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I am only human

I was diagnosed to be suffering from psoriatic arthritis when I was my early thirties. I experienced pain and stiffness in my knees, especially the right, with the symptoms hinting of arthritis but because all the blood tests showed no abnormality it was not till after an arthroscopy on the right knee later that year that the Consultant diagnosed PsA.

Looking back however I suspect that I had been suffering with PsA the previous year, but in my jaw. Worsening symptoms were helped by cortisone injection, but later that year I started on going problems with pain and stiffness in my back and neck, and consulted an osteopath.

Since then I have developed problems in various parts of my body including a bad case of tendonitis in my left shoulder, pain and stiffness in my ankles, suspected PsA in my large right toe plus pain and stiffness in my left hand catering around my thumb joints and more recently the elbow as well.

Being left handed and working daily with a computer I do worry about the future, particularly as it is possible that the hand problems are caused be osteoarthritis. My shoulder problem has been helped somewhat by a cortisone injection.

I have tried to control my symptoms with NSAIDs currently diclofenac sodim but have to be careful as I am very small and they cause irritable bowel syndrome type symptoms also with regular visits to an osteopath, hot and cold treatments, aromatherapy bubble baths, and when possible spa and hydro treatments.

I have also made changes to my diet as certain foods do aggravate my symptoms. But be careful, this can cause severe weight loss. I landed up like a skeleton until I got the diet right. Most important however, is trying to be kind to myself and remembering I am only human and sometimes cannot do what I used to.

My psoriasis which is quite mild and in my scalp was diagnosed first about, when I had psoriasis on my elbows, and later when the scalp problems began, although I had suffered with scalp problems from the age of 15, maybe it was psoriasis, who knows? I must admit to being lazy with the psoriasis, not liking the smelly and messy treatments.

The PsA seems to be inherited, the psoriasis from my mother’s family and arthritis paternally. I am not aware however of anyone else having PsA. I seem to have suffered the normal course of eczema, hay fever, and then psoriasis and then PsA.

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