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What? PsA and Psoriasis?

I was just recently diagnosed with PsA and Psoriasis. I waited almost 6 years to be diagnosed with many, many misdiagnoses. It almost took my life in 2013 when my liver suddenly failed. Ever since then I was on the hunt for answers, and to survive.

I thought about not sharing my story, but what changed my mind is that someone, somewhere out there may be going undiagnosed like I did and maybe sharing my story will provide someone hope. To know I am not alone in this helps me.

I served 7 years in the Military so I was very physically active. When I woke up one morning in 2009 and couldn’t move because my spine, and nearly every joint in my body hurt, I knew something was wrong. The old saying goes,”you know your own body, so trust it.”

Weird symptoms happened for a long time and I just brushed it off to depression, anxiety or just working too much, or being under stress.

My toenails started changing around 2010, and I had small patches on both of my feet that were itchy. I thought it was tinea pedis since I was in the Military, and shared showers with many others. So, I started using an antifungal cream for athletes foot. My toenails continued to get worse and so did the skin on my feet.

I finally went in and saw a Podiatrist who took a toenail biopsy and said it’s not a fungus. Big relief, but I still had no answers for my skin or the joint pain.

Finally got sent to a Rheumatologist after waiting almost a year to see one. The Nurse Practitioner I saw didn’t think it was PsA or Psoriasis and completely dismissed me until my feet started to swell and she had an ultrasound to prove otherwise.

I am now on Methotrexate, Hydrocortisone, and NSAIDs. The Methotrexate provides some relief, but going to mention to my Rheumatologist that I would like to try a biologic as well since I am still having new symptoms show up.

I just keep pushing on because that’s all you can do. I know my limitations and work around them. Yes, right now I use the assistance of a wheelchair because my feet are really bad. I hope that changes in the future.

I use humor to get me through, cooking, music, spending time with family and friends and connecting with others on sites like this. Taking life one day at a time, and being thankful I am alive also helps.

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

Comments

  • OMG4PsA
    2 years ago

    Yes. Good story. Thanks for sharing. It does seem like we are going crazy at times with all these mis diagnosis. Sometimes I feel like I have everything all rolled up into one….PsA, gout, fibro, RA, OA, AS. It can be hard to explain to a Doctor, Co Worker or Friend.
    You are so right to say, “we know our bodies” and when you first get hit with all this, you know something is not right and not you at all. Two years ago, I remember well, going into my Primary care Dr and saying something a trembly wrong with me. I felt all itchy, ache and stiff; unlike nothing I had ever felt. She checked my RH level and it was 82. Luckily, I found a great Rhumy Dr. He was very aggressive. We tried Humera, Methotrexate, Arava, Remicade, Cimza and varies other quick fix treatment like Tordal and Depo. I got aggressive too. Changing my whole eating ways, no sugar, no glutton, no red meat, no dairy, no processed foods, no GMO. Started reading labels. Really reading them. I decided if I couldn’t pronounce them I wouldn’t eat them. Well, over the coarse of 2 years managed to lose 85 pounds. My Ortho Dr said if I lost 100 pounds he would consider a total knee replacement that I was in dire need of. Now, not so sure I can withstand a surgery. Still struggling, and I hate to say this but Methotrexate ( Mtx ) was the one drug that got me through all this agonizing drama. Soon though, I began losing lots of hair ( handfuls ) and my hair was thinning away. My liver also took a hit. So I decided to stop all of those hardcore drugs. Been on an herbal and alternative trip. Been doing warm water therapy for about 6 months ( right around the time I stopped Mtx) also Decompression on my neck and lower back. Cut my hair way short and am a PsA Warrior. Studied, studied as much as I can about autoimmune. Even did Stem Cell shots in my knees, neck and back. Still waiting the outcome. They say maybe in April or May. I have a massive massage chair, electric bed to raise my legs and head. Doing everything I can think of. I take all my cd’s and reports to all my Dr’s.
    Lately, just saw an ear Dr. Now I have Psoriasis and eczema in my inner canal……great.. And headaches that just don’t stop. TMJ of course. Seeing a new PT for some relief.
    Life goes on. Wow, you got me to really share. Thanks. Hope this might help someone else too.

  • Casey moderator
    2 years ago

    Oh my goodness, OMG4PsA, it sounds like you have gone through so much during your PsA journey. I’m so sorry to hear the frustrations you have been going through. I’m glad to hear you’ve been able to find some relief at times, and have found your own routine. We’re so glad you opened up to us and shared your experience with our community. We’re so grateful to have you here!

    Since you mentioned utilizing alternative treatments and trying gluten free, I thought you may find these pages interesting, https://psoriatic-arthritis.com/treatment/complementary-alternative-therapy/ and https://psoriatic-arthritis.com/living/psoriatic-arthritis-and-gluten/

    Also, if you are struggling with your psoriasis, especially now that it has started appearing in new places, I would highly recommend checking out or sister site, plaquepsoriasis.com for more articles and support.

    Thank you again for opening up to us and sharing your story. We are here for you!

    Best, Casey, Psoriatic-Arthritis.com Team

  • PattyJ
    2 years ago

    I find going barefoot or only socks relieve a lot of the stress and pain in my feet and elevating them in a recliner often. I use a walker with a seat part of the time just so I can sit when I need to. I find myself massaging my feet in the evenings as I read or watch TV. I am considering getting a small dog to keep me moving when I need the motivation. You are right humor is necessary and doing what you can, when you can, that you enjoy. One day, one hour, one minute at a time. You for sure are not alone.

  • Casey moderator
    2 years ago

    Hi PattyJ,

    Thanks for sharing your experience and advice with us! I’m glad you are finding some relief, and thankful for your positive attitude. Humor is a great way to keep moving forward, and pets can also provide so many benefits in our lives. I found these two articles for you that you may connect with 🙂

    https://psoriatic-arthritis.com/living/can-pets-improve-health/
    https://psoriatic-arthritis.com/living/laughter-can-be-your-best-medicine/

    Thanks again for sharing, we’re so grateful to have you in our community!
    Best, Casey (Psoriatic-Arthritis.com Team)

  • CathyD moderator
    2 years ago

    Hi JuliePost36,

    So sorry to read about all you have been through, and how long you had to wait to get a diagnosis. Unfortunately this seems to be a huge problem with PsA.

    I thought you may find this page on biologics helpful: https://psoriatic-arthritis.com/medications/biologics/ – you can click through to each one to read more about them. Please keep us updated with how your chat with your rheumatologist goes regarding this.

    Thank you for sharing your story – I think it will be encouraging for people who are struggling to get a diagnosis!

    – CathyD

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