Blogger - psoriatic arthritis

I was first diagnosed with psoriasis in 2010.

I remember the first signs of psoriasis on a trip to New York, I thought it was eczema something I had since childhood. Roll on three years to 2013 I was at cross-fit and had a mighty pain in my back, I could hardly move. I had already seen a dermatologist for my skin, but I didn’t expect this pain, nor did I know that they were linked.

After excruciating pain and trips to A&E, I was in so much pain I was put onto Ibuprofen. I tried everything to get rid of the pain; naturopaths, diets, and phototherapy (for the skin) at the hospital.

Finally, I went back to my Dermatologist, and we tried other medications until I succumbed to a biologic injection at the end of 2017. I was not happy about this, and it was not an easy decision. However, it has been the best decision to date. While my skin is not completely clear, it is liveable with, and my arthritis pain is under complete control.

It is a journey that has had huge ups and downs. I did not know the impact it would have on my life, the inner turmoil and the realisation that this is now my life! I have had massive bouts of depression, a sense of loss, grief and resentment that I had to suffer from when those around me appear to be strolling through life. Of course, this is not true, and as it turns out after joining many online support networks, I discovered that there are millions of arthritis sufferers around the globe. This was the turning point for me. I have met wonderful and supportive people from all around the world, some who have become friends.

Roll on six years, and I have finally got myself back to the point where I am functioning and pain-free! I took control, and am now again exercising 7 days a week and working with a fantastic personal trainer who has been enormous support emotionally and physically.

I have completed two fun runs this year, which felt fantastic. I have gone on walks with friends, one of which was the ‘Stairway to Heaven’ between Paekakariki and Pukerua Bay in Wellington.

The main message I’d like to send out is that you are not alone. There are so many people, networks and support groups that can offer you a listening ear.

Take care, Amanda.

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