Questions I Need to Stop Asking Myself
I suffer from psoriatic arthritis daily. I have for years, even before I knew I had PsA. My diagnosis came almost five years ago after my fingers permanently deformed from mutilations.
But I still ask myself daily, “Why am I so tired? Why am I hurting so bad today? Why do I feel so blue today? Why am I in a fog?”
The question I should be asking myself is, “Why am I still asking myself these questions?”
Hiding the pain from psoriatic arthritis
Most people around me don’t know the pain and fatigue I feel because unless you’re my husband, I don’t let it show. I might mention some of it, but I keep it to myself most of the time. But lately, I’ve tried to post more about it to bring awareness for psoriatic arthritis.
And I think that talking about it is good for me, too.
I hold it in because I feel guilty about complaining. I hold it in because it’s my life and something I deal with daily, and I think nobody wants to hear me complaining. And I hold it in because I don’t comprehend the hold it has on my body.
The painful symptoms of PsA
Most people don’t know that I am tired all the time because my body works overtime to attack me. My body is at war with me all the time. My joints swell, cramp, and I get pain, swelling in my hands where I can’t use them, and stiffness. My tendons swell, also causing pain and other problems like tennis elbow and carpal tunnel. But it doesn’t stop there —I have skin and nail issues that add pain and discomfort. PsA affects my eyes, ears, and basically my entire body. And my pain changes daily — hourly.
It kinda sucks.
I have days where I’m tired, and then there are days where I am fatigued. Fatigue is like a thick fog I’m walking through, and every step is impossible. This sounds dramatic, but it is real, and I need to stop questioning it. When I have fatigue, I must give in. When I am tired, I can fight through it. I’ve learned I must listen to my body.
How can I explain psoriatic arthritis to others?
The best explanation I’ve ever read is from a fellow PsA warrior from Psoriatic-Arthitis.com, and I felt her words so deeply, I kept them in my notes.
“I’m tired all the time because my body is constantly fighting itself. It is like when you are tired from a cold or the flu when your body tries to fight off an infection. Our bodies expend a remarkable amount of energy while on the attack of our joints and muscles.” -Leanne Donaldson
Psoriatic arthritis is a long-term inflammatory rheumatoid arthritis that occurs in people affected by the autoimmune disease psoriasis. The easiest way to explain it to people is to tell them psoriatic arthritis is like RA with psoriasis.
The everyday impact of a chronic illness
Living with a chronic illness is overwhelming and takes a toll on everyday life.
I get a cold, and it becomes bronchitis. I get a vaccine, and I get 103.7 temperature. I get a sunburn, and I get a flare. My body attacks. Me.
So, if I say no and want to stay home, please understand. If I don’t plan anything until later in the afternoon, please understand. Thank goodness my husband understands and takes over dinner on nights when I just can’t. His support and understanding mean the world to me.
I need to remember and realize why I’m tired and fatigued, in pain, and sometimes walk like a 90-year-old woman. I need to remember I have psoriatic arthritis. If I don’t understand it all, how can I expect others around me to understand?
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