Hi. New to the site. Googled looking for answers and found this. Will try not to complain too much. I am 45. My symptoms began five years ago with lower back pain, foot nodules, and fatigue. Two years ago, the back pain intensified, morning stiffness set in, and I developed pain in my feet, ankle, toes and hands. I found myself going from being outdoors, hiking, camping, fishing, to not even being able to climb stairs at times. Finally saw rheumy, said I had RA, factor was negative. Toes were sausages. Placed on sulindac and other nsaids. Did trial of Prednisone. Could not tolerate it. Then, you have OA because all of my blood work was negative. I assumed that this could be the case as I have been a nurse on my feet for 24 years.
Continued with worsening pain, more joint involvement, a primary doctor who insisted that it was not OA due to elevated HLAB27, a rheumy who disagreed and an orthpedist who insisted on taking out a foot nodule for biopsy. Last March, rashes started. Legs, arms, neck, all affected. Trip to dermatologist and a biopsy said dermatitis. Nothing helped. Creams, meds, nothing. I have gone from very active to not being able to walk or stand for more than thirty minutes max. I have no energy, intense itching, joint pain everywhere, and no quality of life left. My husband is supportive but I see the my physical and emotional decline taking its toll on him as well.
Finally this August, after five doctors, foot surgery, lots of money, biopsies, frustration, depression, and just plain being worn out, I saw a rheumy who diagnosed PSA. Started on methotrexate six weeks ago. It wipes me out for two days but. Am seeing some resolution to the rashes. I still have significant joint pain, can’t stand for extended periods, can’t hike, can’t fish, and just seem to have lost my life as I knew it.
I guess I am posting to know if this is common. I go through periods, especially before a diagnosis was given, where it just seems completely hopeless, that I am crazy or something. I need to know that it gets better, that one can improve with these meds. If anyone has advice please let me know. I am stubborn and independent and this is interfering with that. My husband loves me and I want to get better to take those hikes and camp again.
Sorry for the long post. Been building a long time. Thank you for listening.