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Not Ready for Metho Yet—But Paying Attention
from Maureen B.

Hi, Ed! My name is Maureen B. and I've been a flaker since high school. I really started molting after the birth of my first child at age 28, and since then I've never looked back ... don't need to because I leave a trail. Now it's four kids later. I've been dealing with psoriatic arthritis (PA) for the last few years—officially—but I'm quite convinced I've had it much longer.

Most recently my nails have taken on a life of there own. I will be making an appointment to find out if it's nail P or a rather ugly fungus. I've been managing the PA until recently with Indocin at night before bed, but now I'm taking it every 12 hours. My skin is controlled with Ultravate, Dovonex, and in between with Aveeno. My scalp is never totally controlled, but I beat it down with Ketoconazole shampoo, anthralin, liquid Dovonex, and other scripts I can't remember at the moment.

I'm now 44 and trying to be proactive. I belong to the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) and recently found a web site for psoriatic arthritis. I told them about your wonderful site because I've been hiding here in the corner feeling such great support and have never introduced myself. I follow your monthly updates eagerly and use the archives often. I was shocked to see your name appear on the other website and decided I must come forward to say hello and please keep up the good work. Learning from folks in the know makes this disease manageable for me. I felt so lone—especially the PA part—because the symptoms are so moment to moment for me. People describe feeling the way I do, but the textbooks say little. The MD's are less than enlightening and I've wondered at times if it isn't all just in my head?

Methotrexate has been suggested to me, but I'm not ready to make any changes. I watch you with interest, though. I've had a liver biopsy in the past for other problems. I try not to let this get me down and with support like yours I'm not alone. Thank you, Ed. -Maureen B.

*****

Ed's Response: You are very welcome, Maureen. I'm glad you've been here, and happier still that you've decided to speak up. For years my PA behaved like yours. I would suffer for a few weeks and then the pain would go away and stay away for months.... Just long enough for me to think, well, maybe I don't have PA after all. But it was this time last year that my PA came to roost for good. My remedy was Diclofenac, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory that did for me what Indocin is doing for you.

Don't be in any hurry to try Methotrexate. As I explained in my Journal, I waited for three separate "suggestions," and until receiving them I wasn't about to go this route.

So it was you, Maureen, who dropped my name at the Psoriatic Arthritis e-mail list site. Thanks! I've been delighted to make some acquaintances there so far and have added my name to the membership (see this months "Briefing" for more).

Now that you are out of the corner, Maureen, we expect to hear a lot more from you! -Ed

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