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I had to get assertive

I was first ill in the winter of 1979/80 with a flu like virus. I was working full time and had a daughter who was one, so I carried on as best I could. A few weeks later, I noticed my scalp was itchy and I had a rash on my lower legs. I was due in hospital for a minor operation and with the organising of work and childcare these new symptoms had to take a back seat.

While in the hospital someone noticed my legs, I think he was a student doctor, he said it was psoriasis. There was no family history of psoriasis and we both thought it would clear up of its own accord. Of Course it didn't. The scalp settled down and the rash on my legs did clear, only to be replaced by psoriasis on my upper arms.

This is how I remained for thirty years, no creams etc. helped.

In 2007 I realised I was suffering a lot of pain in my back and joints so off I went to the doctors. Not much was made of my pains so carry on again. By the November the back pain and pains in my feet become so bad I had no choice but to give up work. My GP could see now that I was struggling and referred me to a rheumatologist at the local hospital. He was nice and did examine me and did bloods. It was him who diagnosed PsA. He tried me on sulphasalazine and later on methotrexate. I was under him for three years but I couldn't tolerate the meds. so he discharged me. During the later part of my treatment I did get esa for a year. When I was discharged and my year of esa was over, as I had no up to date medical records I was refused further esa.

I decided to get a second opinion so asked to go to another hospital. I took my records with me to the second rheumatologist in the hope of help both with my health and financial situation. This was not forthcoming. I was to see the rheumy on a yearly appointments, well that was the idea but the second was ten months late and I saw his registrar, she didn't want to know and after examining me said I would get another appointment in 12 months. I'm afraid I had to get assertive. I picked up my things and said I thought she was wasting my time, she offered x rays of my feet, which was the worst problem at the time. Begrudgingly she also offered ultrasound.

I had the ultrasound which showed Morton's Neuroma on both feet for which I am waiting treatment. I don't know if these neuromas are related to my PsA  and never will because along with the diagnoses sent to my GP see stated that.

I was discharged from her list.

In conclusion, I have seen two rheumatologists neither who were interested in my condition. I have no income; thank goodness I have a husband to support me.

Submitted by a 61 year old female in England.

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