Psoriatic Arthritis?

posted from my blog: Lessons in the Higher Education of Life

HOW can I have something I've never even HEARD of?? Of course I know about arthritis, who doesn't? When you get old, your joints swell up, hurt and slow you down. Wow, no kidding, over 120 types of arthritis??

Psoriatic?? Oh, psoriasis - sure I've seen the commercials. No, I've never had psoriasis, I've just had bad dandruff and really rough dry skin all of my life. All over sometimes, but mainly legs, elbows, knees and ankles. Pain in my feet or joints? Not really. I had a huge swelling in my foot once, they thought it might be gout but it went away after a while. Oh, and once my right knee swelled up like a basketball, MRI showed a lot of fluid but it cleared up eventually. It still swells up a little now and again but nothing like that first time.

Let's see, there was fasciitis, plantar fasciitis I think it was called, on one foot a few years ago. Wow that was seriously painful, I thought it would never heal! Well sure I've had general pain throughout my body, when it hurt with just a breeze blowing past. Hormones they said. Exhaustion? I'm a woman, a mother, working mom, single parent, caretaker - LOL - what do you think??

But what has all that got to do with my entire body being swollen right now? With such agonizing pain everywhere that even the dogs tail wagging too close makes me cringe and yelp. My left middle finger swollen so massively that it has the fingers on either side pushed completely sideways. The bottom of my foot swollen out like a basketball instead of arching.

Ok, so we know what it is, now what? No cure? It's psoriasis and arthritis, dandruff shampoo and aleve, right? It still doesn't make sense to me, two simple things that in no way add up to my present condition. My brain was making notes in one way and my emotions were starting to spiral in a different direction. Well sure I can give myself an injection if I have to. Great, there are medications that will make me better. Slow down the progression? Chronic debilitating? You mean forever? You mean no way to stop it from getting worse and worse??

That was all a little over 3 years ago. I've learned and lived a lot since then, and learned I have a lot more to live and learn. I starting researching right away but found that most of the information 'out there' is a very generic, vague list of symptoms and treatment that often refers to more 'well known' conditions. We have a commercial now, talks about how easily the joint pain and swelling can be managed. Really?? Are you kidding me?? But it's a pharmaceutical company commercial so it makes sense to portray it that way I guess. And, I am very grateful to the drug companies that put the time and money into creating better medications to help with PsA...

So, for now, I keep learning and living. With and about Psoriatic Arthritis. Saying, writing, proclaiming the name and the nature of the disease that I had never heard of. So others may learn that it is much more than dandruff and joint pain. So others may stand up and join the call for understanding and awareness of this disease that they have never heard of.