Unknown Diagnosis: Psoriatic Arthritis As A Child

My mother has told me that as a young child, my teacher sent a note home about my swollen fingers and how it was affecting my writing. I was already going to the doctor pretty frequently for my psoriasis. My mom mentioned to the doctor that my fingers were painful and swollen.

His remedy? Wrap my hands in a warm cloth.

Pay attention to your children's pain

Our family roots had no history of psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis. These conditions were so foreign to my family. They didn't know back in the sixties too much about psoriatic arthritis. I had been seeing doctors for years when I started showing symptoms of PsA.

I was a very active child from the time I was born; from what my mother tells me. She said that around the age of adolescence I started complaining of pain in my elbows, hands, and other joints. I tell this story late in my life to encourage parents to listen and pay attention to their children.

The journey starts to diagnosis

While most of my pain was happening in the morning, I was always playing. My mom didn’t pay too much attention to the pain I said I was having. After all, I was a child.

Warm Epsom salt baths became my best friend to ease some of the pain. Time went on and the pain was very intense. My tolerance was just as intense. The doctor again said there was nothing wrong with me. My mom noticed the pain kept progressing and getting worse. They tested my blood and gave me an antibody test. I was never diagnosed with PsA.

Patience is everything

Trying to find ways to help me keep comfortable has been financially straining and required most of my parent's time. They had to schedule appointments and have multiple tests done. As the doctors kept telling me it was all in my head, my parent's patience sure was tested.

For parents who have children with PsA, it’s not easy. Listen to them if they say they are in any pain. Do your research, understand them, and give them more attention.

It took 25 years

As I have gotten older, obtained my own job and insurance, I started seeing better doctors in cities and other counties. It took over 25 years for a diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis.

I’m now in my sixties and have had countless injections and drugs for pain relief. My family and husband are very supportive. We have ensured that I get all the medication I need.

I guess the moral of this story is if you are in pain and confident something is wrong, say something, be patient and never give up!

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