A New Symptom Cracked Open

I just returned from the dermatologist. She looked at my nails and said they were not a definitive indicator of psoriasis. She said what’s happening to them could be a reaction to anything going on in my body. Hmmm, that’s helpful. She said, “It’s a lot like the rash you had on your breasts and trunk that could have been a reaction to many different things, even something like breast cancer.” Really? Did you have to throw that in there?

And then I mentioned that I was starting to experience changes somewhere else. (And now, you are about to realize that I am sharing what is going on with me not just for my own sake-but to hopefully help others.) I mentioned that I was experiencing this in my rear area. Ah, the joys of autoimmunity just keep getting better, folks. Lucky me got to undress and have that area examined. Glad my dermatologist is a female. It wouldn’t have happened otherwise.

And that’s when she said, “Well, now I think you are correct. It does look like you have psoriatic arthritis.” (That will be a few hundred dollars.) But wait, it gets better. Then she said, “But just to be 100% sure, I’d like to do a biopsy.” Really? First it was my breast she biopsied–which came back inconclusive. Now, it’s my behind. So, this little mama has stitches in her rear right now. How’s that for a little transparency?

She told me to come back in twelve days to have the stitches removed. I reminded her that the stitches in my breast came undone the day after they were put in and I had a bleeding, gaping cut that I tended to with steri strips. Couldn’t I just take the stitches out myself? She pointed out that it might be difficult since they are behind me. Oh, yeah, duh. Well, then my husband can take them out. There, problem solved and follow-up appointment avoided.

“You know,” my derm. said, “There is no cure for psoriatic arthritis. You will have to manage this the rest of your life. You should really start a biologic.” I told her that I would like to finish my attempt with antibiotics. She squished up her face and said, “But antibiotics aren’t a treatment for psoriatic arthritis.” Uh, thanks. I’ll take it from here. She also asked me (sounding very surprised) why I wouldn’t want to start a biologic right away. This question put me off a little. She said it like there are not side effects to biologics.

Potential side effects for Humira

As I was walking to the desk to check out, I was caught off guard by the feeling of tears welling up in my eyes. When I got home, I couldn’t help but cry. I think that I had to process being told once again by someone in the medical profession that what I have is without a cure and lifelong. I knew this going in to my appointment and wasn’t told anything new by the time I left. But for some reason, there were tears. And now I’m sitting here a bit more collected, but with a bandaid on my behind!

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10 thoughts on “A New Symptom Cracked Open

  1. When I got to the part about discomfort in your private area – the first thing that popped in my mind was sjogren’s syndrome. The all over itchiness, dryness, etc., skin, nasal membranes, vaginal? I had to change to all natural soaps and skin products to get relief. Or any number of things? You need a second opinion because you have RA and RA med cause side effects. Slow down. Make new appoint with a different doctor and confirm. Think about how long it took to get a RA diagnosis. It was misdiagnosis after misdiagnosis. Think about all the testing you endured. Nothing’s changed. Be strong and Catch your breath and deal with them but don’t freak out.

    • Well, you’ve got me thinking, girl. I have used nothing but purely all natural products for over a year. Nothing goes on my body that isn’t pure. Well, except for when I get my crazy gray hair colored. Not giving that up. 🙂 Will look into sjogrens syndrome more now. Not very familiar with it. Will get biopsy results back in about a week. My obgyn also said it is spot on for psoriasis too though. Just saw her a couple weeks ago. My nails are crazy though. They are getting worse with each passing week. Thanks so much for your encouragement.

  2. Oh no! I wish I could give you a big hug! Not only do things look worse but your method of treatment isn’t being respected. Hang in there. You are going to find the path that works for you and feel good.

  3. Sounds like some of the crap I get myself into! Not too familiar with psoriatic arthritis, but wasn’t there some other place she could have used for biopsies? lol

    I agree with Lana on a second opinion. The list of side effects is mind boggling, but I was so bad, I could not function day to day without the meds. Eventually I came to terms with the side effects, put them out of my mind and no longer worry. Don’t let the side effects or the doctors rattle you, hang in there.

    • Thanks, Terry. I guess at this point–now that the deed has been done :)–I’ll wait to see what the biopsy reveals. Can hardly wait to see if this is indeed psoriasis or not. A second opinion is certainly not a bad idea though. Fortunately, the antibiotic protocol I’m on is applicable for either RA or PA. Whew. And the same goes for biologics. Which I just might have to give a whirl one day. Just would be nice to know what I’m really dealing with for sure.

  4. I just discovered your blog and I’m so glad I did. I’ve been going back through it and catching up.

    This post has really made me think; I often have odd symptoms I can’t explain, and I tend not to bring them up to my rheumatologist because a) I don’t think she’ll be able to do anything, and b) I usually don’t think of them as being related to my RA. Maybe I’ll start keeping better track of them.

    Meanwhile, I hope you’re able to find a way of working with this doctor so that your decisions are respected. It’s so incredibly frustrating when that doesn’t happen – and it doesn’t help anybody.

    • Thanks Helen. So glad to have discovered your blog too! I related to so much of what you wrote.

      I’m all for keeping track of your symptoms. You just never know. Although I often feel the same way you do about doctors not being able to do anything about certain symptoms. I’m so used to presenting symptoms and having doctors scratch their heads.

  5. I’m so sorry. This made me emotional and tear up. I’m so sorry you had to go through that. How awful. 😦 I had a biopsy done when I was in high school… I still have the scar.

    Thanks for sharing your experience. You have such a way with words. Have you ever thought about writing a book?

    • High school–oh, how awful. Such a turbulent time of life. Hard to imagine having to deal with this then.

      You are so sweet to mention writing a book. Definitely a fantasy. Maybe when the kids are grown and out of the house and I am searching for an identity. 🙂 We could write a killer book as a group! A collection of stories would be awesome. I’d buy it!

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