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My First Year with PsA

Okay. I admit the title to this story is a bit misleading. Of course I didn't just start dealing with PsA symptomatology a year ago and conveniently received a diagnosis. The symptoms have been there for decades.

Getting a psoriatic arthritis diagnosis was just the start

But a little over a year ago I received my PsA diagnosis and started treatment. And let me tell you: it's been a rollercoaster of a ride.

You see I think I thought that like my diabetes, I would just takes my pills, do all the right things and I would be better. Easy Peasy.

A change in treatment plan

And it was like that for a couple of months, once we found a DMARD that worked that I could also tolerate. I did feel relatively normal for about three months.

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But then I started noticing symptoms breaking through the medicine. Things like tendonopathy, fatigue, joint swelling in my elbows and wrists that made my fingers go numb. And my low back pain started acting up again. Not just my normal, everyday pain from three surgeries and lots of osteoarthritis. But the stiffness and difficulty of holding myself upright. They extra jolts of electricity.

Refusing to believe that living with psoriatic arthritis wasn't going to be simple, I asked my doctor to prescribe physical therapy. I did two whole rounds of PT and did get stronger yet my symptoms kept gradually increasing.

After I finished PT this summer I finally had to admit to myself that living with PsA was going to be a marathon and not a sprint. Which made me sad but was also freeing.

A journey toward acceptance

I no longer had to pretend I wasn't in pain or I wasn't tired. I didn't need to create all kinds of rationalizations for why I didn't feel fabulous. And I no longer had to push myself to keep up with my friends and family that don't have significant health challenges.

Acceptance comes at different times and address different experiences as I continue on my journey with autoimmunity. And I'm still fighting to be as strong as I can be. I even joined a gym!

While I refuse to ride the rollercoaster that is PsA, I will allow myself to continue this journey with grace, determination and hope. One day at a time.

One moment at a time.

Do you have a story about living with psoriatic arthritis to share too?

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.

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