Observations

Living With Arthritis

Living with arthritis is a real pain in the ass. That is figuratively speaking, of course, a pain in the ass is the only place arthritis is not. Arthritis is not considered a single disease but a group of more than 100 joint type diseases. It is also the leading cause of disability, generally affects women more than men and can be found in children, but generally the elderly. Just my luck, I’m not a woman, I’m too old to be a child, I’m not actually elderly, even though it makes me feel that way, and I can’t get disability. That would at least fulfill my retirement goal.

I actually have what is called Psoriatic Arthritis. It started when I was about 30 years old with a flaky scalp, I thought was dandruff, of course, new shampoo did not help. That progressed to swelling in my foot. By the time I saw a rheumatologist, it was an all-out assault on my body. I could barely move. I could not chew, open or close my hands, my feet felt like spikes were being driven through them, walking was almost impossible. Arthritis along with five knee operations makes standing a challenge.

There were no real medications for arthritis 30 years ago. Some of the newer medications were later linked to cancer, fortunately, I did not try these. I went on a medication called Methotrexate. It was generally used to treat cancer patients, pretty ironic. The downside, I had to draw blood every 60 days to check my liver. Eventually, all joint pain disappeared.

Nothing helped the psoriasis. The odd part of this disease, my brother started with psoriasis in his early teens. All the flaky patches had to suck for a kid, he now has arthritis too. Nobody else in our family has this, we are the lucky two.

I tried Humera for six months with no improvement. I switched to Cosentyx. Initially, my psoriasis cleared up and I had no joint pain for a few months. Unfortunately, about 3 weeks ago, psoriasis and joint pain are back. I’m not sure how to explain how arthritis feels. Most people wake up feeling good, I wake up I feel like crap. I can feel all my joints, even sitting still.

Since there is no cure for arthritis I will deal with this forever. I just have to find a new drug. I also have to find a new doctor. You would think living in Florida, considered deaths waiting room, this would be easy. A good doctor with available appointments is hard to find but the search begins.

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