Since I began this blog it has always just been a place to document my life as a mother. I shared our adventures and happy times but have never really got too personal. And then this year my health got worse, which I’ll get into in a moment, and it kind of turned everything upside down for me. I was no longer sure of who I was and what I wanted to do, there were less fun outdoor adventures in my life and so this blog became a little neglected. Real life took over and all of the time that I would usually spend on my blog just sort of disappeared. To really explain how I was feeling I need to first give you a little background.
I’ve had Psoriasis for as long as I remember and then I started suffering with Psoriatic Arthritis when I was a teenager. For anyone that doesn’t know what either of those things are here’s a really brief explanation.
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease where the body’s production of new skin cells is sped up resulting in scaly patches over the body. Psoriatic Arthritis is a form of arthritis linked with Psoriasis where your immune system attacks healthy tissue and creates painful, swollen joints.
I’ve recently filmed a video describing my journey with both diseases which I’ve put at the end of my post if you want to hear more about my childhood with it and listen to my naivety surrounding the conditions. But, fast forward to Athena’s first birthday in May and I could barely walk as my Psoriatic Arthritis has always been centred around my feet. I was in constant pain, I couldn’t keep up with my children, I was exhausted and just generally struggling. I saw a consultant, as I had many times in the past, but this time he told me it was time to start treating it more aggressively. It was then that it hit home that I didn’t just have some dry skin and a couple of sore toes, I had a chronic illness, an autoimmune disorder.
There was a lot of moping around after that, not least because I’d have to stop breastfeeding to start treatment, and it took a week or so to stop feeling sorry for myself. It’s hard to explain, and I’m definitely going to try and do a separate post and video on how having Psoriatic Arthritis has affected me as a mother and my parenting style, as these few sentences cannot do it justice. But I saw myself as an outdoors Mum, we love being out and about. My approach is quite hands off and I enjoy watching the girls discover the world around them. But being unable to jump up and run after them was like having the rug pulled out from under me. I was suddenly a shouty mess if they went more than a couple of feet away from me. It wasn’t fun for anyone.
I’ve been on Methotrexate now for just over a month and although it has yet to have much of an effect and brings a whole heap of new challenges with it (so much queasiness) I’m feeling much more positive. It’s amazing the effect of knowing you’re not overacting and that there are people trying to help you can have. I’m finding it easier to tell people if I think I’ll be unable to manage something rather than struggling on and gaining an understanding of my disease has helped me feel less alone.
And that brings me back round to this blog. I want it to continue to be predominantly a positive place but I’m going to take some of the pressure off of myself to be perfect. I want to share more about the benefits of getting outside as well as tips and activities to help because being kept from the outdoors has made me realise how passionate I am about it. But I also want to share more about my journey with Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis because when I wanted to find out more the first places I looked were blogs and YouTube and couldn’t find very much. I didn’t want to read medical journals, I wanted to read about other people that live with these illnesses and so I hope that by sharing some of my experiences I just might help someone else.