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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. Then in 2008 my index and middle finger began to swell and the toes on both feet.

I was referred to a hospital consultant with an interest in rheumatoid conditions, commenced on methotrexate. In 2014 having progressively got worse, neck stiffness, pain and swelling in both knees, which limited my ability to work and made me very frustrated. Methotrexate by this stage was 20mg per week and made me so sick I could not function properly from Friday to Tuesday.

I asked for a second opinion and was referred to a rheumatologist - finally someone who understood! Before I left the consultation, I had multiple joint injection and drainage, IM depo-medrone injection and addition of sulfasalazine to my treatment. Over the next 2 years, I had repeated joint injection and IM depo-medrone as well as referral to physiotherapy and podiatry.

This year (2016), I was assessed and commenced anti-TNF treatment with monthly injection of golimumab. This has made a massive improvement in my mobility and well-being. Not a cure, the symptoms can still bite!

To a stranger, I look well enough for a 45 year old, and that can make life difficult. Even with the treatment I take, I am still in daily pain and stiffness, but have learned to get on with life as best I can.

Submitted by a 45 old female living in Northern Ireland

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