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Flutist with PA in Hands
from James P.

Ed:  I found your site about a month ago when researching methotrexate, which I have decided to try.  It's a drug I've always held a healthy respect for — in fact, I've been terrified of taking it — but I am now in my third week of therapy and so far no horrible side effects.

Your site has been a great blessing to me, and it has helped cheer me up on some bad days.  For the last few years, I have been taking Vioxx for the arthritis, which I can no longer take because of the MTX, so the first couple of weeks have been pretty bad.  I hope the MTX is slowly starting to take hold, now, though.

The main problem of the psoriatic arthritis is how it has affected my hands,  especially my right hand and left thumb.  I am a musician, playing (among other things) Irish flute, and have had to develop my own way (more or less) to hold the instrument so that I can play with a minimum of pain and also so that it doesn't strain the joints on my hands.

If anybody cares to see, there are photos of this at my site.  See


I actually credit playing the flute for my hands being in as good a condition as they still are.

Thanks again for the great site, and please think a kind thought about my way on the MTX therapy.  I still can't say I'm thrilled about taking a chemo drug, but I am hoping that it may be the first thing in a long time to make a real difference in my comfort level.  It is starting to clear the psoriasis a little, but for me, the arthritis is by far the worst part of this disease, and if I could get that under control, I really don't care much what my skin looks like.

Anyway, thanks for the great site. -James P.


Ed’s Response:  A perusal of your website is a good experience in what can be accomplished in spite of serious psoriatic arthritis.  (READERS:  If the pics and text aren’t enough for you, you can download some of James’ recordings from his site, too.  If you are music lover, www.flutesite.com is doubly rewarding.)  Thanks for sharing the link, James!

It took over 12 weeks for me to see improvement on MTX, but once it did my PA was calmed — and has been calmed for over 2 years, now.

It was interesting that you credit your flute playing to preventing the PA in your hands from being worse.  I had an interesting notion along these lines, too.  The my only digit that is noticeably psoriatic at this moment is the one digit never used for keyboarding (typing) — the thumb on my left hand.  Though P has flared in other digits, this is the one that has stayed swollen and now has restricted motion. 

I will be interested to learn when MTX really kicks in for you, James, so do keep us informed.  Keep making music for us!  -Ed

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