People ask me what life is like living with Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA). I’ve tried many ways of explaining it that just don’t do it justice. The easiest way I can explain it is as follows:
The PsA in my body is a toddler. Upon waking in the morning, the PsA says, “Guess what?” and my instinct is to say “What?” but there’s the moment beforehand when I know that I really don’t want to know the answer. Luckily my body doesn’t give typical toddler answers like, “I wet the bed,” or “Remember the cake you told me not to touch?” Instead it says things like, “Betcha can’t hobble to the bathroom in under 2 minutes!” or “Remember how you could move your ankles yesterday?”
And then there’s running errands. Imagine taking a toddler to the grocery store just before naptime. Great idea, eh? As soon as you get there, they’re too tired to walk. Or they throw a fit in the middle of the store because they’re too tired to deal and need a nap. Or they demand so much of your attention that you find it difficult to concentrate on finding the things you need and eventually give up and just purchase the things in your cart and call it a day, hoping to return to the store without the toddler, but knowing that’s not likely to happen. That’s PsA for you!
Communication skills rank right up there with toddler communication as well, depending on exhaustion levels, medication levels, and whether or not you’ve been able to sleep. Pointing and grunting are a common method of communication. Some days it’s a miracle you’re able to form a full sentence. Other days you bowl people over with coherent and intelligent statements that one would hear in normal adult conversation. Occasionally you say something absolutely brilliant, but it’s usually an accident.
But some days you find you have a cooperative toddler on your hands. Life is fun. It’s easy. You get down on the floor and play. You take a walk in the park. You still need a nap in the afternoon, but are able to move through your day with only the usual unsteady toddler stumbles.
All in all, if you treat a toddler with love and respect his or her limitations, life can have its ups and downs, its good days and bad, its days when it’s better off not to leave the house and its days when getting out of the house is a must. The same goes for my PsA.