Hi! - 47 Y/O. Newby, my story so far.

Hi all, sorry for the long post but I feel I need to get this off my chest. My poor wife puts up with enough of my grunting and groaning as it is, when I stand up or sit down! LOL

I suspect I may be using this forum quite a bit. I'm 47 years old, I went to the doctors yesterday with my symptoms and am awaiting blood test results and xrays of my hands (don't know why it's just my hands) are booked in for Monday of next week. But here's the beginning of my story. I suspect it will continue :-(

It's the 9th March 2022 and I'm sat here at 5am, having been awake since around 1:30am. I woke up in pain and discomfort in my left knee (new symptom) and right wrist. It's not the first time I've been kept awake because of the pain and discomfort but it's becoming more often.

I don't recall anything during Christmas just gone, so this must have started around 10 weeks ago. I woke up with shoulder pain, hardly able to lift my arm, it felt like I had trapped a nerve. It lasted a couple of days before it subsided but then it happened to the opposite shoulder. After another couple of days, that subsided too, but then I had pain and limited movement in my right wrist and wasn't able to lift a half full kettle. I'm a very "tossing and turning" sleeper and often my wife tells me that I've been sleeping in some wierd positions, arms over my head, folded under my pillow, head thrown right back etc. So I put my aches and pains down to lack of exercise, smoking, and sleeping in some strange positions.

However, during the following few weeks I was getting pains which would just come on during the normal course of the day. Also, getting out of bed in the morning and struggling to get down the stairs due to pain in my ankles. Not good, and now I can say definately not due to sleeping in awkward positions. Hence my doctors appointment yesterday.

This all seems to have happened pretty quickly I would guess (I've got nothing to compare it to as, to the best of my knowledge, there's no arthritis in my family.) But what I have noticed is that throughout the course of the day, the existing pain in my ankles, wrists and knuckles that I wake up with in the morning will do one of two things....either get better to the point where it hardly seems that anything is wrong, or stay the same.

I suspect that I don't need a doctor to tell me what's wrong, the signs are all there. He'll propably just confirm my suspicions and the type of arthritis. I've had psoriasis for around 20 years, albeit quite mild in comparison to some folk. A large patch on my lower left leg and around 10 other patches around my body ranging from the size of a pea to around half the size of a mobile phone (sorry, it was the first thing I saw that I could compare it to :-) ).

So I suspect I may have psoriatic arthritis. My blood test, xrays and referral to rhuematology will confirm or disprove my thinking but that's where I am right now. Again, sorry for the long post, it's taken me half an hour to type it out and I think I need a brew now :-). I may be back soon.


All the best!

Comments

  • ToneBlues
    ToneBlues Member Posts: 95

    Hi @manamaga

    Welcome to our online community, and thank you for asking for our support.

    You are telling us that you are being investigated for pain and inflammation in a number of joints, and that because you have psoriasis you suspect that you will get a diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis (PsA. That seems like a very reasonable conclusion! There are plenty of people using the online community who have got PsA and who will be able to empathise with your current feelings.

    Here is the Versus Arthritis website main page about PsA -

    And on this page five people talk about their experience of living with PsA -

    Thank you again for asking for our help - please come back regularly particularly and let us know what diagnosis you have, and how you are getting on.

    Very best wishes

    @ToneBlues - moderator

  • jamieA
    jamieA Member Posts: 184

    Hi @manamaga

    I was 64 when I contacted my GP about a swollen left knee - 6 weeks later at hospital I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis after it started affecting my hands as well. 3 weeks after that I couldn't move my shoulders or arms. I might be wrong but I think the medics diagnose PsA by ruling out other things rather than having a specific test proving the disease. One of the main things they concentrated on with me was both my own and my family's history of psoriasis. I think I remember a medic tell me that if the blood tests for rheumatoid arthritis are normal but other inflammatory markers are raised and your joints are swollen and you have a family history of psoriasis - it's likely to be PsA. I must admit - I'm an engineer - and that kind of logic doesn't really sit easily with me - I'd rather have a smoking gun!

  • manamaga
    manamaga Member Posts: 6
    edited 9. Mar 2022, 16:39

    Hi @jamieA What has suprised me is the pace at which this has come on, i.e over the last 8 to 10 weeks. To the best of my knowledge there's no history of psorisasis or arthritis in my family, we're quite a healthy bunch :-) But I suppose it has to start somewhere maybe? The same can be said for my mum who passed away 3 years ago after a short battle with MND, again this can be hereditary and again there's no history of it in our family.

    One thing I forgot to put in my post at 5:30 this morning was, how quickly the symptoms can virtually disappear. I was in pain from around 1:30 this morning with my knee and wrist as mentioned, so I just got out of bed eventually. But by 10:30am you'd hardly notice that anything was wrong! I could pretty much do a marathon. It's weird how it just goes like that.

  • jamieA
    jamieA Member Posts: 184

    Hi @manamaga


    Yes I was the same - I couldn't believe I'd gone from walking the hills to walking with a crutch in 7 weeks. Just out of interest did you have covid before you had any joint problems? The rheumatology nurse I've dealt with said that PsA can be brought on by a virus. She also said up to one in three people with psoriasis develops psoriatic arthritis. I've 2 brothers and 2 sisters with psoriasis and my dad had it badly - however I'm the only one out of the 6 of us that's got PsA. What's even stranger is that I'd had psoriasis from about the age of 15 but over the last 15 years my psoriasis had almost completely gone. I'd had it on my ankle, shins, forearms, elbows, head and ears but by the time I was diagnosed with PsA in 2020 it was only in my ears. On the plus side since I was put on biologics last July even the psoriasis in my ears has gone. From Nov. 2020 until the biologics fully kicked in in Sep. 2021I only got relief from the pain from steroid tablets and steroid injections - even opioids didn't help much. Since the biologics kicked in fully I don't think I've taken a painkiller.

  • manamaga
    manamaga Member Posts: 6

    Hi @jamieA I've not had covid, that I know of. Both of my kids have and were very good at isolating themselves. My wife manages a care home which at one point was rife with cases, and she's never tested positiveeither. We both test daily because I also work for department of Health & Wellbeing and visit homes regularly.

    We consider ourselves very lucky not to have had it. Or at least shown symptoms or tested positive anyway. We could of course be carriers without knowing.

    I have another review of my psoriasis at the end of March, my doc is putting me back on Acetretin. Got my xrays of my hands later today, not sure when we'll have the results though.

  • manamaga
    manamaga Member Posts: 6

    @jamieA Got an update. I have to say that given the backlogs in hospitals, my local one has been fantastic. I've seen the rheumatologist, had various scans, xrays and blood tests and he confirmed psoriatic arthritis.

    You mentioned covid in your previous post. I'd not had covid at this point, but my rheumatologist asked when I had my last jabs. I couldn't remember so I checked my NHS app and I'd had my booster in late December. He said that it's possible that my booster has triggered the arthritis. My first two jabs were the same, but my booster was a different one.

    Anyway, I have been given Methotrexate tablets and folic acid. Took my first dose today so I'm hoping we've caught this early and can limit it's effects somewhat. Fingers crossed.

  • jamieA
    jamieA Member Posts: 184

    Hi @manamaga

    It's good you now have a diagnosis. At least you are on the right direction for treatment. I hope all goes well for you.

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