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Personal journeys: 2016

Life must go on!

My story started in 2015. I woke one night with shooting pains down my right arm. It was so bad that I paced the floor for hours. No painkillers helped. It left me with numb fingers.

Be positive, adapt, look after yourselves and good luck!

I am a 49 year old man, ex Army,  and have always been very fit and active, keen cyclist (racing mountain bikes and road time trials). I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis in November 2015.

My employment is on hold because of my condition

My father was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis about a year ago. I experienced a lot of flaking and itchiness around my scalp, at first I thought it's just an ordinary dandruff, but it wasn't at all.

I have learned to get on with life

I have very little psoriasis, just on my scalp after the birth of each of my babies. After the birth of my fourth child in 2004, I started to develop aches and pains, but put this down to having four young children and working as a nurse.

The last thing I expected was psoriatic arthritis

I have suffered with psoriasis and eczema since birth. My psoriasis has flared up and down over the years and it's just something I've learnt to live with. I am now 39.

Stay strong

Well I've had psoriasis for approximately four years now. It started off as a small area on my scalp and stayed there for a year or so, I'd first thought it was dandruff. Over the years it's spread over my back, face, arms, chest, legs  and groin.

There are many positives to be found in everyday

There are a number of things, which I often want to explain to people, but don’t...

I know I don’t ‘look sick’ and I’m glad of that but sometimes it would be easier if I did. I might have made it to work (or wherever) today but it wasn’t easy.  People who know me and remark on my strength are a blessing.

The link between arthritis and psoriasis was never made clear to me

My problems with psoriasis arthritis started some 20+ years after a road accident in which I suffered severe head injuries (Glasgow trauma score of 5). I have always suffered from eczema and generally itchy skin including dandruff, from the age of about 14.

I wasn't diagnosed until I was 24

I, unlike most, developed arthritis first, then years later the psoriasis came. I have had joint pain for as long as I can remember. I am not confident that all those ‘growing pains’ weren't actually arthritis.