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A Year After Being Diagnosed

When I was diagnosed with PsA, I was both relieved and depressed. I didn’t know how to balance my emotions.

Back story

I already suffered from psoriasis, for over ten years, and suffered from joint pain as well, or longer. I had also experienced great pain in my feet for years, and had been diagnosed with plantar fasciitis. I also had a swollen pinky toe that I un-lovingly referred to as “my big fat little toe”.

But when my fingers were permanently bent I knew something was wrong.

January 2016, I decided to see a doctor. This resulted in being prescribed Meloxicam and being sent on my way.

Two days later, I fell and injured my knee which resulted in ACL replacement surgery. While recovering and going to therapy, my physical therapist noticed my bent, swollen fingers and told me I definitely had arthritis and should see a rheumatologist.

When I finally got an appointment in October 2016, my doctor looked at my two pointer fingers,crooked and bent and horribly swollen, asked me if I had any psoriasis, then quickly told me I had PsA.


In the last year, we have fought with my insurance. I have been on Methotrexate, Otezla, Humira and now Stelara. The Otezla has by far worked the best but my insurance will not pay for it.

I have severe pain in my fingers, my entire feet, hips, shoulders, back and neck, elbows and of course, fatigue. Lots of fatigue. And all the other problems that come with PsA.

I try to push through daily. And, I do pretty well, after having slow mornings. Some days are better than others and some days are worse–far worse.

About once a month, I have what I call a blue day. This is the worst for me because I am an upbeat person. On blue days, I sit. That’s about all I can do. I am numb in my senses other than the feeling-I am full of pain.

Having PsA is horrible but I know there are far worse things to have. I am a blessed person and I count my blessings. Most days.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • VickiN moderator
    2 years ago

    Dedra, thank you for taking the time to share this with us! I’m really glad that you had a keen physical therapist who was so attentive in noticing your fingers. Because you mentioned that Otezla isn’t covered by your insurance, I’m wondering if you’ve tried any of the options here?
    It can seem like a long shot, but there are a bunch of people in the community who have had success, so I thought I would pass it along.
    I hope that during your blue days you’ll stop by for a virtual hug if you need one. Warm wishes to you,
    -Victoria, Community Moderator

  • Dedra Davis author
    1 year ago

    I thought I replied to this earlier but perhaps I didn’t. So sorry. Thank you for your reply. I haven’t tried the link you provided. Thank you though. I am getting some assistance with Stelara. I believe with insurance and my assistance, I pay $5? I’ve only had it once other than the free injections (uploading) from the Dr. I am due again in January. It gets frustrating because none of them really help. Otezla was the best but even it wasn’t perfect.
    I just go about my day, best I can, at a slower pace. Good days and bad days—although good days are now basically “ok” days.
    Thanks again, and I’ll try to reply sooner next time!!

  • VickiN moderator
    1 year ago

    Dedra, no problem about the reply! I was just off for winter vacation so I’ve also been away for a bit. I hope you are enjoying the community 🙂
    -Victoria, Community Moderator

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