I am a sufferer of Psoriatic Arthritis. I am a warrior of Lyme disease.
I deal daily with Manic Depression. I live with PTSD.
These, among a few other ailments, make up the daily wars my body wages as it tries (in many meaningful ways of the phrase) to save itself… by destroying itself,, , as in, shield itself off from the harms of the world & protect itself from anything left… including itself.
I mean, autoimmune diseases, amirite? // When I was diagnosed I wasn’t quite sure what that meant. I mean, I had a clue. I’d done my google search prerequisites. “Why am I throwing up every day?” No google, I’m not pregnant. “Sleeping, but getting more tired.” Google, I already told you I’m not pregnant. “Swollen ankles, reasons.” GOOGLE!
So color me surprised when in walks the specialty (translation: $$$$) doc, looking over my bloodwork & she says “You don’t have lupus.” Okay, well that’s good. “But your rheumatoid factor is pretty high.” Oh. What’s that mean?
Well, your rheumatoid factor is an antibody found in your blood. & while it is possible to have elevated RF & be healthy, it usually is an indicator of autoimmune disease or infection. // Infection??
For a moment I felt hopeful. Hopeful that the RF in my blood were left over from my Lyme Disease infection. I knew my epstein-barr level was always high, & probably would continue to be ever since getting infected. Maybe this… was just residual ??
More tests. //& in the meantime my legs ached, my knees felt like they were breaking all the time. My ankles were swollen & sore; & then it was becoming unbearable in the bones of my feet to put pressure on them for longer than about 5 minutes. I was (& still am) so fatigued upon waking that I would feel ill even thinking about all I had to do that day. The list goes on. Skin cracking & sensitivity. Rashes & muscle spasms.
It would take a few weeks to get the correct diagnosis. Psoriatic arthritis, not rheumatoid. The difference? I get all the joy of RA, with all the fun of psoriasis thrown in. Oh, happy day!
It’s 2-3% of the world’s population that’s afflicted with psoriasis, right? A decent amount, but not the most. Then it’s only about 10-30% of those people which will also develop psoriatic arthritis to couple the skin disease (source). I don’t know, all I’m saying is… maybe I should take up the lottery?
I guess the moral of the story is: Don’t settle with a diagnosis that does not fit. Seems easy enough, but it’s not. I’ve been through tons of diagnoses. They change, occasionally. & that’s pretty normal if you’re not, quote, unquote, “normal.” I was rheumatoid arthritis for almost 3 months before the psoriasis symptoms began to present. & before that I went probably over a year begging doctors to listen until I was taken seriously. But once the rash came on, I spoke up immediately & the change in medication that followed actually made a difference!
Not a world of difference, mind you. But maybe just a nice island
or something. (& I’ll take that. I’ll take that &
keep asking questions.)
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