New to PsA

I have been reading other stories and sort of consider myself lucky, which may sound weird. I am 60 years old. I have only had psoriasis for about 3 years and it is mostly on my scalp on my right side. My right eyelid and right elbow also have small patches. A year ago December 8th, 2017 I came down with a sudden rash from my shoulders to my thighs. Went to a walk in clinic and was treated for an allergic reaction to something.

Three days later I was woken up in the night with severe pain in my right hand and right foot.They were so swollen I couldn’t move them and had a hard time walking. Went to emergency and the doctor took blood and said I had arthritic changes and put me on light duty. Woke up the next day was tired but ok and went to work. That night I again I woke up in severe pain but this time it was both hands, couldn’t drive and I had an appointment with my own dr. hat day. Because I work with animals she sent me for more blood tests, one of them being Lyme disease. That came back negative. My doctor called me the next day and said that my liver enzymes were through the roof and that my inflammation markers were also super high, she put me on sick leave till further notice and sent me to the only rheumatologist in my city. He couldn’t figure out want was going on as my R factor was normal and he said arthritis takes a while to build up. It doesn’t happen suddenly. He treated me for Lyme even though the test was negative.

By this time I was in pain pretty much all the time but only on my right side from my shoulder to my foot. The second time I saw him he pretty much washed his hands of me and told my to come back in May if I was no better, this was the end of January. My dr was not impressed and started looking for another rheumatologist in another city as I was not getting any better and the fatigue was really getting me down. At one point I even fell asleep in her office waiting for her and I wasn’t waiting very long. I ended up being off work for 4 months. I went back, 1 because my sick benefits had run out and 2 for my mental health, I needed to feel useful again. I started out 4 hours a day 3 days a week because of the fatigue.

I now work 6 hours a day, 4 days a week. That is my absolute limit. I finally ended up seeing a rheumatologist in August and she was the one that tentatively diagnosed PsA. She sent me for X-rays and more blood tests and put me on high dose ibuprofen until I could see her again in November. When I went back I told her that my maternal grandmother had psoriasis and they said she had rheumatoid arthritis. That along with everything else confirmed my diagnosis with PsA. I am now on methotrexate. We will see how that goes. It is a relief to know what I have. But it is quite a lifestyle change as until last year I was healthy and very active, now I am still adjusting to good days and bad days. It didn’t take long to get a diagnosis as I have a super doctor who kept pushing for answers, but it also happened very suddenly which takes some getting used too. I sort of feel lucky as I am older when this has happened and not young like a lot of others ( my sister has had rheumatoid arthritis for 40 year). But it still sucks as I miss all the activities that I used to do like Kangoo and Zumba, hiking and downhill skiing. I hope when this is under control that I can go back and do some of this.

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