When I was first diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis (PsA), I didn’t know anyone else that had it. This was long before social media as we know it today, and it would be another 10 years before I discovered chronic illness communities online.
Getting to meet others who understood my life was comforting and validating. However, it was the conversations that took place in those support groups that prompted me to dig deeper into my diagnosis. Over time, I noticed large discrepancies when it came to how we described our symptoms. We had all been diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis, but sometimes I wondered how our vastly different experiences could fall under the same condition. So, I did some digging.
I discovered there is more than one form of psoriatic arthritis. But I was puzzled when I turned to my own medical records and couldn’t find which type I had. After talking to other PsA patients, it became clear that I wasn’t the only one who didn’t know this important distinction.
After asking my physician, he determined which forms I had. Seventeen years after my initial diagnosis, I not only knew my exact types of psoriatic arthritis, but I also understood this disease better than I ever had.
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