Saturday, 26 February 2011


So much for that New Years resolution I had....

Anyways, serious post today.  So I haven't mentioned this in my blog before but if you're a fan of Loop-da-Loop on Facebook then you're probably aware that I've been awaiting a diagnosis recently.

  • April
    - Pain began in RH wrist
  • May
    - 1st visit to Quacks, given anti-inflammatories
    - Pain began in RH ring finger knuckle, thumb and hand knuckles
  • June    
    - 2nd visit to Quacks, anti-inflamms = fail 
  • August    
    - Wrist X-ray and blood test
  • Sept    
    - 3rd visit to Quacks, results = nothing obvious in x-ray, negative results for rheumatoid arthritis in the blood test
  • Nov    
    - 1st visit to rheumatologist
    - Pain began in neck 
  • Dec
    - MRI scan 
  • Jan
    - Pain began in RH ankle
    - At this point up/down movement in wrist has become restricted to less than 45°
    - Blood test 
  • Feb   
    - 2nd visit to rheumatologist for results and DIAGNOSIS!!!

So it's been a long journey/wait and it's been very important to me to get sorted, despite my irrational fear of doctors and hospitals (and dentists!), because I was concerned about the future of my crafting!!

To put you out of your misery, I've been diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis, which as I understand it is very similar to and often incorrectly diagnosed as Rheumatic Diagnosis.  I have to say it didn't mean an awful lot to me at first, and the diagnosis was somewhat of a shock as I considered arthritis to be an old person's disease and I'm only 34, but it's been good to put a name to the problem because I'm a control freak and knowing means I've been able to research it myself!

  • Did you know that Psoriatic Arthritis is a disease?  (Non-transmittable incidentally)  There are 5 different sub-categories of it, and around 200 types of arthritis overall!  Osteoarthritis is the type that is related to ageing, but Psoriatic Arthritis can come on at any age.
  • Around 10% of psoriasis sufferers can go on to develop Psoriatic Arthritis, it's not developed relative to the severity of the psoriasis though.  Mostly it develops after the psoriasis, but it can sometimes develop before or even without any psoriasis.  In my case I didn't think I had psoriasis until I was diagnosed (tho my father does), but then my GP realised that I did but it had been mis-diagnosed by a different GP!
  • The major way of diagnosing the difference between Psoriatic and Rheumatoid Arthritis is that with the former you test negative for the latter in blood tests!  It can also be diagnosed through the pattern of joints affected, and closer inspection via MRI.

Well I'm sure you enjoyed that exciting info... Anyways, so even after the research it's still rather scary, and even the meds are scary, but it's spread so quickly and the pain has increased in the last month so that at this stage I'm eager to try them asap!!

  • The primary treatment is with an immunosuppressant like Methotrexate (which I shall be taking), which is a chemotherapy treatment but at a lesser dose than for cancers, which targets the cause of the damage to try and hold back the disease.  The side-effects are scary though and I have to have a chest x-ray to start (as a baseline) and have blood tests every 2 week to check for liver and kidney function, and it's likely to cause nausea and fatigue for a few days a week around my dose day.
  • The secondary treatment is anti-inflammatories, I've tried Diclofenac twice with no effect and I've just started taking a new one - Arcoxia, with another med to protect my stomach it!

It's no doubt going to be a long path, and I don't know what it holds (apart from having to take lots of pills and go to the hospital weekly for the time being), I could be on the meds forever, I could have to try several before finding one that works for me, but as long as it reduces the pain and gives me back more motion and the ability to keep sewing and crochetting and making jewellery for as long as possible then I think I'll be happy :-)

I'll check back with my progress at a later date, but until then to cheer us both up, here's a piccie of some cute Husky puppies I found on the internet



  1. I wish you all the very best! I have had Psoriasis almost all my life..I'm 52 now and have been very thankful not to have developed PA. My younger sister does have it though. Please keep us all updated. I'll be interested to see how you get on with the meds. I was due to start a course the first of Feb but my cholesterol was too high so I'm waiting till I can get it down. xx

  2. eeeekkkk
    I have Osteoarthritis but I am 50 and as an ex runner I have always expected to suffer with my joints as I got older.
    I wish you well as you and the doc try to find the right mix of meds to suit you. I shall also hold you and your medical team in my prayers.

  3. Many thanks to you both :-) It's been a big shock how rapidly things have worsened this last month or so, and I am trying to stay positive about the outlook though I am a tad emotional about it all at the moment. The amount of appointments I need to book and remember to go to are doing my head in big time!

    I do certainly feel better after my research though, this site has been particularly helpful about methotrexate -

    I'm thankful that hopefully it's been caught relatively early and whilst I figure I might as well sell my bowling balls, I hope that at some point I might be able to get back into the gym and maybe one day even play badminton again!

    I'll defo do an update when I've started the methotrexate :-) Is your sister also on it Victoria?