40 Years and Counting…

My name is Diane, and I was diagnosed with psoriasis nearly 40 years ago when I was 16 years old. I used topical corticosteroids and had steroid injections and UV light treatments throughout my life with each flare-up. I was diagnosed with PsA (psoriatic arthritis) nearly a decade ago. At that time, my skin cleared up right before my PsA diagnosis, and I thought that it was gone! Little did I know, in 2010, i became ill with fever for a few weeks, and my blood work revealed that my liver enzymes were through the roof. My doctor tested me for hepatitis, and other things, and just decided that it was “some kind of infection that settled in my liver”. He didn’t do a liver biopsy at that time and forgot about it because everything eventually resolved.

Enter PsA

I believe this was my first PsA flare-up. I’ve had hypertension since 31 years old, and my doctor couldn’t explain it because I am thin, I eat well and don’t fit the usual description of someone with hypertension. I’m no doctor but I think there is a connection. A year later I was diagnosed with PsA. The psoriasis changed direction and decided to attack my joints, ligaments, and muscles in the form of PsA. I used Enbrel for a year and a half and had a severe flare-up while on it three years ago after my mom died. The PsA decided it wanted to kill me, via my organs, so I flared really badly. It began with a fever for two weeks so I had blood drawn. It revealed that my kidneys failed, my liver became enlarged with my liver enzymes shooting through the roof again, and my spleen was enlarged and affected too.

I was at work, at my desk when I got the call to go to the ER. I’m a tough girl, and usually just carry on even when I’m sick or in pain. I had two hospital admissions that summer and spent the entire summer in the hospital. I had to take high doses of prednisone for three years. I started Remicade infusions every four weeks along with methotrexate once a week this past February and I am doing well. I still have a lot of pain in my sacroiliac joint radiating throughout my pelvis into my left hip. My feet are bad too. I need a fusion on my neck and that should stop the shoulder and arm pain, and hand numbness I hope.

Getting relief

It’s a daily struggle but my pain is better with the Remicade increase. She doubled the methotrexate and my skin is now clear, but I still get that creepy crawly feeling under my skin, nerve pain, and severe itching in the tops of my feet, which sometimes erupts into a blister of some sort. Crazy stuff. Every joint is involved at one time or another. I became disabled with this three years ago when I turned 50 and lost my job because of it. That was the worst part of this whole thing. I loved my job and my life.

I am getting better, and I think I’m just about in remission! I’m having trouble dealing with this life changing experience but for the most part, I am upbeat and focus on my children and granddaughter. It’s a struggle every day.

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

Comments

View Comments (2)
  • RichardF moderator
    2 years ago

    So sorry to hear that you have had these difficulties Diane, but glad to hear that you are doing better.

    You talk about psoriatic arthritis – I don’t know if you are aware that we have a sister-site for PsA. It is located at https://psoriatic-arthritis.com/.

    Also, you mentioned blisters on the top of your feet. For your protection, we cannot give medical advice over the internet, but if this recurs you may want to ask your doctor about pustular psoriasis, which is characterized by small white blisters, often on the feet and hands. This article talks about it in more detail: https://plaquepsoriasis.com/symptoms-affect-body/white-pustules-bumps/.

    Please know that you are not alone and that the community is here for information and support. If you haven’t already, you may want to check out the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/PlaquePsoriasisdotcom/. Keep us posted on how you are doing. Best,

    Richard (PlaquePsoriasis.com Team)

  • CathyD moderator
    2 years ago

    Hi Diane,

    Firstly I wanted to say I am sorry for the loss of your Mom, that is a really difficult thing to go through. And that’s without having to deal with health issues on top of the bereavement. Gosh you have really been through it haven’t you? That sounds incredibly tough, and scary too! I’m sorry you lost your job, too – the effects of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis really are far reaching sometimes.

    So lovely to read that you are getting some kind of relief with the Remicade and Methotrexate – I hope this continues and things improve for you even more. We are here for you, whatever you are going through.

    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. It’s great to have you here!

    -CathyD

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