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Tough Cookie With a Bottle of Ibuprofen

My story starts 20 years ago, I was 23. It seemed like I went from a healthy strong health nut to a sick person in bed all the time.

I had psoriasis up to this point, but usually medication had kept it somewhat under control. I still hated the way it looked. But, what was I to do. I am not sure even the doctors knew what they were doing back then.

I knew I needed to stay away from perfumes and dyes. That was hard because there was not a long line of hypoallergenic anything. I had tried everything I could think of.

Then after a couple years I found that a very specific coconut lotion and tanning regularly helped the psoriasis stay calm. At times gone. At least the psoriasis was not bleeding and was not all over me. That was my idea of a win.

They tested me for all kinds of things. But finally said Fybromialgia and gave me tons of hydrocodone. For about a year. Then they said Hydrocodone is not good for me….. Who would have known. They said that anti-depressants were the answer. I was not depressed though…. ughhh. This went on for awhile. Then I said no more medication.

Over the years, I even was part of a Fybromialgia focus test group up at the University of Utah. They were certain that even though I could walk 5 miles, that I had Fybromialgia. They wanted me to talk to people with Fybromialgia to tell them what I did to stay moving. I did not have Fybromialgia.

I told them that I had to physically move, work and take care of my family. No matter how much it hurt! My husband was always losing jobs, had tons of past child support, so no real income was coming from him. I took lots of Ibuprofen, and continued to work.

But wait! I got so sick I was being told that I would likely end up in a wheel chair. That I had to take it easy. So that I would not trigger any flare up. I am not sure if they used those words back then. But you get the idea.

Ha, what did they know. I had a job repossessing furniture. You heard me. I lifted couches, tvs, tables and chairs. Yes, and I was an Assistant Manager. I collected money from people who did not pay for their furniture. That is a stressful position.

Did I tell you, the Dr’s said avoid stress. Oh yes, I am always a Manager. I even did Operations for a few years for a large phone company.

I did drop the husband, the high stress job, the heavy lifting and found a different way to live my life. But, still I was so sore. I was downing Ibuprofen a great deal each day. 800 mg 4 times a day.

Then, finally when I was 38 years old, one of my toes had swollen up huge. I had been getting pedicures for a few years at this point. I thought I had a fungus. I kept going to my family Doctor. Did everything he said. It did not go away. I was to a point, where I could barely wear any shoes. How was I going to work like that. You got it, I wore slippers.

Finally my Doctor sent me to a podiatrist. This entire process took months by the way. The podiatrist tested me for fungus. He said no fungus. He said you have psoriatic arthritis I think. In fact, it is what is causing all of your toes to swell. It was not as obvious as the one, but yes, they were sore when he squoze them. And, they were swollen.

Well the podiatrist said I should go to a Rhuemetologist. I did not even know what that was. Well, I didn’t even know what a podiatrist was, but I had made my way to him. But the Rhuemetologist was so far away. The waiting time for an appointments was also so far away. 3 more months. However, when I finally got in, she did confirm that I had psoriatic arthritis. She was going to run some tests. She wanted me to look at the treatment options while I waited for the lab results to get back.

Well though it sucked, I did chose to get put on methotrexate. The fight has not been easy. There are days that feeling sick from the medicine made me so depressed. I have been on methotrexate now for 4 years. It has helped me keep going. I trade 3 days of feeling sick for 4 days that I can get up and still enjoy life as much as I can. I am also on Humira now. But….

I can take care of my teenage son and his best friend. I can walk, and with my husbands help, I care for a few animals and a very small hobby farm. I go for walks, do light exercise on good days. Sure there are bad days, but it is all about getting up each morning and doing all I can that day.

There are other affects I am sure PA has on me. But, I am still going. I could not lift a couch any more. But, I am still going. Life changes are a key. I agree. I do know though, that never giving up the fight is most important.

I will fight to keep my body going. I will fight to find the right treatments. I will fight to help find a cure. I do this, because one day my children or grandchildren could be affected by this horrible disease and condition. I want to make sure that I have done all I could to help my family in the future as much as I possibly can.

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.


  • CathyD moderator
    3 years ago

    LauraCox, I really enjoyed reading your story – it is very inspiring! You have been through so much over the years and still come out fighting at the end. Every day I am shown how strong our community members are!

    I am sorry to hear about everything you have experienced, particularly the delay in diagnosis, that is so frustrating and appears to be quite common unfortunately. I hope the methotrexate and humira are making things bearable for you, and that they continue to do so.

    Thank you so much for sharing with us, it is really great to have you here 🙂


  • LauraCox author
    3 years ago

    Thank you so much. As all of our journeys continue, I am sure there will be other awesome adventures. I enjoy reading about the others also. It helps bring me strength. 🙂

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