Pain and Stiffness

I was very healthy as a child and young adult. I had Mono at 27 and that’s when everything changed. I had a “moderate” case of Mono, but it lasted about 9 months. During the worst of it, I was sleeping 36 hours, would wake up enough to drink something, use the bathroom, and then I couldn’t keep my eyes open another second. Thank God my parents were there to help take care of my kids.

After I was finally able to function again, I just didn’t feel right. The achy-ness didn’t go away and my joints, especially my fingers, were stiff. About 2 years later, my back suddenly started hurting severely. I was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome at that time. The doctor also said that I had some kind of rheumatoid arthritis, my sed rate was very high, but my ana was negative. He said that as long as my ana was negative he felt I didn’t need to really be concerned.

Fast forward about 20 years, I still have various joint pain, swelling, and stiffness, my back pain is debilitating, and I have plantar fasciitis several times a year. I told my primary doctor that I had to find out what was going on and she sent me to a rheumatologist. The doctor ran several tests looked over my body, including my scalp and my feet. I have had scaling, very dry skin on my right foot for years, but other doctors felt is was just dry skin or possibly athlete’s foot. The Rheumatologist told me it is psoriasis, and that she found patches of psoriasis on my scalp, as well. We started with methotrexate and sulfasalazine, and ended up with both of those, plus Remicade. I’ve been on all 3, plus folic acid, for about 10 years now. I have never had a complete remission, I always have a degree of pain and stiffness, I never wake up feeling refreshed and well rested, but things are tolerable. I wish I lived in an area with better access to warm water pools, that is where I feel the most normal, but seeing where I have my parents, my husband, my kids, grandkids and one great grandson, I’m here for a while and I am able to cope for the most part.

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