Like most people I probably had PsA without knowing it for years. About ten years ago I had a very bad knee but just put it down to being an injury as I used to be in the building trade. This would flare up from time to time. Then I had an issue with my elbow swelling and had to put it in a sling and take NSAIDs to help me be rid of it. Again I thought this was an injury I had not long before bought a punch bag to get fit and just thought it was one of those things.
I then had a skin rash appear a few years after this, in any enclosed areas, crack of the bum, near the groin, it came and went. Again it was not properly diagnosed. I was given various creams that had varying effects. But just ended up on Eumovate long term which is not good but kept hitting brick walls when trying to sort it. To be honest I had a demanding job that was stressing me out and I wondered if that was also part of the cause. I also had other more immediate health issues at the time which were likewise stressing me.
It was once I got all the other health issues sorted, had a needed operation that my PsA became hugely pronounced. As if some part of the stress of surgery or something made it worse over night.
I started waking up with backache. I then had sausage finger where it swelled up and was a trigger finger (hope you never get this), it would click and be so painful I would wake screaming (Which would startle my partner). This was injected (a terribly painful experience). But still no diagnosis. It then became hard for me to move I was hobbling with a bad knee, bad hip, bad back wrists hurting, feeling so weak. At its worst I could not get out of bed. I felt I had been struck down in my prime I am only 35 now and this was a couple of years ago. Started struggling at work. Would drive to work and go to get out of the car to find in the very short journey I had seized up entirely. I would have no strength in my legs and would have to open the door and pull myself up on the door.
I tried every non drug route of helping myself. Special diets, remedies, different oils pills etc, nothing worked bar one cream that relieved the symptoms. A green lipped mussel extract. But even this was not enough. I went back to the specialists and they diagnosed me with PsA.
Now I am on NSAIDs daily and on week 9 of taking sulfasalasine. NSAIDs are helping but I am not normal, it took ages to get the right NSAID some made me much much worse, bedridden for days. Apparently its early days for the sulfasalasine, I am not enjoying it. It has many side effects.
Currently I feel a bit worthless, I went from being the main earner to being a liability over night, or that's what it feels like, lost my job, but finding it hard to get any help financially.
I have started up a PsA group on Facebook where I am charting my progress and its open to anyone who wishes to share. 'Psoriatic Arthritis Support group'.
Submitted by a 35 year old male living in England