Hola! I’m Heather. I’m 48 and I’ve been experiencing what I now think is PsA for about three years.
The first year included chronic severe pain, and lots of tests with no end result. At the end of that first year my doc suggested I try Colchicine. She said if I didn’t respond than we have ruled out one more thing (psuedo gout - arthritis that acts like gout) and if I did than maybe we were on to something. I did respond - it gave me my life back, but did not make the symptoms go away completely. They are always there, just not as severe, and I was able to get back to my active life. I never really thought I had pseudo gout based on what I read, but the medicine helped so much I did not mind staying on it. We agreed until there was more information that we would stick with what seemed to be helping.
This year when I started seeing itchy rashes on my elbows and fingers I remembered a rheumatologist asking me if anyone had diagnosed me with psoriasis, and back then the answer was no. I was officially diagnosed with psoriasis in November, and I’m seeing a new rheumatologist. I will hopefully have definitive answers this week.
In the meantime, my symptoms are as follows:
Throbbing, pain and swelling in my fingers of both hands, muscle loss in my hands, right elbow tendonitis and right shoulder/arm pain/stiffness. My right hand used to be worse but I’m not so sure about that anymore.
Throbbing, pain and swelling in both feet but my right foot is definitely worse. This year (compared to the last 3) my feet can actually hurt worse than my hands.
Sometimes my knees feel swollen and painful when I’m at work, as I have a tendency to cross my legs. I am a graphic designer and sit for a lot of the day.
This year my left eye has gotten red and swollen at least 1/2 dozen times. At first I thought it might be allergies, but from what I’ve read it could be a symptom of PsA.
I have had psoriasis on the back of my head for a number of years. This year it is now on both of my elbows and this fall appeared on fingers on both of my hands. I can also feel it on my toes, even though there is nothing there yet. It can also appear on my left underarm.
Sometimes I limp for no apparent reason. Could be my lower back or hips - I’m not really sure.
Before I was on meds for what my doc thought might be pseudo gout, I was in constant pain and would slow down so much it felt like I was walking through mud. I was seeing an OT who taped my fingers all the way up to my elbows. This helped tremendously. She was the one who explained I had muscle loss in my hands and that’s why my pinky and ring fingers curve in.
I appreciate the opportunity to jot all of this down. It’s actually been quite helpful.