My PSA Journey.

I started getting symptoms around 19, severe joint pain and swelling in my fingers, wrists, knees, and feet.

The doctors wouldn't listen

I had psoriasis that covered the backs of my knees that would spilt and bleed, but every time I went to the GP, they would tell me that I had no swelling and the skin condition was eczema. This went on until around 2015 and at this point, I'd given up going to the GP and was self-medicating with anything that would ease the pain, from painkillers to creams, you name it, I tried it.

In 2017, it got even worse. The pain was so immense and I couldn't walk very far without my very swollen knee giving up on me and buckling. For 12 months, I fought with the GP but they wouldn't listen and insisted that the swelling was from the eczema and the pain was all in my head, and that my psoriasis was just eczema.

In December of 2017, I was having the worst month of my life. I could hardly walk without crying. I couldn't grasp or hold anything and my sores had got infected. I was placed on antibiotics for the infection and told that the pain was in my head and the swelling was now because of the infection.

Visiting the emergency room

I woke up on January 1st, unable to get myself out of bed. My partner who I had called into the room to help to me, placed his arms under my armpits and help stand me up. The moment he let go of me I fell to the floor. My legs had a tingling sensation throughout them all and my hips and lower back. What an immense pain. I screamed and began to cry after hitting the floor.

My partner then made the decision to take me to Accident and Emergency (A&E). He scooped me up and placed me in the car, I sat in A&E for 7 1/2 hours. When I saw the first nurse they told me the same thing as my GP, "It's probably just in your head, but we will take blood work and run some tests to put you at ease." I was sent back out into the waiting room. After another hour of waiting, I was called in by a student doctor. He explained that he was taking me for x-rays of my back and hips as my inflammatory markers were extremely high and showing us high in my blood works, which would indicate swelling and this might be the cause of the tingling in my legs and the pain in my hip.

Blood tests indicated an autoimmune disease

After my x-rays, I was sent back out into the waiting room for another hour and a half. The student doctor came back and took me in to a room. He proceeded to show me my x-rays and my blood results. He explained that what he had found indicated some form of autoimmune disease either being rheumatoid arthritis or psoriatic arthritis and told me that he was going to refer me to a rheumatologist and that I should wait for a letter in the post.

Finally getting a psoriatic arthritis diagnosis

2 weeks later, I received a letter telling me I had an appointment on the 1st of February with a rheumatologist. After meeting with that rheumatologist, a week later, I was diagnosed with psoraric arthritis and placed on my immunosuppressants.

I'm so happy I finally have a doctor that is here to help me. He listens to everything I have to say and doesn't try and tell me it's in my head.

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