I Just Want to be Normal
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I have had skin issues since I was in 3rd grade. I also had, (so the Dr said), eczema around both ankles. I was teased a lot for having “the creeping crud.” I have always been very embarrassed and self conscious of it. As I got older, all of it faded away except one big patch on the front of my left ankle. At 55, I had a severe phlebitis in my left leg that put me in the hospital for a week. I scratched my eczema in my sleep, which literally ripped it out of my skin. Then at 63, another patch appeared on my right leg, just above my knee. My skin started peeling off all over my body, especially where I had scars. It was like a sunburn peeling. It caused pain and a burning sensation

I finally went to a Rheumatologist and a Dermatologist.I was diagnosed with PsA. I had also been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia about 25 years ago and Arthritis about 15 years ago. I was blaming my fibro for my pain and exhaustion. I was told it was the PsA and that I probably had it for several years. I do get depressed because I can’t do the things I used to. I was a Tomboy as a kid & I was extremely active as an adult. My coworkers called me the “white tornado.” lol. My last 2 years working is when my body started to shut down. I started having pain and difficulty walking or sitting for any length of time. I was an Office Coordinator for an Orthopaedic Surgeon’s office. I couldn’t keep up with office hours, so I was put in the phone room. It didn’t take long before that was too painful. I woke up for work one morning and I literally could not get out of bed. I had to take a medical leave, which turned into early retirement due to being handicapped. My life became a living hell. I couldn’t take care of my home or myself. I couldn’t go out with my friends. I felt trapped & alone. I also didn’t get any help from my family. They didn’t believe what I was going through. Finally my kids, (800 miles away), came up & packed up my apartment & moved me to the South with them. I now live with my son & family. Thank God my kids saw the big difference in me & understood. I have been here 4 years now. My life is much easier but I still live in constant pain. Thanks to finding good Doctors here & better medication, I have less pain & a little more mobility. My kids try to get me out more & they make it easy on me to enjoy some activities. I have a cane, a rollater & a powerchair. I use all of them for different activities. I am about to have an ablation on my lower spine & S-I joints to kill the nerves. Hopefully this will allow me to stand & walk pain free. I have severe arthritis throughout my entire spine & multiple herniated discs. Next they will be working on my cervical spine & shoulder pain. I’m praying that these procedures will give me some of my life back. PsA sux!

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