New Guy on Board

Hi I am Alex

I have had Arthritis for many many years but this year was really bad for various reasons however I am not one who likes to suffer defeat. I hope to join in with conversations and hopefully contribute in whatever way I am able. Thanks for having me.

Welcome Alex.

I see from your profile that you think you may have PsA. If you’d like to mention the symptoms that lead you to suspect PsA then we can all chip in with our thoughts as PsA patients.

Glad you’ve joined us!

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Hi Sybil

Thanks for asking.

Long Story but I will keep it short as possible. I have really bad scalp and neck rashes which look identical to the ones in PsA pics. I have really bad Joint pain including Shoulders,neck,elbows,wrists, lower back, hips,Knees,Ankles,feet and hands these can be inflamed by stress, food and drink. I was tested at hospital and given a leaflet for Fibromyalgia and told that was what I had. However I don’t buy into this theory. The first Arthritis Doctor I saw many years ago picked up on the rash and I remember him saying something about an arthritis that involved a rash. I have read a lot about it and rather being a doctors Guinea Pig I have decided to take things into my own hands rather than have them sit in front of me and look it up on a computer I would do my own research. More to it but that will do for now I think Alex

Thanks for replying, don’t worry too much about keeping it short 'cos sometimes it’s the details that ring bells. So for example I’m wondering what sort of doctor your arthritis doctor was … was he an orthopaedic consultant (the type they send you to if they think you have osteoarthritis)? Or a rheumatologist i.e. a doctor that deals with inflammatory arthritis such as PsA?

Also wondering whether you have had or could get a referral to dermatology for that rash? Last time I had a bad psoriasis break-out the dermatologists were scratching their heads even more than I was scratching mine! And of course I got very impatient waiting for them to reach a firm diagnosis. But to be honest skin rashes can be the devil’s own job to diagnose and trying to do so yourself using the internet could really be very hit & miss indeed.

I guess you must have lost faith in doctors to some extent. If that’s the case you’re not alone, so many of us here have had a really hard time getting diagnosed. But perseverance usually does lead to a firm diagnosis whether it’s PsA or not. Have you asked your GP for a referral to rheumatology?

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Hi Sybil

I live in the west of Scotland where the weather is generally a mix of cold, wet, or cold and wet. Arthritis is commonplace and not really taken as a serious complaint.
We have NHS Scotland and the town I live in has one health Centre with 4 regular practitioners and the rest are made of Final year Students and Locums to serve a town of 13000 people. Doctors are allocated 10 mins per patient and the local Hospital is 16 miles away and they are allocated 30 minute consultations. This is probably the same throughout the NHS. I had never been out of work in 43 years not even for a day and yet this year I had to give up my good job because I couldn’t get out of a chair and needed crutches to go anywhere at all. However the wonderful government seemed to have the funds to pay a Doctor 1.5 hrs to interview me for personal income payment. I was prodded pulled and put through so much pain that I swore at the Doctor and went to walk out telling her where to shove her money.
I need continuity of treatment not someone who looks at a computer, tosses a coin and says think we will give this a go but its trial and error. Then next time I get a different Doctor who decides he will get me off the Tabs the first one gave me and do another Trial and error. After a year I took 2 carrier bags full of errors back to the pharmacy. I now put on an appointment to see my own registered Doctor every 4 weeks whether I need her or not I will not see any other not because she is great but because she deals with my family and understands stress I am under. Oh and she kinda listens to me. Finally Doctors in my surgery deal with so many drug addicts and work shy people that they almost seem nonchalant to someone who wants to get better and actually return to work. I haven’t lost faith in Doctors Sybil but I will do a lot more research than I have previously to guide them and give them accurate info on my issues. I was brought up with a keep it until it’s better attitude in a tough mining town. You only go to the Docs if you are dying and then you do what they tell you and take whatever they give you. well that’s changed ok that’s my medical opinion about Medics. More to follow hands are hurting. Alex

You sound really fed up and I’m not surprised! Not sure if you realise that I’m in the UK too, though the other end. Wonderful as Scotland is I can easily imagine that some conditions are too easily blamed on the climate.

You will find folks from all over the world here, Scotland included, who have also had a hell of a job getting a diagnosis and appropriate treatment. I know that’s small comfort but it can help get things in perspective and means you’re tapping into a very big pool of experience in how to get things moving.

Self-diagnosis is a haphazard thing, though obviously it happens and I’m sure you’ll find plenty of info. about PsA on this site. From what you say though you want effective treatment more than anything. It’s tricky … do the docs say you have osteoarthritis? That is a tough one to treat of course, I guess it’s mainly about pain relief. And if you do have inflammatory arthritis there is usually a ‘trial and error’ approach that is clinically justified seeing as different people respond so differently to the drugs.

But anyway, please ask any questions that come to mind and hang on in there. We’ll help if we can, that’s for sure.


Hi Sybil

No I am not really fed up and I have full faith in Doctors but they are limited to what they can achieve and like it or not they have to be budget conscious. I had a misdiagnosis for 8 weeks at the start of this year before being sent to Hospital where fortunately for me I had a successful operation to remove a cancerous lump. seemingly antbiotics don’t do that job lol. I also had a few other misdiagnosis at GP level however thats not what this forum is about so I will stick to the point at hand. I was sent to Rheumatology clinic and told that I didn’t have rheumatoid Arthritis but I do have progressive Osteo Arthritis and Fibromyalgia so for most of last 6 months I have been treated with Fibro drug Duloxetine and my mood swings were terrible in fact at several points if I had been fit enough I would genuinely have visited the local viaduct. luckily for me I wasnt fit enough to get there. I kept asking the doctor to change my tablets and got told to keep on them as that was the tablet I was supposed to take. They will help with your depressive moods. I said I have never had depression until I took these Admittedly I suffer from anxiety for very good reason but never depression. Anyway the doctor told me to stay on them. Eventually I got so sick of feeling the way I did I just stopped taking them. I also stopped taking Tramadol and the difference after 2 days was incredible
I now take Escitalopram for anxiety paracetomol for pain and of course my anti inflammatory medicine. I am still in a lot of pain but no longer have the depressions or the shakes My own GP who is now the only one I will see now is pleased with my progress and a bit confused as to why all this has happened. I have also told her that my next step is to lose weight and to monitor my food intake for food allergies and stress reactions. I am not self diagnosing but I feel that I am more in control of my life and body than I have been in years and hope to keep it that way

So how long ago did you stop taking the Cymbalta (Duloxetine)? Did you stop it cold turkey? There are some huge risks and side effects that can continue for some time. The major are:

  • Brain “Zaps” (electric shock-like senstations in the brain)
  • Dizziness, light-headedness, vertigo, feeling faint
  • Headaches
  • Anxiety, irritability, hostility
  • Nausea, diarrhea, digestive upset
  • Tremor, hands shaking, nerve tingles, strange sensations
  • Fatigue, tiredness, lack of energy
  • Visual disturbances

Not denying the side effects you had while on it. but if you haven’t informed your doctor of your quitting, you should. The withdrawl effects are NOT going to usually be overcome by overlaying other meds. In fact can cause a whole no rash of symptoms. Sady there are a few docs who don’t understand whats behind the Cymbalta family of drugs and the huge effect they have on your brain chemistry. Hopefully yours isn;t one of them… Hang in there.

Hi and thanks yes i went cold turkey for 2 weeks and it wasn’t at all easy but it was harder when I had to stop escitalopram to go on duloxetine. My doctor knows what I did and is delighted with results. As I think I may have said I am now back on escitalopram which was the drug that worked for me originally. As for side effects I had every one of the symptoms you described while on it but the tremors and the depression was beyond control. I decided that I would rather take the pain than the tremors and the depression. _ had side effects when I came off mainly in the form of anxiety until I got a good balance for my tablets which I feel I have now as I seem to be going from strength to strength. Please understand that I am in no way recommending that people should do things their own way. My way is working for me because I am not very good at doing things gradually. I would dive into a cold swimming pool rather than gradually walk down the stairs. I stopped taking them on 2/10/16 and now I am looking at diet and allergies to eliminate what works and doesn’t work to help with rashes and pains. If I could only control the weather I would be fine _