How early is early diagnoses?

Have been wondering all day how early is early for doctor to diagnose you and get proper treatment. I started having joint symptoms in January 2012. Got a referral to see rhumey and had to wait seven months to see him. Meanwhile my joints started to stiffen, become painful, and even got a trigger finger all within the seven month time period. Went to physical therapy, saw many other specialist but all did nothing but confirm I had some type of underlining problem going on within my body that was allowing it to respond to their treatment. My body in May of 2012 started to develop plaque psorais but the first the dermatologist said it was excema and gave me a cream. Went back four weeks later and said hey this cream did nothing and the spots of gotten worse and larger. Did a skin biopsy and came back psoriasis. Still three more months to wait till rhumey. Was put on methodextrate orally, predisone a different cream, and more waiting. Hands and wrist started to stiffen along with shoulder and quit driving for awhile. Fast forward, finally got to see rhumey. Was concerned said I had a severe case due to the percentage of plaques, stiffness, tenderness and some loss of mobility. Got me on enbrlel within two weeks, increased my methodextrate, going to start weaning me off of the 5 mg of predisone in a month. Now the big question am I doomed because it took me 7 months to see a rhumey?

My heart aches all the time for my old body and thinking about what my future holds for me. I am 44 with three children, 18 years, 14, years, and 10 years old.

I am also on folic acid

Hi Rebel Mom,

In the scientific literature, they seem to describe early diagnosis as less than two years (yes I know - two years, really?, what’s a slow diagnosis then?).

Whilst I got into a Rhuemy by 3 months, he steadfastly refused to give me a biologic until I’d been through a number of DMARDs, and I only finally talked him into it now (10 month mark).

Many seem to have that experience, (even those with severe disease) so you’ve possibly been treated very early in comparison to many.

How your body will respond though, is still the big unknown, and I really understand that fear for the future when you thought your life would go merrily on for another ten or twenty years before you got “old”.

I personally found that I needed to grieve that loss a bit to accept that is what may happen, while still keeping hope that one of the meds will work.

Good luck with it, it’s not an easy process.

Think a slow diagnosis is what some people on this site have experienced… I’ve had chronic psoriasis since I was 12 joint problems with my wrists and ankles which was diagnosed as tenosynovitis in 1987ish… Numerous aches and pains and given anti inflammatories as blood test didn’t show anything.
Just sort of carried on as things were managable…and a personal history of being told as a child “not to ever make a fuss” as I had a disabled brother who really was ill.
It wasn’t until I couldn’t hobble anymore that I was referred to a rheumatologist diagnosed with PsA and started treatment in 2011 so I reckon about 25 years, but I know there’s other people who have suffered longer. Our trouble seems to have been that the PsA didn’t manifest aggressively enough for the medics to take time to diagnose it properly and our hesitancy to push the issue.
So I may be wrong but it seems that a quicker route to diagnosis is for a full frontal attack of aggressive PsA which knocks you completely…slow route to diagnosis is for it to sneak up from behind until it overcomes you
Not that I’d choose either route! This disease is a b****r either way!
Sorry…not looking forward to returning to work tomorrow after a week off, I’m a bit grumpy! X

Understand completely. I had to stop working (I was a preschool teacher) because I could not get down on the floor, pick up things, or raise my arm over my head. I felt if there was an emergency I could not save the kids. Now I am at home with lots of time on my hands.

My husband is a great one as well as my children. I just feel like I am not going to be able to see them grow up and do things others can do all because of this disease. I look up things everyday and look at pictures and I do not want to be crippled! I am so angry right now I cry a lot but I am not going to give up!

Looking back I think I have had this disease for 20 + years. I suffered badly with scalp psoriasis many years ago.I also had unexplained joint pains which were dismissed or mis diagnosed. I was finally told it was PsA in 2011, and despite being on methotrexate & Humira I appear to be getting worse. Maybe the longer it goes undiagnosed the harder it is to find the right combination of drugs.

I know Rebel mom, I try not to look to the future too much cos it can scare me and I just try and live in the present and take each day as it comes…my boys are 26 and 19 so they’re men but the eldest moved back with me as he was feeling the pinch in the economic climate and his rent helps me as I’ve had to cut my hours at work…my youngest is badly effected by ADD and hasn’t been able to get a job so far. They’re both good lads and help me a lot, they are a blessing but gone are they days of running them around and picking them up late. I miss out on the eldests ones gigs now which upsets me.
But I’m lucky that I have a sunny disposition and I have the odd cry them perk myself back up again, and yes giving in isn’t an option!
Lindseylou, you maybe right! …some of us have been undiagnosed for years, I’ve considered myself pretty ok for the last 8 months or so but another post questioned if that’s because its now ‘managable’ in relation to what it was before and if that’s good enough…its certainly made me think! Is it ok if I can manage? Shouldn’t I expect more? Should I accept it as ok to need a ‘guzzunda’ ( as in a pee pot that ‘goes under’ the bed) at night and I’m not yet 50?
The boys tease me they’re gonna buy a commode for my 50th! Told them if they do they’re gonna empty it for me! Lol

Oh, Rebel Mom, I feel your pain and your grief. And like Louise says, it’s better not to look too far into the future (although that is easier said than done!). I don’t think you are doomed because it took so long to get to see a rheumy – this isn’t like cancer. In fact, I think your treatment started rather quickly! It’s a great thing that you went to the dermatologist, who started you on methotrexate, because that is the first drug your rheumatologist would have put you on. MTX at four months, and Enbrel at seven is pretty fast, in the our PsA world!

It sounds like you are in capable hands. The pain and stiffness is from the inflammation. When the drugs kick in, that will diminish. The inflammation is what wrecks and deforms bones and joints, and that doesn’t usually happen in seven months, from what I understand.

Take good care and hope for better days