World Psoriatic Arthritis Day-How PsA Makes Me Feel

Pain insists upon being attended to. Psoriatic Arthritis pain is no exception.

Pain. It can bring you to your knees. It can take your breath away. You can overcome pain. Sometimes in life there is no other choice. Psoriatic Arthritis pain leaves you no choice.

I was just diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis.

arthritic hand

I had pain before the diagnosis and I will have pain well after. Now, I must learn to deal with it and fight through it. I can’t give in to it. I can’t let it win and let it tell me when I can enjoy life.

“The secret of success is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of having pain and pleasure use you. If you do that, you’re in control of your life. If you don’t, life controls you.” Tony Robbins

Psoriatic Arthritis is like Rheumatoid Arthritis. In fact, it mimics it and is misdiagnosed quite often.

PsA is an inflammatory arthritis that is seen in association with skin psoriasis and causes joint pain and swelling that can lead to permanent damage. It is an autoimmune disease that typically affects the large joints and distal joints of the fingers and toes.

It can actually affect your eyes, shoulders, wrists, hands, fingers, skin, feet, ankles, knees, hips, elbows and spine. Or as my son, Alex said, “So your whole body?”

For me, it has affected my hands and feet, and is creeping into my wrist, hips, shoulder and knees. I sadly already have progressive joint damage in two fingers and at least one toe.

arthritic fingers

“One thing you can’t hide – is when you’re crippled inside.” ― John Lennon

“One thing you can't hide - is when you're crippled inside.” ― John Lennon #arthritis Click To Tweet

No, it is not cancer and will not kill me. It will however affect me the rest of my life. Pain everyday. PsA can also lead to cardiovascular disease, diabetes and depression.

arthretic finger

The medicine I am treating the PsA with is so strong that it can damage my liver. Besides treating RA and PsA, the drug I am taking is used to treat cancer. I must have monthly lab work to watch for the damage. The day after I take the medicine, I have flu-like symptoms for 24 hours or longer. I take the medicine, six pills, once a week.

There’s the bad news.

The good news is that I refuse to let it ruin my life. I will be the happy, lover-of-life girl that I have always been. I will smile through the pain.

My mother-in-law, Patti, has horrible arthritis and I have so much more respect and empathy for her now. I think until you feel the pain-you can’t truly empathize. You hate it for them and you think you understand, but you can’t possibly. I see now that having family support is crucial to your outlook. Mark, my husband, must listen to me moan and groan. And for that I am sorry. He opens everything for me, like I am a little old lady.  He is way too sweet to me. I am so appreciative of his understanding, support and love.

“Never a lip is curved with pain that can’t be kissed into smiles again”. Bret Harte

Napa Valley
Mark and I in Napa Valley at Shipyard Acres
“Never a lip is curved with pain that can't be kissed into smiles again”. Bret Harte #arthris #PsA Click To Tweet

I have a lot of googling and research to do. Luckily, I love research. I know I can have a full and active life with psoriatic arthritis; I need to learn the coping strategies. The odd thing is that it causes extreme pain and swelling in your joints and you don’t want to move. But moving and exercising is not only good for the arthritis, it is supposed to help. Extremely help.

excercise at the dogpark
exercise at the dog park

I should constantly remind myself of this.

How does C.S. Lewis have so much knowledge about everything? “Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

I am having a war within my mind trying not to feel sorry for myself. I will win the war but I will probably lose a battle or two. There are far worse things to have. Far more horrible things.

I am always wearing these shoes for comfort

This is just a bump in the road for me. A big bump in the road that will momentarily slow me down but it will not stop me.

Love and blessings~dd


*I know these pictures are odd.  I wanted to use pictures I had with my fingers.  And toes! (smile!)

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I am a late-in-life journalist that is God-fearing, husband-loving, with three beautiful grown children. I love my dogs, my family and my friends. I love traveling and am also in the process of discovering Waco, after living 20 minutes away since 1998; it is about time! My goal is to grow and push myself daily.

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