Photography by Carly Landolt Photo
I thought I’d share a little life update today as most of the time I keep it pretty on the blog but sometimes you need to keep it real as maybe it will help someone else? First let’s back up to my junior year in college. All of a sudden I had a really painful toe, it was swollen and painful to put weight on yet I had no memory of any trauma caused to my toe. I didn’t stub it, drop anything on it, etc. It just appeared out of nowhere and hurt to walk on and wear certain shoes, especially heels which I usually lived in. Yes, even to classes I was that girl in dresses and heels with my hair and makeup done always no matter if it was an 8am.
I went to my doctor, they directed me to a foot doctor and still I had no answers, it was a mystery. After a month or two it just went away. Then fast forward to my senior year and one of my fingers became painful and swollen! Same story, no cause, it just happened. I was on the journey again. This time however, my mom ran into an old friend at the grocery store and when they began talking somehow my mysterious illness came up and the friend said it sounded just like her arthritis and the process she went through! She suggested I ask my doctor for an arthritis and I did just that.
They did the blood work and when it came back positive we discovered I had psoriatic arthritis (I had psoriasis as a child on my scalp)! Mystery solved but arthritis journey was not over and still is not! I’ve been diagnosed with arthritis for about 7 years now. It used to be mild enough just popping up in small joints here and there where I could get a shot of cortisone and it go away. Then it started appearing more frequently and in larger areas so I had to switch to a twice daily medication. The medicine was gross, large pills that leave you with a stomach ache and have side affects of depression. I was on the medication for about 2 years and while it helped with daily small aches and pains it wasn’t alleviating pain in concentrated areas like my wrist.
My wrist is visibly swollen and I can’t hold anything in my left hand heavier than a drink and no longer can bend it past a 10 degree angle. I live with this annoying and quite severe pain that limits my movement, making it hard to workout. It’s hard to explain but just simply putting my feet on the ground after sleeping for the night first thing in the morning is slightly uncomfortable.
While arthritis isn’t necessarily life threatening it’s caused a change in my lifestyle due to chronic pain and is something that is hard for others to understand, especially 20 somethings like myself, as I look completely find. I often make light of it and say I’m a 75 year old women as I’ve never met anyone my age with it to commiserate with.
So where am I today? I’ve started a new injection medication, a shot that my mom gives to me on my thigh every 2 weeks. My doctor suggested we switch to this because my arthritis was starting to cause damage and erode my joints. So far, the side affects are less, the injection surprisingly doesn’t hurt and I already feel it’s working better and less stiff/sore. The only annoying part is the injection has to stay cool (kept in the fridge) which makes my constant traveling a little tricky with it. But I’m hopeful!
I hope you didn’t mind this personal story but it’s just to give you a peek into my actual life behind the pretty pictures and maybe it helps some of you who are struggling with your own health issues to know everyone has some battle!