I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis three weeks ago on my initial visit to a rheumatologist. My presentation was two hands that didn't work, right hand was very swollen and couldn't be closed, painful and no strength. Had been going on for four months. I also have weird white area on multiple fingers that had developed rapidly. Doctor saw pitting (I still don't know what that is), I have a very sore area on the side of one knee and cannot bear to kneel or touch it, lower back pain probably 8 months, have been to physical therapy this year for a number of odd problems.
Back to rheumatology visit: blood work and x-rays were taken at initial visit but the 'ghuru' already had a diagnosis for me of a typical rheumatoid variant of psoriatic arthritis. First round of blood work was negative for RA, x-rays show something on fingers on right hand (ankylosing). I already take NSAID for osteoarthritis and was told to take that daily and was given prescription for the a DMARD. Made me so ill after two days I was taken off of it.
Third visit to rheumatologist now I'm taking folic acid daily, methotrexate (4 tablets) once a week and continuing with NSAID. I wear a pressurized glove every night on right hand and a hand brace on my left hand. The swelling in pretty much gone on right hand but it hurts and is very weak. Left hand had carpal tunnel and the thumb is very numb from the joint to the tip of the digit. Neither hand has any fine motor skills at the moment, I cannot cut with a knife at all, can't open cereal pouches... that type of thing.
This year I was diagnosed with problems with my three hip flexors in my left hip (guess which joint they connect to) and went through lots of physical therapy and serious pain. I also had a pinched nerve in my left arm that felt like it was shooting sparks, felt like I was in a Harry Potter movie or something! Thought I was going to go out of my mind with the pain that night. I received a cervical shot under anesthesia and the horrible pain went away. I received lots of dry needling from physical therapy during this time.
In retrospect, I figure both situations were created by this disease as they were both joint related and not the result of any injury.
Ten or twelve years ago I lost the use of both my hands for a couple of weeks. They didn't swell up but they were useless and weak. At that time both knees went weird on me as well. Felt like they were incased in buckets of sand. Scared me so badly my anxiety went through the roof and I developed balance issues and other neurological things. I was tested for MS, Wilson's Disease and some other things my presentations were so odd. I was also incredibly tired...
I do believe all of these things are related to my diagnosis. I do not have any skin condition at all nor have I ever had other than poison ivy a couple of times a year. No one in my family has either RA nor psoriasis. We do have multiple auto immune issues from my mom's side though. I guess the deck was stacked for this when you add all the stress in my life the past ten ears or so.
I'm not looking forward to the future with this disease, mild or not (current state supposedly). But I will be living my life to the fullest as I can and hope the meds take affect quickly. Gotta do what you gotta do.
Submitted by a 59 year female living outside the UK