I am speechless? I don’t know how to feel, and sometimes I question my doctor asking, "Are you sure?".
How long will it last?
I want to know how long my remission will last. This is a question that no one can answer. I know it gives me a relief right now. The inflammation has subsided and joints are saying "yes!".
My doctor doesn’t know why that after being in pain for so long why this has happened to me. I am still in awe today. He believes that being an active participant in my healthcare has changed things for me. He says that after being on numerous medications, injections, exercises, diets and a positive attitude - they've all contributed to my remission and have finally done their job.
Documenting my psoriatic arthritis journey
I have always documented my psoriatic arthritis journey. I journal my pain levels, extreme stiffness, swollen joints, fatigue, and skin rashes. By tracking my journey, it was very easy for me to know when I went into remission. I noticed one day that an arm I could hardly raise before was actually going up. I will continue to journal my symptoms because it's important for me. This is the information we need to present to our doctors. If we chart it out, we will be clear to what to tell our doctors.
What being in remission means to me
Sometimes I didn’t know whether to welcome remission or reject it. I think this is an individual answer. Right now, I welcome remission in my life and what it brings. As I said before we don't know how long this will last, but I will appreciate it while it's here. I've heard many people talk about their remission. Some lasted for two days and some for months. I found this very profound and realized this was an individual thing.
I’m having more freedom in my remission period. It has allowed me a peace in my daily activities. I am excited for a moment of relief that I can go in and out of a store in a reasonable time. My disease has caused many limitations in the past. I would be in the store forever, not because I don't know what I want but because I was forced to go slower than normal.
I’m very happy to be in a remission no matter how long it lasts. If you have psoriatic arthritis, you probably understand this as well. Just to be pain-free for an hour is a blessing. Our days can be so long when we have swollen joints and pain in our legs and feet. Can you imagine have pain every single day? Well, I can.
I am going to welcome my remission and count it as a gift for as long as it lasts. Right now I am having a moment of freedom and enjoying every second of it.
How do you plan to recognize PsA Awareness Month?