On Quarantine Even Before Quarantine: My Diagnosis Story
I am Annelyse. I am 24 years old, and I have just been recently diagnosed with Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis this year.
My year so far
I thought 2020 was finally going to be my year. I thought I’d be graduating from law school and that I’d be taking the Bar Exams. But I was wrong. Instead, I spent the year in bed, unable to walk to the bathroom because my whole body was in so much pain. I have isolated myself to the rest of the world because I had patches and spots all over my body, and I found myself as ugly, unlovable, and unattractive. I stayed at home because I perceived myself as a burden, as a liability, and as someone whose pain is inconvenient to other people.
Newly diagnosed with PsA & Pso
After being confined due to Dengue and German Measles, I was diagnosed with Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis. I was also put on antidepressants for chronic fatigue syndrome and anxiety. After years of struggling with medical issues such as stomach and chronic acid reflux, chronic migraine, random fainting spells, terrible stiffness, and body pain, I was finally diagnosed. I have been through plenty of clinic visits who have basically told me the same thing, tests would come back as normal, and people would tell me that it was just all in my head. These experiences have invalidated and dismissed my pain for so many years, but I eventually felt relieved that I finally got an answer from my rheumatologist.
Living with PsA during a pandemic
Dealing with my diagnosis during this pandemic where people are required to stay at home becomes more difficult as I have so much free time to dwell on my sickness, to focus on what hurts, and to think about what is wrong with my body. Every day is a constant battle. Yet I remain hopeful, not even for better days, but for okay days — because frankly, okay days are more than enough. If you are going through the same thing now, I hope you never get tired of searching for answers. Your pain is valid, and it is not all in your head.
Do you regularly track your psoriatic arthritis symptoms?