Living with Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA)

22 year old diagnosed with PsA

Hey everyone! I’m Reb! I’m new to this group and just very recently had my diagnoses of PsA. It started as a bit of pain in my hips, then my lower back started to get very very painful. I went to my dr and she said I could have a cyst on my ovarie. I started waking up every morning without area surrounding my eyes so puffy that one of my eyes would almost swell shut some Mornings. I went back to my dr and told her my symptoms. When she was examining me she noticed my dry scaley patches on my legs, stomach, hips, and backside. She asked me if I’d ever been diagnosed with psoriasis. To my surprise, the specialist who had diagnosed me with eczema when I was 14 diagnosed me wrong and I’ve had psoriasis this whole time. She mentioned PsA and sent me for testing. When my blood results came back I had an alarming amount of C-reactive protein in my blood(typically means there’s inflammation in your body) so she reffered me to a rhumo about a 4 hour drive from
My town. I went and saw him the next week because my pain was so sever(sometimes reaching a level 8 or 9 on a scale of 0-10) so the expedited the waiting time for me. When I met Dr. Shaw I knew immediately he really wanted to help me. He did an exam on me and tested my joints. He told me I have PsA in my spine, SI joint, and hips. When my dr first suspected I may have this disease she prescribed me Naproxen. So far it has been well over a month and I’ve seen no change. Dr shaw upped my dose to 1000mg daily and still no change. I’m wondering what other people had more relief with and what to do about the immense amount of pain I am in. Is there anyone else in this group that is of similar age to me? I just thought I’d introduce myself and tell you some of my story so far. Thanks everyone. I can tell this group will help a lot.

Hello and welcome Reb !

Sorry that you did not receive a correct diagnosis when you were younger,but glad that you are now going to receive appropriate care.Has your Dr put you on any DMARD medication or suggested Biologics ?

Maybe even a short course of steroids to bring that inflammation down?

There are lots of options out there.

Welcome again.

Thank you so much Ouch! My Dr said in order to try the biologics I need to try at least 3 different types of medication before or I won’t be eligible. So far all that has been done has been the 1000mg of Naproxen and vitamin D. I’m making lists about what to ask next time I talk to him and I’m keeping a journal of my ups and downs with the flare ups and what not. These are all questions I will definitely ask. Thank you for taking the time to comment!

A very warm welcome Reb_el!
I am sorry to hear that this has affected you at such a young age.
So, I’ll try to contain my excitement here, as I know that this must be a lot for you to take in, BUT you and I have the same Rheumatologist! I live on the Island also! I was diagnosed in January, and found this site right away…its been a wealth of information and support. Dr. Shaw started me on Naproxen, which didn’t do much of anything, then after a month he put me on Diclofenac which helped a bit, but elevated my blood pressure way to much, so after 2 weeks of that he has now put me on Meloxicam. It has been the best one so far (although a side effect landed me in hospital last week - stomach acid issue). I almost feel like my old self again after 6 months of pain, however his goal is to get me in biologics ASAP. In addition to my PsA, I also have Ankylosing Spondylitis. He said DMARDS are not as effective for that, so straight to biologics I go!
From everything I have read and researched, you and I are EXTREMELY fortunate to have Dr. Shaw on our side.
This website, and the amazing people on it, will fill in a lot of blanks, answer your questions, and will be there to hear you when you have a good or bad day, pat you on the back when you need it, etc. make sure to read the Newbies Guide, and if you ever need some more ‘local’ support, I would love to connect!

I am so sorry that you have had to join this group though they are great. I am 41 not as young as you but felt really young for this and feel like I have had it for years before diagnosis. I had to fail on three nsaid before biologic too. I am now on enbrel nothing yet. It has been 8 weeks still waiting. I hope they will switch your med.soon to something that works better for you.

Welcome, Reb! You managed another response from a 41 yr old, I swear there are gals your age on this site! Most come and go and just check in so don’t give up hope of a “my age connection” but many of us have several years on you! I couldn’t help but notice your diagnosis be like a stumble upon too. I was being seen for well over half a year before my primary noticed my psoriasis on my elbows and had this ahha moment too. Lol, I thought we had discussed everything possible under the sun but who would have thunk that itchy rash would be related, after all it was livible in comparison to the rest of how I felt! Anyway, just wanted to say “Hi” hope you find some good info and some great understanding of what living with PSA is all about.

Thank you all for responding!! It’s so wonderful to be able to connect with people living with this disease. The encouragement is wonderful. Aspyn! That’s so amazing that we have the same dr!!! He has wonderful bedside manor don’t you think? I’m going to be contacting him on Wednesday to talk about the next step. He said give the meds two weeks and if there’s no change then on to the next drug! Again thank you all for commenting and encouraging. I really appreciate that there are groups out there like this for people who need the support. You are all wonderful!

That is so cool that you and Aspyn have the same rheum! Sounds like he's one for our "recommended" list --