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I was called a leper

After a dermatologist diagnosed psoriasis I had many periods in hospital for intensive treatment, which consisted of ultraviolet light therapy and tar baths. The only problem being that I eventually became allergic to some of the creams, and could only tolerate less than three minutes of ultra violet light before burning.

During all this time I complained of pain in my joints. My GP removed me from his register and barred me from the practice for disagreeing with his diagnosis. This had varied from 'hysteria, irrational behaviour or phobia'. to 'an element of arthritis in the joints caused by wear and tear'.

I registered with another GP who was very sympathetic and sent me to another hospital. They confirmed that I was suffering from psoriatic arthritis (PsA) in my hands, feet and knees. Since then it has invaded most joints. I try to stay fit by swimming as walking is not that easy for me.

Not long ago I was referred to my local hospital for built up shoes. The cost of a pair of special shoes is quite high and because of budget cut backs I was only issued with insoles to put into my ordinary shoes.

I have recently moved, before I moved my condition fluctuated from day to day. Both the weather and stress have a big effect on the way I feel. I use to live by a river and the damp climate caused no end of problems, but the climate where I live now suits me. I have been seen by a new dermatologist who recommended a new treatment which has made my life a bit easier and my skin like silk!

Over the years I have suffered from depression because of my condition, although I have never been treated for it. In fact the opinion of some people, including doctors, appears to be that I should "pull myself together". At the worst times I have even been called a leper when my skin was really bad, but I keep my chin up and hope for a cure!

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