I recently found an interesting blog about how it may have felt to have Rheumatoid Arthritis. I decided to alter the article quite a bit and make my own little blog on what it felt like to have Psoriatic Arthritis. Or how one may explain it to someone new that is trying to understand, without having to go into tremendous detail…...
Trying to explain what Psoriatic Arthritis feels like:
It causes pain similar to a sprained or broken body part. Comparable to the physical trauma felt after an accident. At times, the inflammation and soreness is so intense, a brace or other movement assistance (crutches, cane,wheelchair, ect..) are necessary to perform even simple tasks. It can happen to anyone at any given age. The misconception is only the elderly get arthritis. NOT TRUE. There are patients as young as 3 years old. (usually noted as Juvenile Arthritis).
Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA) is an auto-immune disease that causes joint damage, tissue damage and scaling rashes on both the outside and under the skin. PsA has been known to damage hands, feet, knees, spine, eyes, heart, lungs, kidneys and liver. It is an inflammatory disease, so the pain is brought on when the immune system goes haywire and begins attacking the bodies' own cells. This inflammation can cause frequent headaches, migraines, fevers, nausea, and obnoxious fatigue. Like the Flu, muscle weakness is very common, but unlike the Flu, it will come back every month, week, or is some cases daily.
PsA is a systemic disease that can affect any part of the body, even organs. When the disease is active or "flaring" a patient may experience bouts of complete exhaustion, similar to how the body reacts after intense, strenuous activity. They may also experience a sense of physical exertion, and the feeling of being "winded".
The disease is unpredictable, flaring at any time of the day or night without warning. A patient can be fine one moment, and the very next overcome with symptoms. With PsA, everyday becomes a constant manipulation of tasks. Managing both the physical and emotional effects can be taxing and frustrating. It is important that the patient finds a good support system. It can make a big difference in the ability to cope.
Unless you have Psoriatic Arthritis, you can never know exactly what a patient endures. Although, perhaps now you can empathize a little more by relating your experiences of the most common characteristics of the disease.