October 25, 2008 at 2:47 am #301281lyndsayleeParticipant
I?ll try and make this as brief as possible. I already wrote it once a few weeks ago and somehow lost it when I went to post. I was bummed and couldn?t get myself to do it again until now!
I went back through my medical records and here?s what I found. I couldn?t find some of the older records, like when I was first diagnosed with psoriasis (scalp). But a good ?guestimate? would be around 1985. In 1998 vitiligo started appearing on my face. Went to the doctor and was diagnosed with hypothyroid. (They never told me what may have caused it) Started taking levothyroxine 25 mcg and since have increased to 50 mcg. In 1995 was diagnosed with atrial arrhythmia. In 1999 I was diagnosed with scarred lungs when they were doing an x-ray for something else. The doctor mentioned something about it possibly being sarcoidosis and wanted to do a lung biopsy but I refused. I felt short of breath sometimes but my lung function was fine. In time the shortness of breath went away and I forgot about it as the doctor suggested I do. In 2005 was dx?d with frozen shoulder and tennis elbow as well as osteopenia. Throughout the years of 1990 to 2006 I had intermittent pains in neck & back & other joints. All these incidents are preliminary to the ?big flare of 2006.? I mention them though, because I wonder about the relatedness of them to what is happening to me now.
Right before the ?big flare? I had been feeling the best physically that I had felt in years. I had been exercising (walking) for my osteopenia and was out in the sunshine for a bit every day. But then, my hips and right knee began to hurt; and my hips began to hurt so much that I had to quit the walking I was doing.
August 2006, first bout of ?trigeminal neuralgia?
In October of 2006, exactly 2 years ago, my right foot began to hurt out of nowhere. I did not injure it ? nothing fell on it, etc. It just began to hurt. It hurt under my third toe (in the metatarsal region) and the toe itself hurt. It got worse by the day until the whole forefoot was swollen and looked awful. I went to a podiatrist and he said it was definitely not something within the scope of his practice and wrote a letter to my pcp saying I needed to see a vascular doctor right away. It was very painful and I couldn?t walk on the foot very well. I had to wear one of those boot things for the pain as well as my foot was so swollen it wouldn?t fit in any shoes I had. I was sent from doctor to doctor. (the list includes the emergency room ? [sent by a doctor], vascular, neurologist, orthopedic and rheumatologist. No one seemed to know what the problem was. This went on literally for months and then a year. Finally it was agreed that my problem was rheumatological and that is where I?ve been for a year now. They diagnosed it as auto-immune connective tissue disease and when I told them I had had psoriasis when I was younger they said that, among other things, I had psoriatic arthritis. What the other things might be they could not say.
They x-ray?d the lungs and the report came back that the scarring had worsened since 1999 and now had several small nodules. They have been doing routine ct-scans this past year and a half, and it has not progressed.
In addition to the foot, other weird things began to happen. I had terrible leg cramps at night and twitches in various places in my body, especially my legs. All through the night I would wake up and feel like I needed to stretch my legs. Oftentimes the cramps were brought on by my moving my legs or feet. I also had a few episodes of pain in my head (that would quickly subside) and some bad headaches. I became (and still am) terribly sensitive to cold. I had ?freezing? episodes where I just couldn?t get warm. I?d sleep with a heating pad. I had unusual fatigue.
Today the pain and much, if not most, of the swelling in the foot has, for the most part, abated, leaving me with a sausage digit. I still can only wear certain shoes and sometimes the bottom (metatarsal region) of the foot hurts again. The top of the forefoot is still always slightly swollen. When I get out of a warm bath it is a different color than the other foot. The left foot is bright red and the right foot looks pale.
Just when I began to think that all that was behind me (except for my souvenir ?sausage digit?) two of my fingers began to hurt. The third finger on my left hand and the index finger on my right are affected – very swollen and painful. The one on my left hand is a little crooked. The doctor prescribed methotrexate. I freaked. Did research. Found out about AP. Talked my doctor into letting me try it though she wasn?t encouraging or supportive. She told me to start researching sulfasalazine before our next visit. I started minocycline on September 14.
Today is October 24, 2008. It?s been 5 weeks 5 days. I am taking it once a day every other day. I had a rough start ? not herxing ? but with the pill getting stuck in the throat and burning my esophagus ? now I know I have to take it with a little food and take it well before bedtime.
I?ll mention here that when I was dx?d with PsA in 2007, the doctor prescribed Etodolac and I?ve been on it ever since. It helps a lot with the pain. I also, in the course of those two years went through a few short courses of prednisone, but honestly, I can?t explain this, but I don?t think it really did much for me. It never took away the sausage digit but it did take away some swelling. I felt awful on it.
There is not much said for those with PsA on this board. I am hoping it (AP) works for me. In The New Arthritis Breakthrough it talks about it helping ?other inflammatory conditions. I am ever so hoping?
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