Slowing down

I have been getting more weaker and more fatigued to the point of becoming light headed , weak, dizzy and out of breath when out and about enjoying things I have always done. I work ft and don’t leave for lunch because I am afraid I we’ll get too pooped to get back to work. I am becoming increasingly depresses and anxious and spend weekends partially in bed, usually crying.
I am 52 and in otherwise good health. I hate to be home and have always been a real go getter. I am on humaira only. My blood tests at rheumy are fine - nothing really out of whack. I know I work too hard but I just want to go back to being active. I feel I have an anchor tied to me keeping me physically and mentally down. My dr. Would probably want to change meds but I really just want insight as to how others have gotten thru. I have a wonderful 11 year old son and a great husband, however we have had to go thru the death of both my in laws and our two beloved dogs in the past 13 months. The stress has been difficult for us all, and has taken its toll. I have prednisone to use if needed but don’t take over 5 mil. I rarely take it as I am afraid of getting jittery but may give it a try. What dosage does work short term or are their other treatments that have worked for anyone else?

I am so sorry things are so tough for you right now. It will get better. The first thing is talk to you Rheumy. It sounds like your meds may need adjusting. Most of us need to be on a Bio, a DMARD like mtx, and daily NSAID like Aleve or Celebrx . They have less side effects than steroids and your doctor can advise you as to the dose for you.

Life with PsA often requires some adjustments. Is your family helping with the house chores? I would make sure you are only working the 40 hour job and avoid OT until you are under better control. I would also make sure to get out at lunch time. Even a walk around the building or reading a magazine in the sun can make a big difference in how the afternoon goes. PsA joints need a bit of a stretch and the lungs need a little oxygen and the light on the back of your eyes can help with mood. My PT has me working 20 minutes then resting and the another 20 minutes doing a chore with a different muscle group and it is helping.

You and your family have had a really stressful year. I have found therapy has helped me immensely though I am sure clergy is another option. I have started therapy in the past and then added my family later if needed. It has been very beneficial to me; not so much from what the therapist says but from what I hear come out of mouth! A real eye opener and it has taught me to grieve and then let it go and go out and enjoy my life again. All the inflammatory arthritiss are linked to depression and therapy can really help to deal with it.

I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Remember we are here for you and have been through it.

Michael, thank you so much. My family is great but my husband has been so depressed with loss of his parents. His mom died after a long battle with Alzheimer’s and his his father from a heart attack ( my husband found him dead after being alerted by a neighbor that his dad had tried to call for help)within 4 months of each other. I agree some kind of counseling may be beneficial, but I am not a big talker about how I feel and tend to downplay how Bad I have felt. I too am a New Englander and find we can be rather stoic at times when I don’t need to. I birthed a 10 lb. baby all the time laughing and joking with all the nurses. I never understood all the pain involved. When I woke up from knee surgery I could not understand why another woman in recovery was so distressed. I felt great! I even had a tooth implant and the dentist had a young school student interning for the day- I assured her the experience had been most pleasant and said I hoped I had not said anything kooky while under general anesthesia. But this time I am slowing down and in talking to you can see a lot of what I feel may be more depression related due to stress. I will also make an appt with rheumy this week. I just did not want to be put on mtx. It just seems so scary. I will read up on it though. You are so kind to reply and I will do some research. Do you ever have problems with your feet and swollen toes?

Yes my toes and feet are really swollen and sore. I soak them in hot water with Epsom Salt which really helps. But I am one of the few who builds antibodies to the Bios. I have to change Biologics about yearly and have been on Remicade, my fifth bio, for 14 months so it is time for a change. I too was afraid for the drugs. I had been a nurse for 40 years so I did my research and found I needed to fear the disease not the meds. If you read the drug pamphlets you would be really scared of them, even Tylenol! So I did my research on sites I know to be reputable: Mayo Clinic, Web MD (it's great for speaking English!) and Up to Date. I also ordered and read the book suggested by Seenie in the book recommendations here on this site; The Facts: Psoriatic Arthritis.

Yeah I know a little about being a stoic New Englander! I also gave birth to a 10lb bowling ball! But unlike you I screamed all the way through the 30 hours! I had 2 epidurals and neither worked. Little did I know I had a PsA spine and I also had 2 pain shots. Needless to say he is an only child!

I have trouble talking also. I amazed I am able to talk to a male therapist. I never would have guessed it. But talk I do and I take my anti-depressants. This disease is tough enough to fight. I could not fight it while depressed. I would have laid down and died. I take my meds, both for depression and PsA, I do my therapy and physical therapy and I put one foot in front of the other and have built a meaningful life for myself. But it is hard work. I have made lots of friends, here and in the "real world". That helps immensely but I do not want to burden my family or friends so I work it out with a paid friend, my therapist.

We’ll I cannot thank you enough. Enough feeling sorry, I will get myself up and out to get some Epsom salts and try to enjoy the beautiful day! Thank you for lifting my spirits!!

I am going to put the Christmas decorations away! Hahaha not funny!