The Validation of My Psoriatic Arthritis Diagnosis
Last updated: November 2023
When I first started experiencing what I now know as psoriatic arthritis pain, I had no idea. I had no idea what I was in for and I had no idea what was going on. At the time, I already has severe psoriasis, so naturally, I looked into psoriatic arthritis.
Now, please bear in mind this was many years ago and there was not as much information about psoriatic arthritis out there. I had no sausage fingers, and having been to one GP, I got a clean bill of health and blood tests were done. There was nothing. I genuinely felt like I was losing my mind. I had pinched/inflamed sciatica most days and was taking a huge amount of NSAIDs just to be able to walk and go to work daily.
How did my doctor validate me?
After a visit to one specific doctor who had knowledge of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis and not just baseline knowledge. He was treating a few patients and generally made me feel a little less crazy. He validated my feelings and then dropped the bombshell that was, it does not show up on tests for everyone, and not everyone has swollen sausage fingers and toes. I was shocked. Almost everything to date had made me feel like that was the main symptom. Maybe it was my own ignorance, but it fooled some doctors too. So I did not feel too bad about that.
How did he know I had psoriatic arthritis?
It was like a light went on for me after stumbling around in the dark for months. He confirmed that was I was experiencing was indeed psoriatic arthritis. Importantly that many people who experience this do not get the signature swollen toes and fingers and often their blood tests come back as "good health." After doing an intensive consultation and a massive information dump on him (about everything I had been experiencing and family history etc.), I felt so much better, it now had a name and we could move forward.
How did I know something was wrong?
So how did I know that something was wrong? Apart from the sciatica which was honestly completely debilitating. I was experiencing severe pain, in my back, shoulders, legs, and hands. If asked where it was, I could not exactly pinpoint it, it was just everywhere. A dull aching feeling that was sometimes interjected with sharp pains which could quite literally bring me to my knees in an instant. It turns out that most of my inflammation settles in my tendons mostly and often brings costochondritis along with it. This is true til today, although touch wood, my costochondritis has been easygoing the last two years.
How did my tendons explain the pain?
I like knowing things, It makes me feel settled. Understanding that much of my inflammation was in my tendons was a game changer. Once I looked at what tendons are and where they are in your body. Things made so much more sense and I was able to understand what and why I was feeling this pain everywhere and not just from a specific joint for instance. Tendons are everywhere, they attach muscles to your bones when they are inflamed they can cause difficulty moving and pain increases considerably when you do move that part of your body. It is always worth spending some time and investing in knowledge of your body and what is going on with it.
If you think that something is going on and you do not yet have a diagnosis, go get it checked out, make sure its not something else and never be afarid to get a second opinion.
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