Good For You

By Paul Koffman
Updated 2024-03-24 13:32:12 | Published 2023-08-11 10:41:05
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  • Psoriatic Arthritis
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    • In the Psoriatic Arthritis section of the iMedix Blog, delve into topics around this inflammatory arthritis linked to psoriasis. Find information on symptoms, diagnosis, treatment options, and living tips, providing valuable support for patients and their caregivers.

relay race on sunny day

In general, our society places a great deal of emphasis on comparison. This is evident in the phrase Keeping up with the Joneses, which has been around for over a century. The concept of jealousy and comparing ourselves to others is nothing new; it has been a part of human nature for thousands of years.

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Now, you might be wondering what all of this has to do with arthritis. Well, let me explain. Personally, I tend to compare myself to others. Ever since I was diagnosed with arthritis almost 20 years ago, I've found myself wondering how I measure up against others who also have the condition.

Sometimes I come across posts online where people discuss their symptoms. Seeing their struggles, I would think to myself, Well, I don't have it as bad as them. But really, that type of thinking is silly. Arthritis is not a competition, and there are no points awarded for experiencing more pain, stiffness, or other symptoms. It's strange how our minds work when it comes to comparisons.

I also find myself comparing my abilities to those of others with arthritis. Recently, I saw a social media post from a man praising his wife, who has rheumatoid arthritis, for completing a 10-mile road race. While I thought it was impressive, I couldn't help but feel a pang of envy. I know I wouldn't be able to do that, even without arthritis. These days, physical activities like that are out of the question for me.

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However, a friend of mine with arthritis recently posted something that really made me stop and think. She mentioned that despite experiencing side effects from her medication, she still made an effort to move her body through stretching and walking. She emphasized how much of a difference it made for her. This post by my friend, Shelley, really put things into perspective for me and inspired me to write this blog.

What I've come to realize, or rather, be reminded of, is that we all experience arthritis differently. Our abilities, symptoms, and outcomes can vary greatly. Personally, I have been fortunate enough to find relief through medication, which has allowed me more freedom of movement. However, I still can't do the intense exercises that some others can. For example, a friend of mine with psoriatic arthritis has minimal skin involvement, while I struggled greatly with it and felt self-conscious. Arthritis is a strange and unpredictable disease in that way.

That's why it is important to reach out and connect with others who have arthritis. Just because you don't currently have certain symptoms doesn't mean you're exempt from them forever. My friend with minimal skin involvement does experience some symptoms, and she reaches out to me for support. In turn, I reach out to her when I'm experiencing new or unfamiliar pain.

Instead of feeling envious or discouraged by someone's abilities, like being able to run a 10-mile race, I have decided to shift my perspective. I now choose to celebrate their achievements and encourage them to continue. And for myself, I pledge to do my best each day to move and take care of my body.

We should be a source of encouragement and support for each other. It may not always be easy to see, but it can make a world of difference. And during those low moments, knowing that others have gone through similar experiences can provide the strength and guidance needed to overcome. We're all in this fight together. Stay connected to others with psoriatic arthritis by joining our Facebook Support Group now.

Paul Koffman is verified user for iMedix

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