There is more history in my profile, but my serious PsA flares just began last August and the first one wasn’t that bad (I thought it was at the time, but subsequent flares redefined my concept of pain). The second one was the worst pain of my life, which is so hard to convey to people. Even when I tell them that it’s worse than when I had to have oral surgery without anesthesia, I don’t think they really get it. Anyway, I have found that what seems to be the case is that after 4 days of a cortisone shot, I get some relief, need a second cortisone shot, and then get so much better that I can’t hardly tell I was ever in pain. However, the flares are getting closer and closer together and now that I know what it is (was diagnosed PsA by dermatologist just last week after having been passed around to different orthopedists (the last, smartest one, asked, “You don’t have psoriasis, do you?”)), I know that my treatment regimen will be different.
Anyway, my dermatologist wants to try to get me off of some of these medications (including cortisone) I’m taking for other things, as they are countless, see how much it helps, and get me to a rheumatologist. I have an appointment to go back and see her in 3 weeks and she’s out of town until at least Tuesday.
As luck would have it, on Friday afternoon my left leg flared to the point of, “Sorry Shawna, no walking until further notice”. So I’m stuck in bed, writhing in pain, not knowing when I’ll walk again. I’m thinking I’ll have to go get another Cortisone shot, because even four days is about more than I could even imagine taking of this, but not even sure how I will get to the doctor.
Also, do these symptoms seem about right? From what I read, it seems like just about anything painful can be right when it comes to PsA:
For two weeks I had a backache that got sharper and sharper with intermittent spasms. It is probably still hurting, but is masked by the hip and leg. The hip hurts, but also pales in comparison to the leg this time. The pelvis, which often feels like it has a knife in it, is not as painful this time but also hurts. The strangest thing this time is that the pain is down the back of my leg, which normally doesn’t happen and feels like my calf, back of my thigh, and even buttock are in perpetual cramps. Even the back of my ankle hurts. My toes are kind of tingly. The leg won’t bear weight, so I use a cane that has 4 legs on it to hobble to the bathroom next door over and my husband has to get everything else for me. Thank God for him.
But this clearly can’t continue. Will it get better without a cortisone shot? How long do biologics take to work? What do people do when they can’t walk?