Hello everybody!

First of all, hi everyone!

I have been reading the discussions in this forum word by word for about a month now, and it has been a great help! It has made me understand my condition better, and made me feel not so alone (since I don't know anyone who has PsA or any other kind of rheumatism or arthritis). So I thought it was about time that I signed in.

I wrote about my diagnosis process when I was signing in, but I'm thinking maybe I should post it here one more time? Turns out I have written in great detail, which is something I do, so sorry in advance :)

"My first flare was in May. Which was a very stressful time for me. It started with pain on my left hip (my left hip is still my biggest issue). Went to an orthopedist thinking that it could be something to do with my scoliosis or my herniated disc. But he said it was sacroliitis and told me to come next week for a cortisone shot in my hip. I was quite scared so a doctor friend of my father's recommended a rheumatologist. I went, lots of blood tests were done along with an MRI. MRI showed oedema/inflammation and some erosion on my hip (but not much). The bloodwork didn't show anything so I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia (which I definitely have) and the doctor told me to go again if happened again, because the results were inconclusive. When I had another flare this November I went to my rheumy again. This time, the bloodwork definiely showed high inflammation, but no romatoid factor and CRP (I think this is right) was normal. So my rheumy said only two things caused one sided sacroliitis and I guess I was negative for the other, so it looked like I had PsA, and the lesion I had on my hand a couple years ago was most likely psoriasis, not eczama. (Though now I remember that when I was 15 or 16 I used to pick those white scales from my head, but I never saw a doctor about it and my mother said it was normal and she had them when she was my age too, hence the genetics :) my doctor said my condition was mild (I can't even imagine the severe kind) and I should visit him every 5-6 months even if I felt normal. He gave me an antiinflammatory drug called Endol (I don't know if you have it there, I live in Turkey) and told my to use it only when I flared up, I did not need more at this point."

And to add a few more words; the diagnosis has been quite hard on me, especially emotionally. Like I mentioned above, I have had scoliosis since 11 (not so severe thankfully! Only 15 degrees), which in turn caused two herniated discs when I was 20. But I have managed to live with it. Yes, it causes me pain and trouble all over my back, but to be frank, I was so young when it was diagnosed I can't even imagine what it must be like to live without feeling constant pain. Pain has always been a part of my life, and I have always pushed through it. Then again, when I was 18 I was diagnosed with IBS, which was a horrible time for me, and again, I was so young and angry that I had a quite terrible condition that was "caused by stress" as my then doctor said and "I had to learn to be happy". Well, thank you very much for enlightening me! I have managed to live with it as well, and even managed to get well. And I have some other chronic conditions I won't bother you with. I have pushed through them all. Now I am 26, and now this? I really don't know how to deal with this, or if I have any energy left in me to push through one more time. My whole life has been a constant battle with my body. And I feel really tired. Even my boyfriend (7 years) is having a hard time understanding what I am going through. Maybe he is used to my "conditions". Or maybe I am too tired to even try and explain how I feel to him, or even to my mother. I really don't want to verbalize how scared and exhausted I feel. So I think the main reason for me signing in was because I felt I was not alone when I read the discussions in the forum, and wanted to be a part of the discussion.

Aw hon. We r here for u

Hi Ladylazarus, I am glad you found us. I seem to remember feeling very blue when I was diagnosed too. And yes scared. Please try to remember that those of us who are on here all the time are older than you and usually with very stubborn disease. I have high hopes for you since you are young and diagnosed early that once you get on a successful treatment you too will be out living a life instead of posting here! I know it doesn't seem possible now but it does happen here a lot.

I had my husband accompany me to some of my appointments. It really gave him some sense of what we are dealing with. I am not much of a whiner so he really had no idea about the pain, exhaustion and stiffness. You also could let your husband on this site, it is open to family members too, unless you are selfish like me and want to keep it all to yourself. Sometimes it helps to have something that is all yours.

Anyway welcome. We are glad to see you.

Thank you everybody, for welcoming me so warmly.

It actually wasn't my intention to start whining in my very first post here, but I think I had kept it bottled up so when I opened the bottle it just spilled right out :)

I am hoping to get better. On the better days, I even believe I can get better :) Or, at least I believe that it won't get worse, which is something I guess! Like I said pain is allright, as soon as I learn how to manage the fatigue, I will be ok!

Actually, I haven't even told my boyfriend I signed up here. As you said Michael, I think I am trying to keep the worst parts to myself, and expecting him to "understand" me. Maybe in time, I will feel comfortable with talking about it. So far, I keep cracking jokes about how crappy I feel, or the opposite, I pick up a fight! (Oh, I sound crazy now :)

But as you said Sybil, it is such a relief, that there are people here, we don't even know each other and all I have to say is "exhausted" and you all know what I mean.

It's nice to know you have gotten much better Sybil :) I am hopeful too, don't mind me saying I'm exhausted etc. I have my depressed days and I have my hopeful days, as any other person I guess :)

Thank you again for your interest :)