My history

I am 45 years old now. I have had a scalp rash and palms that peel since I was a very young child. I also have had what I thought was nail fungus in my toes and fingers. I was always told the these were different things by different doctors. Psoriasis was never considered.

I have always had low energy and become exhausted easily. I have no problems sleeping for 10 hours at time, but life doesn't allow this.

As a teenager I started with joint inflammation, pain and reduced mobility in multiple joints. My toes were so badly affected the skin would crack open and bleed. I had fluid removed from my elbow and knee. My jaw locked shut. Medical imagining tests determined my jaw and hand to be deformed from "arthritic changes". Blood work was always negative for RA, but was diagnosed with JRA. Tried meds that were available at the time, ecotrin and disalcid. I received some relief from them.

Almost all of my symptoms were relieved with my first pregnancy. I continued to have hand and wrist pain that was manageable. In my thirties I stated running and have had quite a bit of plantar fasciitis pain. Custom made inserts from a podiatrist help. Then a few years ago my pain became severe and included my shoulder and elbow. Went to doc, told him my history. He looked at me like I was crazy and said it was just a soft tissue injury, prescribed a run of prednisone and pt. Therapist told me I had bursitis in my elbow and chronic pain nodules in lower forearm. PT worked, but hand and wrist pain still never went away. Last fall started with knee pain and popping. My knee cap kept dislocating. I had to quit running, my favorite form of exercise and I have not been able to return to it. Again, even after an MRI showing I have a cyst and arthritic changes in my knee, doc prescribed prednisone and pt. Helped a little, but am still having problems.

Three or four weeks ago I had to leave work in pain. My entire right arm, hand and wrist pain had me in tears. Again, Doc prescribed naproxen, and one week of light duty at work. Didn't begin to help. Went back and finally talked the doc into referring me to a rheumatologist. I saw a rheumy for the fist time since I was in my 20s this week. He is the first one to ask me all the right questions about symptoms putting the rashes, nail involvement, joint pain and swelling together. He gave me a cortisone shot in my elbow and is running lab work. He gave me literature to look over about MTX and plaquenil and thinks I should start one depending how my lab work comes out. I feel like I have finally found a doc that doesn't think I am crazy. He is the first doc to think my "rashes" are psoriasis. He has not officially diagnosed me with psa, only polyarthritis with myalgia. I am hoping I have finally found a doc that will actually listen to me and start to get relief from my pain!

Now I am worried about my sons. One has had a bakers cyst in his knee since he was 13 or 14. His symptoms come and go. My other son has the palm "rash" I have had. I am hoping these are not the beginning symptoms of psa for them.

I have worried about my son at times too. But I try to remind myself that his road (IF he has it) will be easier with all the medications that are now available. I also encourage him to listen to his body, eat well, get exercise and deal with stress appropriately. I also say a prayer for him. But in the genetic scheme of things PsA is not the worst disease to pass on. There are some much worse.

That's a long story, and a long time to go undiagnosed. I'm sorry that you've had it so rough. Hopefully you will quickly find the meds that work for you, and will start to get some relief. You've gotten at least temporary relief from the prednisone when you've been on it?