Home > Psoriatic Arthritis > So how long have you had arthritis then?

So how long have you had arthritis then?

A simple question?  How long have you had arthritis? Answer, I’m not sure. My GP diagnosed psoriatic arthritis, based on my swollen fingers and negative RF (rheumatoid factor) blood result in 2008. So that would mean I’ve only had arthritis for a few months.

I think I’ve had arthritis for 20 years, this is something I want to discuss with the specalist/consultant if and when I see him.  I have had “sore feet” for 20 years. I have seen many different GP’s and several consultants. The general consensus is that I have:

1) Achilles tendinitis, an inflammation of the tendon that joins the back of the heel to your leg/calf muscle

2) plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the ligaments on the sole of your feet that joins your heel bone to your toe joints.

I’ve had both Achilles tendinitis and plantar fasciitis in both feet for twenty years, I never responded to any treatment (taping, heel lifts, calf stretches, strengthening exercises, ultrasound, shoe insoles, anti-inflammatories or night splints).  The only time the pain in my tendons has eased was when I was pregnant. Go figure!  Most people complain about getting sore feet when they are pregnant, I was quite literally gob smacked when I realised my feet were better when I was pregnant, because I thought they would be much, much worse.

I’m skinny, I always have been, but several doctors have been at pains to point out that if I gained weight it would put even more strain on my feet (which is why I assumed being pregnant would be a disaster, for my feet, at least 🙂  If I had been overweight I am quite sure that all my foot pains would have been blamed on that and I really feel for people who struggle to get a diagnosis because all aches and pains are blamed on their weight.

After both my children were born I suffered “a flare”,  this is when your psoriasis and arthritis gets a lot worse in a very short space of time. You feel like crap, it’s like having flu. You are physically shattered and it hurts to move. Even if you do sleep you still feel exhausted when you wake up. In both cases this lasted for several months. The only trouble was, I didn’t realise what was happening and put it down to trying to cope with the physical exhaustion and the sleepless nights that are part and parcel of living with a new born. I’m a bit of a slow learner, if I have any more kids hopefully I’ll be able to recognise a flare as it happen, not that there is much you can take drugs wise if you are breast feeding, but at least I won’t beat myself up about it and think that I am just a wimp or a bad mother.

So how long have I had arthritis? Well, I feel like I’ve been living with it for twenty years but I’ve only had a name for it for a few months. Does that make me a newbie or an old hand? I’ve got used to coping with my sore feet and the limitations that brings, now I just need to apply those lessons to other parts of my body.  Sounds simple doesn’t it?

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