Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Greetings from Phoenix!

My oldest daughter and I are home for the holidays!  I'm really tired after the drive, but my joints feel SO much better (as always) from the desert climate.

I went to see Dr. Lavery last week and have officially decided to go on disability.  My skin was TERRIBLE when I went in.  This is what my hand looked like, and my feet, knees, and elbows were equally bad.
You can even see how sausagey my hands have gotten.  My swelling has improved since starting Arava, but I didn't really realize how much constant swelling I had because I see it every day.  He prescribed me Betamethasone dipropionate, a steroid topical cream, and referred me to a dermatologist.  We are pretty much at the end of options though for treatment.  I am going to see if the Derm can get me started on Stelara (approved for Psoriasis, in clinical trials for Psoriatic Arthritis), but I can't get an appointment till I get back from Phoenix.  It is also questionable if the insurance will approve it because I have Psoriatic Arthritis.  ANYWAY, I've been using the steroid since Thursday and my skin is much better.  I'll take a pic to insert later so you can see the improvement after 5 days.  The cracking has stopped, and I do still have some scaling, but it isn't coming off in sheets of skin anymore.  My daughter also got me some Dream Cream from Lush to try.  I put some on one hand today and it has improved even more and is very soothing.  I'll probably quit the steroid tomorrow and just use the Dream Cream the rest of my trip unless it flares again.

I'll try to remember to come say hi occasionally over the next 3 weeks, but you'll have to forgive me if vacation outweighs blogging.

Hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas!