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Articles > Psoriatic arthritis stop me? No way!

Psoriatic arthritis stop me? No way!

You can thrive with psoriatic arthritis_and these four people are proof. Read on for their inspiring stories and the strategies that keep them living life to the fullest.

Provided by HealthMonitor

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'Scheduling everything keeps my energy high'
When Kathleen Gallant of Pittsburgh went on biologic medicine to treat her psoriatic arthritis in 2003, it gave her back her life, but it also found her taking on too much. "I was so improved, I felt like Wonder Woman and forgot to recuperate after exertion." Now 46 and on the board of the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF), Kathleen schedules virtually everything she does to make sure she gets enough rest. "Fatigue is part of my life and when I organize my time around that fact, I can accomplish much more." Even Kathleen's family has the scheduling habit: "They're like the rest police, always making sure I have downtime before and after a big event or activity." Kathleen also uses these strategies to manage her time and sidestep fatigue:

Use a 1:1 ratio "My rule of thumb is that for every activity I commit to, I book the same chunk of time for rest'it's even true for this interview!'
Rest, don't sleep For Kathleen, rest doesn't mean getting more ZZZs. "I save the bed for bedtime. Instead, I sit quietly in a library or park, or curl up on the couch, avoiding reading, so my eyes get a chance to relax, too.'
Never miss a Sunday "When a weekend is taken over by something else, like traveling to a board meeting, Monday becomes Sunday and I take the day off, no matter what is on my schedule.'
Avoid back-to-back commitments These are the toughest on your energy reserves, says Kathleen. "When I went back to school for my master's, I stayed away from classes that had only a few minutes in between.'
Say no to late-night events "I've learned to politely decline invitations that start past 9:00; I schedule one-on-one time'during the day'with the person instead.'

'Mentoring inspires me!'
'I was a young guy with psoriasis who tried to ignore it, as many people do," recalls 45-year-old Matthew Kiselica of Grapevine, TX. "In my 20s, I struggled with stiff joints, but chalked it up to getting older and never discussed it with my doctor. Then, at 27, an intense arthritis flare led my dermatologist to diagnose PsA." In the past, Matthew had to use a cane, but today he can do almost anything thanks to a new drug regimen. And sharing his story with others through the National Psoriasis Foundation's One to One program keeps him upbeat and energetic. "I'm most fulfilled when I see people who finally have a safe place to talk about their disease. Their relief at being accepted and understood is something I feel lucky to be a part of.'

'PsA led to a new passion!'
In his 20s, Scott Bell was always building things'big things like sheds and tree houses. "Just before my PsA diagnosis, I was constructing a large screened-in porch, but an arthritis flare made it grueling to do all the lifting required. I made it through, but decided it was time to find some new, lower-impact hobbies." Since then the resident of Woodstock, GA, has become a crafts fanatic, tackling everything from woodworking to knitting and even learning to sew. "These were things I would never have tried before, and it turns out I love them. I watch crafting demos on the DIY Network and develop my own projects, too, designing everything from candelabras to custom pillows. The creative outlet is invaluable, and as a bonus, crafting keeps my sore, stiff hands as loose as possible.'

'Therapy gave me the tools to succeed'
When I applied to law school, I knew I'd need help managing the course load since stress can trigger my symptoms," says 26-year-old Noelia Ferreyra of San Diego, who was diagnosed with psoriasis at 13 and PsA eight months ago. "So I started seeing a therapist who specializes in students. It's been the most amazing thing! We focus on coping techniques, from using acupressure when I'm anxious to scheduling rest time before exams. Just telling myself how I want to feel has helped. When I'm stressing out, I stop and say, "I want to feel prepared and calm," and it really makes a difference." Noelia's also learned to prioritize: "I figure out what's most important to tackle first and start there, and I make sure to pace myself.'
Osteoarthritis Joint Stiffness Pain Stiff Joints Stress Arthritis Psoriasis Fatigue Psoriatic Arthritis

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