Hi Everyone - I'm really glad to read everyone's posts.
In 1979 (at age 34), I was fine (except for bad Raynaud's) one spring day and two weeks later I was in the hospital, in a wheelchair, unable to do anything for myself, with doctors telling me I might never work again. I was in the hospital for 3 weeks (in part because of a pseudo-lupus reaction to one of the drugs they gave me) while the doctors argued about a diagnosis. Was it rheumatoid arthritis or lupus? Or a strange virus? Or something else altogether? I don't think it was known at the time that there are over 100 kinds of systemic arthritis, of which PA is one. I had no rash anywhere.
I was treated with Prednisone, and then put on aspirin (after reacting so badly to the one RA drug), 15-18 a day. After 3 years, I went to a homeopath, and two years later I was pretty much pain-free and off aspirin altogether except for headaches. And I've never had a serious flareup since (except when I quit smoking - tobacco is a nightshade and I had a withdrawal reaction for a while).
I've learned that I do have some food sensitivities and I try to rotate the foods that I'm sensitive to - if I don't eat red meat, sugar or nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers) more than every 3-4 days, I don't develop arthritic pain.
Around 2000, researching on the internet, I came across the symptoms for PA and diagnosed myself (the key symptoms being that my sed rate is ALWAYS high and that during my onset attack, my nails separated from the nailbeds). By that time I had learned that my dad had psoriasis and my sister had very bad psoriasis when she was pregnant. Plus my dermatologist said she could see some flaking from the psoriasis in my eyebrows!
When I'm very ill (with flu, etc.), I can get patches of scabs on my elbows and when I'm very stressed, I get flakes on my fingers, but I don't have noticeable skin symptoms often.
I'm retired now, living in New Mexico (lots of sunshine and very little stress). The only medication I generally need is 2 aspirin a day - I had to stop aspirin to take Plavix for 6 months and developed 3 trigger fingers, which disappeared as soon as I was able to get back to my 2 aspirin a day, so it's really a preventative.
Exercise is difficult - starting a new exercise program means aches and pains, and I seem to be more of a wuss about that as I get older, but it's something I need to do, and I think this SparkTeam will inspire me to push on forward through the aches and pains.
That's my story. Most of you have far greater symptoms than I do, and it looks like diagnosis still seems to be difficult. I'm already very motivated by your stories, and know that I will benefit greatly from being on this SparkTeam!
Pounds lost: 9.0
Fitness Minutes: (0) Posts: 1 10/18/10 6:16 P
Hello everyone, I just started today. I am excited to be able to talk to people who understand our condition. It took about 6 months to finally pin down what what going on but glad they did. I feel much better now. I am on Methotrexate and humira. I finally got off prednisone about 2 months ago. I am finally feeling well enough to move and lose the weight from all the medicine and non movement for so long. I look forward to hearing and learning from all of you.
Fitness Minutes: (165) Posts: 5 10/12/10 2:35 P
hi everyone, just started on sparkpeople today and trying to browse through the site. I'm 30 and I have had psoriasis since I was about 10 or so. I also have PA since I was about 20, took a couple of years to figure out what it was. I use to have it my hands and knees. Use to take methotrexate injections worked miracles. My wife and I decide it was time to have a kid so I decided to stop taking all medications just for safety precaution. I felt pretty good for a couple of years, then I was laid off from my job and everything has gone down hill since then. Of course when I don't have health insurance is when it flares up. So now I have got in my ankles,knees,elbow,jaw,neck,shoulders and spine. It seems that it has gone every where, don't understand it and it is very painful. Broke down and paid out of pocket to go the doc and now take prednisone and stopped taking the humira shot it seemed like it didn't work with the prednisone. So anyway, sorry about getting long winded. Looking forward to hearing from some of you guys.
current weight: 330.0
Fitness Minutes: (6,067) Posts: 72 5/14/10 4:31 P
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