Cynthia From Mississippi.
"I am 49 years old and was diagnosed in April
2009. I was elated to find a site that was able to gain some knowledge about PA
(PR) after receiving my diagnosis.
In early March 2009, I began experiencing problems with disabling swelling. The
swelling was travelling and affecting multiple joints. Since I work at a
hospital/clinic I was able to get to a doctor quite fast and while I was
actively in a flare. I was treated for the symptoms with steroids and recovered
but there was no explanation for the pain/swelling. In the meantime, further
testing was performed that revealed some additional health problems (Vit D
deficiency and osteoporosis) and i began treatment for those issues.
It wasn't long (actually after I completed the medrol dose pack) before another
flare with multiple joint activity. Approximately 6 weeks from the initial
flare, the orthopaedic physician that I work for helped me get in to a
Rheumatologist as my internest was on vacation. He had been telling me that he
thought it was systemic and not related to the other recently diagnosed
conditions. Guess who didn't listen? Once again, I was lucky, I was in an active
flare when I got to the Rheumatologist office and had to practically be carried
in. Further testing showed an elevation of inflammation in the body. This was
when I found out that not only did I have PA but RA as well. Again, steroids to
combat the symptoms and two weeks later I started Methotrexate and prednisone.
PA continues rears ugly face, often. Most recently, my hands, feet, and neck are
the problem. I had been in a continuous flare since early August and daily
activities are difficult. The things that we take for granted (ie, walking,
turning the wheel of a car, opening sugar packages, tying shoes, putting on
clothes, working and even sleeping in the bed) have been severely affected. I
live alone and at this point, I have no help when PA arrives. I often just sit
on the couch waiting for it to run it 3-4 day course.
I continue to fight PA. It has been difficult and has had me at the lowest of
lows. I now know I am not alone in this struggle and I thank you all for your
stories. Hope to see you on the forum.
I have a few pictures (of poor quality) that I would like to share that was
taken from my camera phone. I will try to take some with better quality soon. I
hope this helps someone identify their problem.
If you have a Story or any PR Photos you
want to share with us email them to firstname.lastname@example.org