So that explained it.

So That Explained It.

I developed psoriasis when I was 18 and psoriatic arthritis when I was 24. I was not diagnosed with the arthritis for about 5 or 6 years. As I learned more about the psoriatic arthritis the more I understood that I was not just lazy. I was fatigued and there was a reason beyond my control of why I was. At times the psoriasis has affected up to 96% of my body. At first just methotrexate was a miracle and I felt human again. Over the years I needed to add NSAIDS and eventually biologics. I am now almost 61 years old. I am on my 4th biologic just recently now. When one quits working my whole body goes into an uproar with blood sugar, blood pressure, besides the pain and fatigue. I even had higher occular pressure but have avoided any damage there and now have it under control again due to eye medication.

Over the years I have had to adjust my ideas of fun. Canoeing ended. Camping ended. Hiking to waterfalls and even just a walk around the block have ended. But I still have plenty of things I enjoy and do what I can, when I can. That is key. Keep doing what you love as long as you can. Stay connected to people no matter how isolated you become because of your physical abilities. Be creative and find new ways to do things that work for you. I’ll bet the neighbors thought I was crazy doing yard work including using an axe while sitting in a metal folding chair. But those same neighbors don’t complain when the yard work doesn’t get done because I was open and honest about my condition. I don’t ask for help unless I really need it and realize to not be too proud to ask when I do.

Be honest and communicate how you are feeling when you are having a flare up, including depression. I researched how to cope with depression and seasonal disorder and use those strategies without medication. Be aware that you can do things to make a difference with depression and find what works for you. I do what I call color therapy. I surround myself with colors that are calming or happy. The clothes I wear, the walls and decorations in my home. If I need a boost I may go to a fabric store or do crafts and artwork with vibrant colors.

I have learned over the many years that my physical condition keeps changing. Sometimes for the better, sometimes worse. But how I am today is not permanent. I find being barefoot or with socks in the house relaxes my whole body. Shoes don’t help with the swelling and pain issues in the ball of my feet. I can’t be on my feet for long especially standing still. So I learned how to sit and do many things. I finally gave in and got help with the housework but still have to do many things myself.

Right now I need to deep clean my entire 2 story house and paint all the woodwork after a couple of years of neglect and several months of renovations. But I know not to let myself get overwhelmed and recognize that any progress is just that and not sweat the stuff I haven’t gotten done yet. It isn’t going anywhere. I strategically plan what order to do things and how best to utilize my energy when I have any.

The more you focus on what you can do instead of what you can’t do, the better off you will be. Sometimes that is hard to do. I don’t ignore the facts, instead I can be brutally honest with myself and others. But I try to encourage others and in the process don’t just focus on my own problems.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Psoriatic-Arthritis.com 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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