I started getting psoriasis in my late teens. My scalp was a mess and I underwent the usual multitude of skin scrapes, lotions and potions before getting a definitive diagnosis.
What I now know as the arthritis began in my feet, the job I had meant standing for 8-10 hours a day and the burning agony would leave me sweaty, breathless and distracted after only an hour or so at work. It went undiagnosed, X-rays revealed nothing, life was hard but when I stopped work and returned to study things calmed down. Things were ok, just scaly skin for a couple of years, then I got pregnant. Hell like I had never experienced was unleashed on my joints. I was still undiagnosed, my GP would get exasperated at my description of the pain and remind me that being pregnant was natural, that I needed to deal with it. How does one deal with crying in pain while your hubby tries to roll you over during the night, your hips and pelvis feeling like they are being ripped in two, so much that everything within you demands that you cease trying to move! I am so thankful we didn't have neighbours during that time - I'm sure they would have called the police from all the screaming :-)
After an assisted birth, as the joint pain was excruciating, even over the contractions, the pain died down a little and was manageable for a few months and finally, I saw a physician who diagnosed me with psoriatic arthritis.
Over the last 20 years it's had it's moments. I occasionally have massive flares that mean I need help with basic functions like eating and toileting but most of the time it is a grumbling beast that gives me moderate pain and fatigue every day. I cannot remember a day without pain, I long for a day where I feel on top of the world! The pain I find hardest to bear is the costochondritis, it seeps into my very being and I cannot focus, think or even be distracted.
I hate being 'a burden' as I see my hubby put on yet another load of washing or do the vacuuming again, after working all day as a trade teacher. The frustration is huge, some days I wonder why he stays, and then things settle for a bit and I'm more capable with the day to day things and my morale is boosted a little. He loves me regardless, he understands most of the time and he is my rock.
It is so encouraging to read other's stories, it reminds me I am not alone in my journey, others understand the daily struggle too.
Thank you all for sharing.
Submitted by a 40 year old female living outside the UK