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New Year, New Diagnosis

Sitting in the hospital at 8:45am wasn’t how I imagined starting New Year’s Eve. Having been back and forth to the doctors over the past few months I was happy to have gotten an appointment to see the rheumatologist. Hoping that I would finally get some confirmed answers I waited patiently to be seen. 

In October, I started getting the worst back pain imaginable. I was in so much pain that I was brought to tears when doing easy tasks like trying to stand up and hot water bottles and pain-killers weren’t helping at all. When I finally booked a doctors appointment they immediately sent me to the physio, who sent me back to the doctors after one appointment. I felt like I was being past from pillar to post, the pain wasn’t easing up and I still had no answers.

Eventually, the doctor sent me for blood tests and after a quick chat with the nurse, I realised what was probably going on. The pain was being caused by psoriatic arthritis.

As well as back pain I had been experiencing tightness and pain in my jaw and thumb as well as having a very swollen pinky toe. Initially, I had put the jaw pain down to my wisdom teeth and swollen pinky toe down to stubbing it at some point or another. The reality was, they are symptoms of psoriatic arthritis and I should have probably mentioned it to the doctor back at my first appointment.

My New Year’s Eve appointment with the rheumatologist was great. She explained the condition, why I was getting the symptoms I was getting and what the next steps were. It was great to finally have confirmation of what was wrong with me and work with someone to get better, not just try and mask the pain. 

Psoriatic arthritis is a type of arthritis that develops in some people with the skin condition psoriasis. It typically causes affected joints to become inflamed, stiff and painful.

Something I didn’t realise until my appointment is that there are many medications out there that can treat both psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. This was great news for me as I will only need to take one lot of medication to treat both of the conditions.

My psoriasis has also flared lately. Most of my scalp is covered in thick, silver scales as is my belly button and the condition is slowly covering my face again. Before it had just covered my forehead, but this time psoriasis has appeared on my eyelids, nose and cheeks too. 

So, I am starting the new year with a new diagnosis. I feel like I am right back at the beginning again, trying to learn everything I can about the condition and what can help.

If you have any tips on how to deal with the daily implications of psoriatic arthritis, leave a comment. All advice would be greatly appreciated as I wait for more tests!

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  1. Ian Rose
    7th January 2019 / 9:33 PM

    sorry you have been feeling so bad.hope you are on the right track now,take care.

  2. kara spicer
    7th January 2019 / 10:57 PM

    I would love to follow u. I have lived with severe plaque psoriasis since I was 13 I am now 37 and my scalp is the worse it has ever been. I have it all over my body too. I wake up with swollen hands and feet , stiffness all over, back pain. I haven’t been diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis but there is no doubt I have it.

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