I'm a 65 year old male who comes from a family of psoriasis sufferers. I've had psoriasis for as long as I can remember on ankles, shins, elbows and head - though it has been in remission for the last 15 years and now is only in my ears. Otherwise I was healthy and walking 60-70kms per week.
In March 2020 I took a severe chest infection and I took further chest infections in April and May and was eventually sent to the A&E hospital where a consultant told me she was fairly certain I'd had Covid in March but she had no means of testing me (since then 2 other consultants have told me they reckon I had Covid in March).
I took a couple of further chest infections before in September my left knee swelled. I was referred back to the A&E hospital where it was drained and given a steroid shot. I was back at the end of October for the same and then again in mid-November.
By late October my hands had swollen and I couldn't make a fist and my shoulders, hips and knees were also painful. At the end of October the consultant at the A&E hospital diagnosed me with PsA and prescribed Sulfasalazine.
In November I was referred to a consultant rheumatologist at my local hospital who told me I had to 'suck it up' (his actual words) regarding the pain I was in until the Sulfasalazine worked or 12 weeks passed. A week later in late November I was rushed to the main A&E hospital with pneumonia due to yet another chest infection but my hands were swollen and all my joints were painful, particularly my shoulders, hips, hands and knees.
I was treated for the pneumonia first then they addressed my joints - I couldn't lift my arms or hold cutlery. I was put on a course of oral steroids - my blood tests showed my CRP levels peaked at 340 during this time. I was also put on Co-Codamol, Naproxen, Omeprazole and Amitriptyline.
I was re-admitted to the A&E hospital in December and again in March 2121 with pneumonia with all the same joints extremely painful. I was also seen at the local hospital rheumatology clinic during this time where I had shoulder and buttocks injections of Kenalog (which didn't help) and was put on Methotrexate. I had further Kenalog injections during my March A&E hospital stay in both my knee and shoulder which helped immensely.
I had an appointment with my consultant the week after I'd been discharged and his opening words to me were 'we can't keep giving you steroid injections' but offered no alternative. I told him I was extremely unhappy with this and told him another consultant I'd been seen by whilst in the A&E hospital had said if I were his patient he'd move me onto biologic treatment sooner rather than later but my consultant said I'd need be on the full 20mg dose of Methotrexate for 12 weeks before he'd consider it - irrespective of my pain levels.
My consultant ended the consultation by agreeing that if my PsA got worse he would agree to another steroid injection. I had this in April - though the consultant had specified a dose that the nurses were not licenced to give so the nurse had to give a smaller dose.
I've complained to my GP regarding my consultant's performance - he has never examined me, in fact he has never moved from behind his desk. My GP has asked for a change of consultant and I've now received a letter stating I'm on the waiting list for another consultant. Meanwhile I'm now taking 149 tablets (Sulfasalazine, Methotrexate, Etodolac, Folic Acid, Co-Dydramol, Amitriptyline and Omeprazole) per week for my PsA which are having limited effect.
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