Trying to Figure it All Out

As an avid runner, I thought my hip and foot pain was a result of overdoing it and I just needed a nice rest. After resting for several weeks, buying new tennis shoes and visiting a trainer to be sure I was correctly stretching my hips after each run, I hit the pavement again. But, the pain instantly returned...with a vengenace. Then, my index finger on my right hand began stiffening and I couldn't bend it without significant pain. Again, I assumed the joys of aging and the daily use of my computer were taking their toll. It wasn't until I shared with my general practitioner all that I was experiencing...crazy fatigue, horrible dry mouth, joint pain in multiple joints (feet, fingers, and elbow especially) and psoriasis...that she suggested my "cluster" of symptoms might be related. Thankfully, she sent me to a rheumetologist who suspected psoriatic arthritis immediately. After two visits to his office and an official diagnosis on October 30th, I have been started on Sulfasalazine and Methylprednisolone. I'm not thrilled with the notion of taking medication "indefinitely" but I'm trying to educate myself. I'm so glad that there is a place that I can visit to seek solace and support and feel less like I'm losing my mind! And I'm hopeful I will be running again...soon.

Hi Carie...I had the same troubles myself. I was always quite active, played sports and jogging. Then when my foot started giving me trouble I thought the same. Now I struggled to find adequate exercise. Nothing quite measures up for me. Biking was an option but with hand brakes ...well my hands are a problem so I haven't been able to do that regularly either. My next plan is swimming but I have to find a pool that keeps hours that suit me.

I hope you are able to run again soon too. I'm glad you were able to see the rheumy early...that's important. I really hope the meds work well for you.

For myself I went from never taking a pill even for a headache to having to take multiple pills every day. It's funny how things work. Just know that you're not in this alone.

Thanks sooooo much for your reply Dini. I hope you find something that works for you too. I've realized that so much of my identify was wrapped up in my view of myself as a runner. I'm hoping that I don't have to give it up. I've heard that yoga is a good alternative as well...I'm planning on giving that a try, but I just don't want to pay the huge fees of a studio! Thanks again. And it's nice hearing from someone who really gets hubby tries, but he can't really understand.

I like to keep active as well. I do what my body allows me to. During my worst times, I force myself out for a walk, or use the exercise bike if even that is too much. During better stretches I can bike, run (it's never been horribly far), hike, etc. It's really variable. I've been off running for about 6 months now, mostly due to one of my knees, but am working on getting back into it. I prefer to run in cold weather anyway. I'm looking forward to doing my Mother's Day 5K in the spring, even if I wind up walking chunks. If its really bad then, I'll just do the two mile walk.

Look at giving up running as a temporary thing. You'll find a way to get back to it. My only advice on this would be to make certain that there is not damage at this point. You'll do a lot more damage if there is active inflammation, and a damaged joint will get damaged faster.

Hi Carie ....another avid runner here :-) I have been running since 2000...ran several half marathons and a full. I was training in the spring for another half. I ran an 11 mile run and three days later had a massive flare in my knee. I haven't ran since. Like you, I hope to run again one day :-)

I also was weight training 3-5 days a week and had to stop as the PSA impacts my muscles, ligaments and I was getting burning joint pain making it difficult to function. I started lowering the amount of weight I was lifting but got to the point that I could no longer do it with out having a flare.

I have been keeping as active as possible. Walking, hiking and this past weekend my husband and I took our newly purchased snow shoes up to the mountain and spent a day snow shoeing. I started Methotrexate in April of this year, we added sulfasalazine in September and still not having the greatest success at decreasing the flares and pain.

I believe the next plan is to start a biologic next month if things don't change in the next few weeks. There is a really good book on the book reviews portion of this site. I purchased it and it was a great source of information, giving me a greater understanding of PSA and the treatment. I actually just lent it to my doctor to read :-) This site is a wonderful support!

Hi Carie--you'll find something to sub for the running, I'm sure. And if you get your symptoms well controlled then you might even get back to running. I was indoor rock climbing three times a week when I got diagnosed and had to give it up completely as my tendons wouldn't stop getting inflamed over and over like I had permanent tennis elbow. This was bad news for me and even worse news for my girlfriend who was my climbing partner. Now she has to scrounge round for someone to bilay her--I can't even do that! One good thing is that I've redeveloped my passion for yoga. Not the super hardcore hot bikram kind, but the stretchy, limber, I don't care how I look in spandex kind. It's got me back on a regular schedule and reawakened my meditative practice, too. So, go with the flow, I suppose. Welcome to the site!

I love the advice janeatiu...especially about not caring how one looks in spandex. lol! Thanks...a lot.