Mike Sayles knows the struggles of living with psoriatic disease. The 32-year-old in suburban Chicago has been living with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis (PsA) for the past decade, with the signs first appearing and manifesting in his nails.
Mike has been through it all: the stumped doctors, the misdiagnosis, the long and arduous treatment journey before landing on something that works for him. The key to his success? Routine. Know what works, and stick with it.
The problem with routine, though, is that it can easily get thrown out the window when raising young children. Especially with young children who are also living with psoriatic disease.
“I noticed at a pretty young age that psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis started to present themselves [in my children],” says Mike. “In a period of about a year, all three were showing obvious signs of psoriasis on their skin and were experiencing some joint issues.”
Mike and his wife, Maggie, have had to find a new routine that works for their jobs, Mike’s psoriatic disease and their three children – Ava, who is 7, Keegan, who is 5, and Rori, who is 2. While only Ava and Keegan have been diagnosed so far, all three children already are living with the challenges of both psoriasis and PsA.
Getting into a rhythm that allows for treatment to be properly administered, while making sure the older two kids arrive at school on time, has been a challenge, to say the least.
“It’s just learning to be disciplined about things,” says Mike. “I have to stay on top of taking my medication daily. And for the kids, we have to make sure to apply their topical skin care every night. If we don’t stay on top of it, that’s how flare-ups happen. We also have to factor in their weekly injections into our busy schedules. Keeping on top of what you need to do for the psoriasis and the arthritis becomes a big part of your life.”