A new spin on pain

I read a lot of posts in a day. Today I thought “Gosh, I am lucky not to have had the crippling pain that some of my fellow PsA sufferers have had.” I have an insanely high pain threshold, you see, something that wasn’t discovered until long after my symptoms appeared, and my fairly-recent PsA diagnosis. And on top of that, my stubborn nature led me to deny the numbing fatigue that had overcome me. Oh I had my days, when I stood at the bottom of the stairs at school and wondered how I was going to make it to my class on the second floor. I remember sitting at my desk at the end of the day, trying to convince myself that I had enough energy to make it out to the car to drive myself home. I didn’t really, but I was too driven to quit. There was the time that I told the locum physician that I was very tired. When she heard that I was doing full days in the classroom with a serious hearing impairment, she hit the roof and insisted that I ask for an accommodation because of that disability. I did, and I got it, but then switched to a job that was physically less demanding. Yes, my knees ached and my feet hurt, but that could always be written off to any number of “normal” causes. Too sore and worn out to continue, I retired as soon as I was eligible. I was just getting old, you see. And I needed to have my knees replaced.
But what if … what if, twenty years ago, my sausage toe had been exquisitely painful instead of merely an aesthetic curiosity? Would I have been referred to a rheumatologist and received a speedy PsA diagnosis, and appropriate treatment? When they realized that this vandal of a disease, and not OA, was devouring my knees, would I have been given a biologic drug? Would I still have had my own knees today? What about my hips? If my feet had been excruciatingly painful (as they should have been) might there have been a different suggestion than “get new orthotics”? Would I have been able to go on hikes and wear high heels today? Would I have been able to do the job that I loved, with accommodations, for a few more years? Would my pension have been a bit more generous than it is today?
Pain is a signal that there is something very wrong with your body. A red flag. An alarm bell. A call to action. My early warning system failed me. Failed me big time. If only, twenty years ago, I’d had more pain. More pain might have been a very good thing.

Same here. Very high pain tolerance. Even my OB would be stunned when I'd be fully dilated and barely panting during childbirth. Sometimes I feel the same way you described. Honestly, I could live feeling the way I do. I'm exhausted worn down and chronically aching, but I'm not going to. Thanks for the encouragement to stick to finding a treatment plan. So maybe possibly I'll keep my knees ;)

Maemae, exactly … stick with the treatment plan. Worn down and aching is the way I felt for years. (And it was because I worked hard, was menopausal and overweith, of course, LOL).

Great point Seenie. An important lesson for all.

It took 20 years for me to get the correct diagnosis.. . Lots of pain and suffering, surgeries, etc. Better late than never. But If I began to have symptoms today, I don't think it would take so long. There is much more information about PsA and it's much easier to find. I hope that sites like this, help others to understand their illness and that they should not stop until they find a doctor that understands it too.