A couple of weeks ago, I met with a new dermatologist and yesterday I had my follow-up appointment. After an examination of my scaly skin and biopsy, I have an answer to what’s happening. Finally, a diagnosis, what a relief. There is nothing worse than knowing something is wrong, but not knowing what it is or how to fix it. I went through the same thing years ago with the fibromyalgia.
It is NOT contact dermatitis, nor am I turning into a zombie. Sorry, Rachel, guess I won’t be needing you to write my memoirs. I have psoriasis. A crappy disease with no cure, but at least I have a diagnosis and course of treatment. One that I’ll be starting as soon as the blood tests come back and I’m cleared to take the drugs.
I’m not thrilled about having to take drugs. Lie, I HATE taking drugs. Anytime I can find a way around taking medicine, I’m there. It was the same with the FM. I tried the meds because I needed to give them a chance, but in the end opted for trying to control it with exercise, attempts at removing stress, and some dietary changes. This doesn’t work for everyone, but with my current lifestyle, I have a lot of leeway. I don’t think I have a choice with the psoriasis.
I have to try using methotrexate before I can try anything else. It’s an insurance thing. They won’t cover anything else until you try this first. Supposedly, it’s the ‘gold standard’ of psoriasis treatment. In truth, it’s kind of a scary drug, but I can’t dwell on that, stress is a no-go when it comes to controlling everything wrong with me.
It’s also a fascinating drug. Methotrexate was originally used to treat cancer. Later, it was discovered to help with psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis. Something else I have to look forward to, especially with the combination of psoriasis and fibromyalgia. At least I only have to take it once a week and a folic acid supplement the rest of the time.
There are some pretty nasty side effects that can come with it, so my doctors will be monitoring me closely. This entails periodic blood work to keep an eye on my liver, blood cell count and other various bits and bobs of my internals. Nausea, headaches and fatigue are the most common things I have to look forward to, basically feeling like I have a bad case of the flu. I’m pretty familiar with that feeling, all part of having FM, it’ll just be intensified on that day and possibly the day after.
If it ends up I can’t tolerate the methotrexate, we’ll try other treatment options, until we find one that works.
Now that I have a diagnosis, let the treatment experimentation begin…