Red Dots and The Frustration of the Unknowns!

Hi all. I hope everyone is well - as well as can be expected, at least. I’m sorry not to have posted for a while, but I have been keeping an eye on what’s going on, at least. PsA has, mostly, been behaving itself. There’s still the underlying grumbling pains, but they’ve been worse, and I’m sure we just get used to them! Sorry about the following preamble about dots on my leg, but you can skip to the bit in bold if you’re short of time!

I’ve had the condition for ten years now, and I still find the unknowns and the “what the hell is this” moments of it so frustrating, and even destabilising. For example, I first posted about getting petechiae here about 8 years ago, I think - before I started my biologics. The first few times, platelets were tested etc, but nothing come back as bothersome. After that, I got them every few months, and just learned to accept them as “one of those things” associated with PsA. NOW, they have started what I can only really call “playing silly buggers.” Now, they come along, and then when I put my feet up, they fade. If I then stand for a few minutes, they’re bright red again, and my lower leg is a nice shade of red, too. And then they fade again when I sit down. And I started wondering if they are actually petechiae after all! Is it something more serious, like vasculitis? I’m assuming not, as I don’t feel ill with it, and it doesn’t hurt, and I can find nothing online about the vasculitis rash ebbing and flowing over the course of a day - that said, I can’t find evidence of petechiae doing that either!

So, I went to the GP to get it checked out today. And the GP didn’t really know one way or the other. But I’m due for my biologic blood test, so having that tomorrow just to be on the safe side. But it’s the “unknown” that bothers me. I don’t like not knowing what something is. I can cope with it if I;m aware of what’s going on. And there’s no point in making a rheumy appointment about it, as by the time I get there the damn rash will have gone!

They’re always in my lower leg, around my ankle and about a third of the way up my shin at the most. And they’re always on the inside of the leg, and not the outside. Which is weird. I don’t even get bad pain around my ankle, although they are occasionally a bit “sore.” They never appear anywhere else on my body (the dots, not my ankles). I DO worry that it might be vasculitis instead, but it looks more like petechiae, going by pictures online - and vasculitis pic look like its raised, and these aren’t. Just dozens (hundreds?) of little tiny pinpricks of red, under the skin. Flat, no blanching. I just kind of live with them normally, but when my bipolar plays up, I start obsessing over little things like that, and life gets taken over by it. And life is stressful enough because of my mum being ill!

I say all of that to say this: it’s not the arthritis that gets me down necessarily, but the so many “odd” things that go with it.
Like that red dotty rash.
Like rib pain.
Sore eyes.
Throbbing teeth.
Dry peeling skin in your ear. I mean RIGHT in your ear!
Having a mug of tea in your hand, and the next thing you know you’ve lost the grip and it’s on the floor - which you can’t clean up because you can’t bend down!

And it seems that some of these things are surprising even to rheumys. It seems odd, doesn’t it, that even in the days of the internet, and dozens of health websites, that there is no list of these “odd” ailments we get. The only place we find we’re not alone in getting them is here. I’m sure we’d think we were going crazy without that

rant over

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