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Out of Control

Out of Control

Alexandra Fendrich
New York, NY
Psoriatic Arthritis

This poem describes some of the challenges we face when living with a chronic autoimmune disease. When I first had symptoms, I struggled for many months to get doctors to believe me. When I finally got diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis, I thought I would quickly solve this disease. What actually resulted was a deeply frustrating and humbling experience as I struggled to find the right treatment for over two years. After countless doctor visits, fights with insurance, and side effects, I have finally found a treatment plan that better addresses my symptoms. In all of this, the larger lesson I’ve learned has been about how to manage a lifelong illness, and about finding ways to honor both the realness of pain while also finding joy in day-to-day life, despite the limitations I might face because of my disease. This is a lesson I am still learning.