A woman looks at 5 thoughts about the various people in her life

5 Things I Wonder as a Psoriatic Arthritis Patient

Last updated: March 2023

Psoriatic arthritis takes up so much brain space. Of course, we think about treatment or what we may want to mention at our next rheumatologist appointment. But we also internalize. We're self-aware of our condition, and sometimes, it can eat away at our insecurity.

The impact of unhelpful thinking...

Thoughts can wander around our heads and try to ask us things that challenge reality. Of all the things I find myself wondering about - it is the trail of thoughts below that always seems to repeat themselves.

Maybe there are many patients out there that simply don’t wonder about any of these things. Perhaps they care a whole lot less about what people think than I do. But these people, my husband, friends, children, and even my doctors, all matter to me. And what they think also matters to me.

Does my husband get tired of hearing me say that I’m having a rough day?

I know for sure that I get tired of saying it. So you’d think he is probably tired of hearing about it too. I even sort of dread when he kindly asks the question, let alone having the same negative response.

But we’ve talked about it. He assures me that he asks purely out of concern for me. And if anything, he gets upset that he can’t do anything about it, not to mention the fact that he gets just as frustrated as I get that it is so often that I don’t feel well.

Does my doctor get frustrated when yet another biologic doesn’t seem to work?

Honestly, I absolutely dread rheumatologist appointments when I know I have to tell her that our latest biologic doesn’t seem to be working. I do always focus on her body language when I deliver an ill-fated message. And I wonder, does she think perhaps she has misdiagnosed me, even after all these years?

But, she has yet to give up on me. I’ve lost count of the different medications I’ve been on. But she still visits with me every three months and listens as I give her the rundown of how I’ve been.

Do my children resent the fact that I’m not like everyone else’s mom?

My kids are still pretty young to really understand this question. But it plagues me nearly daily. Even healthy mom’s worry about how they stack up against other moms, but those of us with such huge hurdles as psoriatic arthritis? I feel like there is no way I could compete.

But, then I see the look in their eyes, and I know. They wouldn’t want any other mom. They want me. They don’t see all my failures or the dirty dishes left in the sink. They just feel the hugs I have to give, and they know that every single night I’m there to tuck them into bed.

Do my friends get annoyed with me when I have to cancel plans? Do they talk about me when I don’t come?

Maybe they do, maybe they don’t. It has been a few years, and maybe I’m the only one, but I feel like I’ve lost a lot of people that I had counted as “friends” along the way. And to be honest, yes, it hurts.

But, what I am able to do really matters. I’ve been able to find my voice in the community in a way I never thought possible. I still show up in my own way and always do as much as I can. For now, that has to be enough.

Am I all alone?

Sometimes, yes. I do feel all alone. But perhaps that is just a human thing, not a “specific to psoriatic arthritis” thing. And sometimes, when I feel so bad, overwhelmed with fatigue, and drowning in my joint pain, I do feel alone.

But maybe I’m not alone in that at all. I get online here, with this amazing community and here, there is always someone who “gets” it. There is always someone out there who makes me feel just a little less alone.

We are bigger than our unhelpful thoughts!

These thoughts bounce around in my head, especially on days when I struggle with pain and fatigue. They seem to plague me and bring my mood down to match the physical pain in my body.

More than anything, I type them today to always remind myself, and anyone who reads this, that there is always, always a “but.”

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