“I would have never thought in a million years that I would be where I am now, coming from where I came from.”
I’ve had psoriasis for more than 50 years and psoriatic arthritis for 20 years or so, but was not diagnosed with PsA until 10 years ago. I knew something was wrong when my fingers were always stiff and I was always in some sort of pain. I had what I call sausage fingers, extreme swelling in the fingers, toes and nail pitting. Anyone who has psoriatic arthritis knows it’s not always the easiest getting diagnosed with PsA, as it is with other types of arthritis.
After much twisting and turning, my diagnosis was made by reviewing my medical history (process of elimination with the fact that I have had psoriasis my whole life) a physical examination was done, blood tests were conducted, and X-rays of the joints that had symptoms were what helped to determine it was indeed PsA. The treatment that I started out on was Enbrel and I’m currently on Stelara. The Enbrel worked for me for 18 months, and the Stelara is working great for me after I started taking double doses.
I’m pleased to be the newest blogger to the CreakyJoints family, and promise to be honest and insightful. I look forward to sharing, learning and growing with the community here and invite you to join me on this journey. I would like to share something that gives you a little bit more insight of who I am.
Recently Health Central followed me around for three days to showcase my journey as a lifelong psoriasis/psoriatic patient. I share my pains to inspire not for pity; my triumphs are your triumphs in the hopes of touching the life of those also affected by this autoimmune disease.
From the age of five, my head was shaved and I was quarantined for three months with 90% of my body covered in unsightly scales and painful days to years of misdiagnoses and in turn medical mistreatments.
We go back to 1963, as a small child eagerly entering my first day of kindergarten. I remember being prohibited from attending class due to the teacher fearing my condition was contagious. My day wasn’t off to the carpet for story time with the other children. Instead I was sent to the hospital, while doctor’s struggled to figure out what was wrong with me.
Even years after being diagnosed, I continued to suffer greatly into my youth. The stigma associated with this condition is intense and I always struggled to fit in as a child growing up.
“In high school I refused to go to gym because it meant exposing my arms and legs. Kids laughed, pointed and made fun of me. I had few friends and no boyfriends. I grew up in Virginia, a warm climate at times and I never once wore shorts or short-sleeve shirts.”
Since my younger years the struggle has continued but, I’ve learned how to better manage my psoriatic conditions. This battle has taken on a life of its own and I’ve has made it my mission to help other psoriatic disease patients know that you can come out fighting.
This June 13th is PNS’s Psoriasis Walk for a Cure Washington, DC. We have partnered with CreakyJoints to offer all psoriatic arthritis sufferers a special discount and donation match. I would love to personally extend an invitation to all of the CreakyJoints community. Find out more here on how to register as a psoriatic arthritis champion.
Diane Talbert recently formed a nonprofit in the Washington, DC area. Psoriasis Network Support is concerned with the quality of life of individuals living with psoriatic disease. We have a special interest on bridging the gap for psoriatic research in people with skin of color. The ultimate goal is to stop the stigma associated with the condition and find a cure. Visit her website at www.psoriasisnetwork.org
CreakyJoints is delighted to welcome Diane Talbert to our lineup with her new blog, “Psoriasis in Living Color, The different shades of living with psoriatic disease; Diane Talbert shares her pains to inspire, not for pity.”