Personal Perspectives on Psoriatic Arthritis: A Mother and Son’s Unexpected Journey | WebMD

Personal Perspectives on Psoriatic Arthritis: A Mother and Son’s Unexpected Journey | WebMD


[WATER SPLASHING] [MUSIC PLAYING] JAIME MOY: My story with psoriatic arthritis actually begins with my son Andy, who was diagnosed at age five. It was when he was in kindergarten that his gym teacher called to tell us that Andy wasn’t meeting any of his physical benchmarks. He was falling down. He was not able to jump rope. It was quite a shock. We didn’t know that kids could get arthritis. But we knew that he needed something, because it was very difficult for him to get out of bed in the morning. He had to cycle through a lot of medications because they would start to work, and then they would lose their effectiveness. There would even be times he would be hurting so much that he would have to ride in a wheelchair. ANDY MOY: I do remember in early elementary school just me having a lot of pain and not being able to move. It did make things difficult. I’m not able to write as much as other kids. I’m not able to move as fast as they could. So it would be hard to keep up. My hands would swell up to the point where I couldn’t hold a pencil. Some days it’d become so difficult I couldn’t even tie my shoes. JAIME MOY: It was about three years after Andy was diagnosed that I started having signs and symptoms of psoriatic arthritis, and that’s when I got my diagnosis. I was so independent before that, and now, all of a sudden, I couldn’t drive. Vacuuming. All these simple things that I had taken for granted, now my husband really had to step in. He did it with such grace and love. MR. MOY: Well, one of the things that this disease requires is a level of understanding. Oftentimes, we’ll have to keep in mind that we have to pace ourselves, so it definitely requires more patience. As a husband and father, I was willing to do whatever needed to be done to help them. ANDY MOY: When I was younger when I was having difficulty walking, my dad would carry me around on his back and shoulders so I could still be around and with the family. [WHEELS RATTLING] [MUSIC PLAYING] [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] What helps now that manages the pain is I’m on a fairly regular medication. Other than that, I do long showers to help and relax my muscles. I took on robotics near the end of middle school to high school. Working with the robotics does help a little bit with my arthritis, because it gives me something to keep my mind occupied. So it makes me see how things move differently, and I always find how anything moves interesting. Because any type of movement throughout my life is challenging. JAIME MOY: Besides taking medication, which has really helped manage my disease, I like to exercise. I also do yoga. I also go swimming with my friend. The warm water is nice. It helps on the joints, and it also relieves my stress. The more I can keep my stress level down, the better my disease is overall. One key program that has been very near and dear to our hearts is a week-long camp in the summer for kids with juvenile arthritis. ANDY MOY: Attending camp definitely helped with my childhood. I got to be a kid. I got to talk to other kids who went through what I did. I am going back this year to volunteer. I do want to give back to the youth that went through a lot of what I had to go through. JAIME MOY: Well, when he was first diagnosed, I didn’t know what his life would be. And now that he’s 20 years old, I see a great kid. He’s grown up, and he’s done all of the same things that his friends have done. Maybe they’ve been a little bit different. Instead of doing sports, he did robotics. He still went to school. He still got good grades. That alone is pretty awesome. But when you think about the fact of how much he’s had to overcome, it makes it that much more special. Having Andy have the disease, and I also had the disease, we’re able to help each other out. ANDY MOY: While I was growing up, it made it easier for us to understand each other. And we could also help one another easier when we were in pain. JAIME MOY: Our lives still go on. When I’m having a bad day, he’s there to just give me a hug. And just having that makes it easier to live with the disease as a whole. [MUSIC PLAYING]

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