Living with a chronic condition like psoriatic arthritis (PsA), you’ve probably been given plenty of advice. Whether it’s your doctor, your friend, your family member, or another person with PsA weighing in with their tips, you’ve heard it all.
Sometimes the best advice comes from the person or place you’d least expect it. Other times, you might wish you’d never heard someone’s opinion at all.
Here’s the best (and worst) advice three people living with PsA have received. Can you relate?
Julie Cerrone Croner
The best advice I’ve ever received was from a pain management doctor. My pain and mobility issues were starting to get the best of me. The doctor suggested I look into chair yoga to see if it’d resonate with me. Looking back, it may not seem like earth-shattering advice, but this little tidbit completely changed my path in how I managed my PsA.
I looked it up and began to practice slowly at first. Over time, I grew stronger and stronger. The physical and emotional benefits that this practice instilled in me gave me the confidence and motivation to look holistically at everything in my life. It jump-started my interest in changing my diet, adding meditation to my daily routine, and getting certified in holistic health.
The worst advice I’ve ever received is that diet, meditation, and lifestyle changes can’t help you manage your psoriatic arthritis. But this isn’t true.
Why not support our bodies in the best way we possibly can? By showing our bodies the love and support they need, they can focus on healing.
Julie Cerrone is a certified holistic health coach, patient empowerer, yoga instructor, autoimmune warrior, and the blogger behind It's Just a Bad Day, NOT a Bad Life. Be sure to connect with her on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.
The best advice I’ve gotten is to take things at my own pace. There’s only so much our bodies can take, especially with a chronic illness. Knowing those limits and not overexerting myself plays a huge, positive role in my health.
The worst advice I’ve gotten is to get over it. Someone had actually said to me, “Old people have arthritis all the time and they deal with it, so you can suck it up. You’re young.”
Krista Long has lived with psoriasis since age 12 and psoriatic arthritis since age 20. She has an amazing fiancé, Dean, who is a huge part of her support system. She lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and enjoys laughing until her stomach hurts, family dinners, horseback riding, and snuggling with her two cats.
Denise Lani Pascual
The best advice I’ve ever received is that exercise is medicine. Before I knew I had PsA, I was seeing several doctors for different ailments. My podiatrist was the one who showed me how badly the joints in my feet were moving. She asked if I had this issue anywhere else. I was, and it was painful. She told me that the only way to stop all of these joint injuries was to strengthen the muscles that support my joints.
I still hadn’t been diagnosed with PsA, but her advice stuck with me. In July 2015, I saw a rheumatologist who confirmed that I had PsA and started me on treatment. Over time, I lost almost 25 pounds from the side effects of treatment and felt the weakest I had felt in my life.
I went back to my podiatrist’s advice and started to exercise. I started slowly because my wrists and hands were weak. But I went from barely being able to get through a strength and endurance class with 5-pound weights once a week, to exercising daily for at least 30 minutes a day. I stopped twisting my ankles, my wrists stopped hurting, I was able to open jars of tomato sauce again, and I could take care of my boys.
The worst advice I’ve ever received was being told I need to stop eating gluten. This isn’t the worst advice because its bad advice; it’s the worst because it oversimplifies the issue of food and inflammation. Good food is medicine, and we all have to figure out what foods are good for us. The human body is complex. To say that avoiding gluten would help control inflammation in my body oversimplifies my body.
It’s better advice to tell someone that like gluten, different foods have different inflammatory properties. As we all have different reactions to these agents, it’s important to track what you eat and note if it causes inflammation.
Denise Lani Pascual has been married to her loving and supportive husband since 2002. Together they have two darling boys. Denise has taught various classes at the university level since 1997. Today, she’s an adjunct, but she decided that sitting at a computer for hours was bad for her health and opened a bakery: The Stacked Cookie. She’s also an avid bowler and plays with a wonderfully supportive group of women who constantly push her to be better.