Newbie here from California

So glad to have found this group. I’ve been reading a lot of your previous posts since joining. Such a great group and resource. Brief summary: after a more than a year of fatigue, depression, and aches, I was referred to a rheumatologist. He asked many questions about my medical history, ran tests and X-rays, and diagnosed me with PsA/spondylitis. I was excited to have a diagnosis but initially didn’t realize how severe and challenging PsA is to treat and manage. After some unsuccessful attempts at Sulfasalazine, Mobic and Feldene, I started MTX three weeks ago and I am tolerating it well so far. We were going to go straight to Enbrel next but I have to wait until a new insurance plan starts Jan 1 and it may take a couple of weeks to get it approved so we’re trying MTX because we have the time to. Anyway in the past couple of weeks I’ve started to get joint stiffness in one elbow, AM stiffness in my back, and my wrists are hurting. I try to keep the heat up because cold weather noticeably makes everything worse. Some days are better than others. Trying to stay positive and take care of myself.

Welcome sha, we’re glad you’ve found us too!

It is challenging isn’t it? When I was first trawling the internet trying to find out more about PsA, I found an article about how PsA patients can find all the things they need to do to manage the disease overwhelming. At least I was forewarned! But it does sound as if you have come quite a long way already and I hope that Enbrel takes a big weight off your shoulders, biologics so often lighten the load.

Good to meet you!

So challenging! I’m glad that I found a good rheumatologist and this site. I’m looking into autoimmune protocol and paleo to see if that can help reduce stress on my body overall. I would like to lose some weight and exercise more as my body definitely responds well to exercise. I didn’t realize yoga is so dependent on your wrists until mine started hurting. Need to figure out some modifications. Thanks for replying!

I think the benefits of exercise can’t be over-stated. There’s a positive effect on body chemistry in addition to strengthening the muscles and tendons that support and help to protect joints. Thank goodness we no longer live in the era when rest was recommended above all and folk wasted and stiffened as a result.

The wrists are so tricky, I ‘work’ my knees (while avoiding twisting movements that are not good for knee joints) but I don’t think the tiddley little bones in the wrists can take the same treatment. I did Tai Chi half-heartedly till PsA hit me, then realised that it actually eases me up pretty quickly. Swimming is great too … more or less any movement that doesn’t put too much strain on affected joints is good as you obviously appreciate already.

And yes, controlling weight does seem to be the way to go. We do indeed have a long ‘To Do’ list but sounds like you’re up for it!

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For hand and wrist exercises, you may want to work with an occupational therapist. My hand doctor was joking that after my latest surgery he could write me a scrip for OT, but that I could probably do it on my own after so much OT. He was right. I already know how to start gentle, and already have most of what I need at home.

A warm welcome to you sha! You are very lucky to have landed the way you have, with a good rheumatologist who recognized what he was looking at, and who didn’t waste a lot of time on iffy meds and “wait and see”. I hope your insurance comes through for you soon: biologics are the drugs with the most consistent success in putting the brakes to this disease.

We’re glad that you joined us, and we’re looking forward to getting to know you better.


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Very good advice Stoney. I hadn’t considered OT yet. Thank you.