Location: Austin, TX
How has your condition impacted you? This year of being ill has profoundly changed me. I am quieter, my social cirlce is smaller, my house is messier, and I find myself wearing sensible shoes. The best thing I can say about psoriasis in relation to your vanity is that it is a good "character building exercise" - one that I am just about ready to be done with. In a sense this disease has impacted everything about me from my clothing choices, to my diet, my daily chores, what career I want to have, even to how I mother my kids.
What would you like for other people to know about your condition? That Psoriatic Arthritis is a systemic autoimmune disease which means that my whole body, not just my joints, are ill. It has dryed out my eyes so that they now have abrasions. It can make me feel like I have the flu and even give me chills and a fever when I push myself too hard. While you may see me smiling and walking around during the day, a lot of time, especially during the bad flares, I go home and fall in to bed at 7pm, leaving my husband to make dinner and put the kids to bed. This condition can be brutally painful and exhausting - so please don't judge me if I drop my kid off at school from the car instead of walking her in. Some days I just can't make it out of the car.
What would you like to tell someone who is recently diagnosed with your condition? Take one step at a time. Buy some good shoes. Wrap your joints in ace bandages when they hurt - it helps. Take lots of breaks. Meditate. Find doctors that listen to you. Destress your life. Be kind to yourself - it is a long road. Epsom salt baths are good. Think of your life and this illness as a marathon, not a sprint. If you go with the drugs, they can take a long time to kick in, and that waiting game can be very painful. Just breathe through it and put your awareness on the places in your body that don't hurt.
Wendy's favorite inspirational saying: Keep Calm and Carry On
Word. Thank you so much for sharing your story, Wendy!