Five things Bezzy PsA community members wish they had known when they were first diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis.
Receiving a new diagnosis can bring on an onslaught of emotions. While it may feel relieving to have a reason for your symptoms, you may find yourself with a new list of questions and concerns.
Navigating a new diagnosis is no easy feat, and it may be hard to know where to start when it comes to creating a treatment plan and tracking your symptoms. While you may be directing focus on your physical symptoms, it’s important to be aware of how you feel emotionally at this time.
The Bezzy psoriatic arthritis (PsA) community knows what you’re going through. Here’s what some of our community members wish they had known when they first received a diagnosis.
“I would tell myself to ask for a referral to see a specialist/rheumatologist, instead of waiting for years until my condition worsened because a doctor wrongly diagnosed me with osteoarthritis.
“Listen to your body and believe your intuition. No one knows your body better than you. And also [don’t] be scared of trialing medication until you find one that works.
“[I’m] still looking [for the right medication], but my rheumatologist has faith he’ll find something for me.” — Allison
“You’re going to have good days and bad days, and that’s totally fine. It’s completely unpredictable. Having a strong support system to help you get through those bad days is a must.” — Brady Morris
“I wish I knew how much patience and self-compassion I would need, especially in the beginning. Treatment doesn’t equal no pain, and sometimes it takes months for a medication to work.” — Meaghan Quirin
“Taking care of yourself, especially with food and staying active, is crucial. And try to see past the doom and gloom that people feed you, as that doesn’t help mentally.” — @georgiafmorris
“I wish I knew that PsA is very much a rollercoaster ride. I kept going down, down, down and never thought I’d come back up again. But I did. And then, as I was climbing to the top, I had such fear of crashing down again.
“PsA comes with a lot of ups and downs and that’s inevitable, but there are things you can do to make the downs not as deep and drastic. There are ways to make your ride easier, and it’s important to ride it out with people who are compassionate and try to understand.
“It’ll take some time to figure out how to make that happen for you. Enjoy the heights and all that comes with it!” — @chroniclesofarthritis
Handling the news of a new diagnosis can be a tricky thing, but what matters most is that you take the time to prioritize your needs, both physically and mentally.
There’s no right or wrong way to react to a new diagnosis. It won’t always be easy, but try to remember to practice self-compassion and do your best to surround yourself with people who can help you through the hard times.
Fact checked on June 02, 2022
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