two skeletal knees bent towards each other with flames in between them

Psoriasis Can Bring Me To My Knees

The strong and the mighty

I am what I consider to be a strong person, I have lived through some things in life like we all do. I pride myself in coming from a line of very strong matriarch women and it has always served me well. My no is a no and there is hardly ever a way around that and I have endured pain, coming out the other end much stronger. There have been moments in my life when physical and emotional trauma has almost proved too much for me. One way or another though I have found my way through it somehow and come out the other end even stronger. Nothing prepared me for psoriatic arthritis and the challenges it brings.

The beginning of something new

I had been diagnosed with psoriasis a few years prior and really just started accepting and dealing with that aspect of my life. I woke up one morning and I could not get out of my bed. Never before had I felt a pain like this, clearly, I had not yet experienced childbirth. My butt hurt! I mean like really hurt, walking, sitting, laying none of it was an option really so I chose the lesser of the evils and stood with my one leg on tippy toes. I got carried down the stairs at my apartment as I could not walk on them and off the Chiropractor we went, the best in town. He clicked, he clacked, and he suggested some pain meds and sent me home with the diagnoses of a pinched Sciatica nerve. Now I don’t know if you have ever had this, my gosh it is just short of crippling. The next few years pain came and went and changed locations and more symptoms started showing. More sore joints, pitted nails, swelling and pain and a lot of it. I bared through most it and took OTC meds to help with it.

The non-diagnoses

There has been a lot of talk about people saying they go to their doctor feeling like they are on death's door and the doctor says, there is nothing. When I went to the doctor that was not what I expected to hear. I couldn’t anymore, the day to day pain was crazy. I went to my new house doctor one day and said, I can’t anymore, I am taking way too much OTC medication just to get through the day and to be able to function on a normal level, a relatively normal one anyway. We sat, made a list of all current symptoms and he said, well from this I am almost certain it is psoriatic arthritis, however, let’s do a few more tests to confirm. We did. The results came back. A perfect bill of health. I am not sure who was more shocked, my doctor or I.  It is the most frustrating thing in the world. I mean I went there to get an answer and all I got was a not-answer if that is even a word.

The new day to day

My dear doctor, he is one of the kindest people I know, I am pretty stubborn and he just works with it and does what he can for me. Winter comes and the pain comes, joints and the cartilage in and around them gets inflamed. My PSA is only mild, I know that there are people whose pain is immeasurable on a daily basis. There are things that I cannot do anymore that I used to be able to do. I find that so hard, being an independent woman and all that. I am on stronger medicine now that helps me sleep at night. Nights are my worst, when I am too sore to lie down; I get up, make some tea and read my book or busy myself doing small things around the house that do not warrant too much physical effort.  Warm bean bags and lots of gentle caring for myself goes a long way when used in conjunction with some meds and supplements.

This is hard to deal with, I will not lie and it has brought me to my knees many times, sometimes in anguish and other days in pure gratefulness that it passes again and I am humbled that every day is not the worst day. I am grateful that I have more good days than bad days. I know that it will probably get worse as I get older, I am okay with that for now. When days are good, do what you can, when days are bad, rest.

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