If there is one thing I want people to gain from hearing my story, it is hope. I want others with psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis to know that there is hope—and I encourage them to be persistent in finding a treatment that works for them.
I had undiagnosed psoriasis for many years, and it worsened as I aged. My hair was so pretty, but the plaques along my hairline were embarrassing. I could see people’s eyes going to my hairline rather than looking at my face during conversations.
When I was in college studying to be a nurse, a new phenomenon occurred. With every step, my feet hurt. My toes ached, swelled up like sausages, and became practically unbendable. My hips ached, and it was hard to walk after sitting. I was frustrated and frightened. How could I fulfill my dream of helping others as a nurse when I couldn't tolerate my own pain?
I persisted through medications, misdiagnoses, and lots of treatments. Finally, a physician put the pieces of the puzzle together and saw the whole picture. I was diagnosed with PsA, although my psoriasis symptoms started before my joint pain. Actually having a correct diagnosis and an optimistic, enthusiastic physician led me to feel renewed and hopeful. It didn’t happen overnight, but I’ve found some relief from my psoriasis symptoms and joint pain. HUMIRA has played a large part in helping to manage my condition.
I remember when I made the decision to take HUMIRA. I discussed it with my rheumatologist, my PCP, my parents, and my husband. I had concerns, but also overwhelming hope. I believed in my physician's enthusiasm. We had a plan, and I knew I had a partner in my journey who would help me reach my goals.
I recently experienced an amazing evening with my 8-year-old niece. We went to the park and had a great time. It was so fun to play and enjoy the activities with her. As I drove home, I was grateful and reflected on how far I've come in my journey with PsA and psoriasis.
I feel better now than when I was in my 20s before my diagnosis. I have come such a long way. HUMIRA has not only helped my joints, but my skin too.
I want fellow patients to know that they can also feel better again. There is hope and support. You are not alone. Be persistent in advocating for yourself. Find a physician willing to be a partner in your journey. Set small goals and take pride in achieving them. There are so many treatments and so many resources available. Take the first step to help relieve your PsA symptoms and achieve your treatment goals.
I wish you success in your journey, as I continue mine.