A Diagnosis of Psoriatic Arthritis...Just Like That!
When I stood up, after sitting on the floor watching the Winter Olympics in 1996, I felt pain I had never imagined! I was newly married, eating Chinese food and when I stood up I fell back to the floor. I tried again, crying this time. My new husband was astounded. We had no idea what happened. It took me twenty-five minutes to walk about 25 feet to the car. Each and every step was excruciating pain in my left knee, right foot, and left hip. I thought I would never get to the hospital.
Trying to determine what was going on with my body
Once I was there they heard my story and started blood tests all of which came back normal. I was healthy as far as I could be for being twenty-two and half years old. I kept asking what happened? What did I do or not do? Why couldn't I stand up? The doctor seemed bewildered. I was given steroids to ease the swelling of the joints.
Finding a specialist
I was on the phone the next day with my family physician, the hospital told me to follow up with him immediately. I was able to get an appointment. I was sitting in the waiting room still in pain, but able to bear weight. The doctor walked in said well I know it's arthritis, but I don't know what type. Your rheumatoid count was three thousand, I was in shock. We battled around trying to find a rheumatologist. There were a ton of issues with insurance and the specialist I was given couldn't see me for 9 months. I had no idea how I would survive this.
Finally getting a diagnosis
About six months after the first incident I had hot swollen joints with severe pain. I couldn't stand the pain. I returned back to the doctor, but my regular doc was at a conference. The new doctor walked in, I was in tears from pain and frustration from not knowing what was happening. The new doctor walked in took one look at me and said, "How long have you had psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis?" Just like that, I knew what was wrong. I lifted my head and said, "I have what now?"
Finding support and help
This, of course, led me to begin looking for help via my computer. I found others and was stunned to learn that it was so widespread. It was at that point I knew I needed to help others too. I started to get involved. Now, I am astonished to this day that we are still having trouble getting people diagnosed or that there is still a lack of awareness of what it is. So now I fight with other Psoldiers! My life changed in a moment and the journey has been amazing.
Do you anxiously anticipate a psoriasis relapse?