Read Nikki Cooke's story on the experience of living with pain.
Nikki Cooke is from Regina, Saskatchewan, and is currently pursuing her education degree. In 2011, at the age of 14, Nikki had been suffering from unexplainable aches and pain that severely limited her functioning. After six months of seeing numerous specialists such as orthopedic surgeons and a rheumatologist, Nikki was finally diagnosed with pediatric psoriatic arthritis. The autoimmune disease is a form of arthritis that affects those who also have psoriasis, and the main signs and symptoms are painful joints, stiffness, inflammation and swelling of the skin.
Nikki trialed various medications, actively went to massage therapy and physical therapy, as well as tried reflexology to manage her condition. At the advice of her physicians, she would frequently try icing or putting cold compresses on her painful areas which only exacerbated the problem and added more stress and worry around her diagnoses. Nikki recognizes that seeking treatment can be incredibly frustrating in an attempt to figure out what helps, and she knows that living with daily pain can be both mentally and physically exhausting. However, Nikki indicates that having a strong support system in place and being compassionate to oneself can make the world of difference, and she is currently living well! We got to speak to Nikki in-depth regarding her experiences of living with arthritis as a young person, and you can listen to the full podcast episode, here: Your Partners in Pain Podcast – Nikki