Stoney's update

So it's that time of year again for a flare. So far, this year hasn't been too bad. I've been doing hand therapy mostly for my basal thumb joints mostly, and also doing physical therapy for my hips.

The hand therapy is going well overall, and my pain level has gone down somewhat as my strength has increased. I have mild arthritis at the base of my thumbs, but a lot of instability. I also recently got my first silver ring splint, for my left index finger, which has a locking swan neck deformity. I love it! It is definitely more comfortable than the Murphy type splints that I have made for myself. I also now have a custom splint for my right thumb, and it seems to work well.

My hips started bothering me a few months ago. On x-ray, there are some mild arthritic changes, but nothing major. The process of dealing with instability in my hips has been interesting. As I work on imbalance in the hips, it's been screwing up my knees. I'm also wondering if that is part of the reason that my thoracic spine and ribs decided to become painful, just due to a shift in movement patterns. Though I have to say that the back and ribs feels inflammatory. Nothing obnoxious on x-ray, just some mild arthritis (I'm almost 42 yrs old).

In the meantime, I realized that the best thing I could do for myself was lose some weight. In the last month plus, I've lost 6-8 pounds. Slow and steady does it. Anything will be helpful for my hips and knees. I keep thinking that I should get my left knee x-rayed, but I'm not sure that I really want to know how that looks. It's a very noisy joint, and has been inflamed for YEARS now. I had done PT for it almost 10 years ago for patella-femoral syndrome. That is no longer a problem, but I'm definitely wondering about the pain there. But do I really want to know? Or do I just want to figure that as long as I can function okay with it, I probably shouldn't worry.

What's interesting to me is the progression of what appears to be osteo-arthritis on top of the PsA. At my age, there shouldn't be much in the way of wear and tear. And mild arthritis in my thoracic spine? Really? That I'll ask my rheumatologist to take a look over. I also need to ask her about Sjogren's, and whether it makes sense to add in that diagnosis. While we would still mainly be treating symptoms, it makes it a lot easier for me when dealing with other medical personnel to explain that I have Sjogren's, instead of explaining the symptoms as part of the autoimmune condition. A type of shorthand if you will.

So far I'm still making do with DMARDs and NSAIDs, with no biologic in sight yet. I think I'll bring this up at my next appt. at the end of the month, See if she has any thoughts about it. What's interesting to me is that although I was diagnosed almost 6 years ago, my rheumy seems to feel as though my progression is relatively slow, so she is pleased. I see that there is more damage at this point, but relative to how this could be progressing, I shouldn't complain too much.

Yes, this is a bit rambling. It's just after noon, and I was ready to lay down for a nap at least 2 hours ago. So now that my kindergartener is off to school, it's off to nap I go.