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PsA: A Rude Awakening

About a month ago, I was diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis. I have seen my family doctor for a while for symptoms that didn’t last long and pains that could be mistaken for job-related issues like tennis elbow and an exercise injury on my hip. Other symptoms were just bothersome that I ignored (that’s on me).

Is it psoriatic arthritis?

About a little over three months ago, on a weekend, I woke up with pains I had in the past and it felt like I got hit with a sack of rocks. After a few days, I went to my doctor and started to get some blood work. Went through the basics, ruling out MS, Lupus, and Lyme but as the pain got more intense I ended up going to the ER. Of course, they could only reduce the pain at the moment and send me home with recommendations to see a specialist. Like most places, the wait to see them was weeks ahead. I had kidney stones in the past and the back pain was just as intense that I had to go back to the ER again and again. The doctors there were good but they could only guess…

My rude awakening

I finally got to see my new rheumatologist and did more extensive bloodwork trying to rule out the usual suspects, along with an MRI and ultrasound on my joints. When the results came back, he gave me the news. The pain on my heels, ankles, toes, knuckles, neck and wrists have been debilitating. The psoriasis part has been localized on my scalp and face.

Working with psoriatic arthritis

I do labor work (or I should say I used to) for a small company. Since that weekend, I haven’t been able to work. The pain, inability to concentrate, and fatigue have left me powerless. I used to work longer hours than most, hardly ever missing work. The hardest part of it is that I learned a line of work that I can’t do anymore even with new medication which I just started. My grip to hold and apply force to my tools is gone. Carrying them from one service call to the next is just out of the question, not including the materials needed for that particular job. Like most medications, it takes a while to see any improvement. At this moment I’m trying to find a new line of work but not having support is stressful. Trying to figure out what to do financially and medical treatments that can empty my savings have left me guessing what should I do next. I’m almost 50 and the rude awakening that my life has changed so quickly is mind-numbing.

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.

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