I've recently turned 40 and have suffered with psoriasis for 35 years. Last year I ran the London Marathon and suffered some knee pain during training and after the event. I underwent a lot of physio with little success before finally, in July last year I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis.
Since then I have had significant pain, on and off, in my feet, ankles, knees, elbows and shoulders all at different times. In the last month it became unbearable however, with such pain in my right knee that I could not walk for a week and had to take time off work. With some NSAIDs and a steroid injection this finally got a lot better after 2-3 weeks, only for my left ankle and foot to become excruciating last weekend - I'm guessing through that leg taking all the weight when my right knee had been bad.
Since seeing a rheumy through Bupa in July last year, who diagnosed me, Bupa have refused to pay for anything further as say it is linked to psoriasis. I am now seeing the same consultant through the NHS but have long waits to see him. Over a year since diagnosis and I am yet to start any treatment and I am finding this frustrating. My dermatologist keeps trying to get me on drug trial such as apremilast and secukinumab, but it keeps falling through at the last minute and I end up on nothing at all.
I tried cyclosporin for the psoriasis over 2 years ago but had horrific side effects - my blood pressure went dangerously high, causing terrifying panic attacks. Since then, and certainly since the diagnosis, I have suffered with anxiety and depression which saw me signed off work for a number of months last year. The dermatologist has suggested that in his experience, methotrexate can cause major mood swings and problems for those who have suffered with mental health problems, so feels it is not suitable - along with very slightly raised liver function shown in a blood test.
However, the rheumy is really pushing methotrexate and I'm a bit scared by it - I've worked hard to get through the depression and anxiety and really don't want to return to it. He has suggested sulfasalizine and leflunamide and asked me to see the dermatoligist again to find out which one would be best for the skin problem too (the psoriasis is quite bad).
So right now, other than using protopic (tacrolimus) ointment on the skin, I have no treatment. In was given naproxen for the joint pain, which does nothing at all. So they gave me cocodamol for the worst days, but that also doesn't help, and tends to put me in a bad mood.
The pain from the joints has been so severe over the past few weeks it has really upset me that this may just be life now. I have a 4 year old little boy and an 11 month old baby boy, with the image in my head of running around with them, playing football and being silly rapidly disappearing. This is starting to ruin my life and looks like making me a rubbish dad as well. I'm struggling with all this and can see know way out, as well as finding it frustrating to get two different NHS departments to speak to each other.
I've never posted on a forum before and have never spoken to anyone with psoriatic arthritis so I'm looking forward to hearing from some like minded people. I could do with some advice and support.
Any advice on exercise would be welcome too. I was a runner, as I have said, but have had to stop that due to the impact. As such I have put on over 3 stone since the marathon last year. I quite like swimming and enjoy the gym, but find it hard to even think about it due to the pain. Should I push myself to help in the long run? I'm not a naturally fit person, I have always had to work hard at it. I have done next to no exercise for the last year.
Thanks in advance