Sounds like you could use a trip to a rheumatologist just to sort out what is what. You don't have to have a positive rheumatoid factor to have rheumatoid arthritis. About 25% of patients never go positive.
Your dry eyes could indicate you have Sjogren's Syndrome.....another form of inflammatory arthritis. The toenail problem could indicate psoriatic. Psoriatic is what they call sero-negative in that there aren't any blood markers for positive diagnosis. It's also a spondyloarthropathy which means it affects the spine and well as other joints.
Tell your doc you want to see a rheumatologist and if you need a referral and he won't give you one, see another primary.
So sorry to hear of your problems, I am sitting at home today absolutely exhausted. I feel like I have flu and I ache in every joint. I signed on to see who was writing on the boards and felt I should answer your thread. I have had psa for 5 years now and I get pain in all my joints at varying times. I am tired most of the time and just lately feel very sick with it as well (but that could be menopause symptoms). I do not have skin probs anymore just joint problems. I have taken all the dmards over the years and I am due to start on Humira in a coupleof months time. Psoriatic Arthritis doesnt show high readings on the inflammatory markers as with RA. My fingers are all deformed at the tips (bumps) my knuckles hurt and swell, my wrists swell, my elbows hurt no swelling, my knees are the most painful they swell, my ankles hurt no swelling and my toes are extremely painful. I am registered disabled now and had to give up work last year. My mother is terminally ill and my consultant says this contributes to my problems as I am stressed and worried about her all the time. Psa flares with stress as well, like the skin. Steroids have helped me get thru some tough times over the past two years, and the disease drives me crazy. One day I am not too bad, the next I am exhausted. There is no telling how I will feel each day, so do not make plans anymore. My neck is hurting badly today as I tried to lift something at home yesterday that was too heavy, silly me, but sometimes I just want to be 'normal'. I have two little poodles that keep me going, I cannot walk far, but they keep me company. I hope you get sorted soon. If you want to know anything else and I can help, please ask Ronnie
Sure sounds like PA to me. You usually have a neg. RA with PA. All your symptoms sound like PA and you do not have to have psorasis present. I did not have psorasis until a few yrs. ago and it is mild. 2 small patches on my knees and on the top of each foot. The skin is rough but not scaly. My mother had psorasis on both knees and arthritis pain and joint swelling which I believe now was PA. No one ever dx'ed it back then. I have the ridges and lines in my toenails, big toenail and the toenail next to it.
They fall off every yr just before summer. I get the sausage finger every so often or sausage toe. All my joints are effected but thankfully not all at once. I may go a month and realize that something is different before I notice that I am not in pain in that area. I have had hand and finger pain since my early 20's. It has progressed over the yrs into my wrists, elbows, knees, ankles, feet and now I notice it in my neck and low back and hips. I do not have the fatigue like most of you describe but my energy is low on the days that it seems like everything hurts. I do not take anything for the pain except an occasional Motrin. My mother died of severe kidney disease from taking large
amounts of Motrin for many years so I will not put myself in that danger. I can live with the pain. Alot of the intravenous drugs they use to help with pain and inflammation can
cause Non Hodgkins Lymphoma and both my mother and brother were dx'ed with that the same yr. so I can not risk taking anything. I am lucky that I do not have pain above
a 5 most days and some days it is only a one. The strangest thing is that each time it seems like a different kind of pain and in a place that I did not have before. Right now on left thumb has been swollen and painful for several months. This may go on for a yr.
and I can wake up one morning and it is gone. I had both elbows so sore and unbearable to touch for a yr. and one day it was gone like it never happened. That is the strangest thing about PA.
Ronnied I can relate. My mother was seriously ill with cancer and then my brother and father were dx'ed all in less than a yr. It really exacerbated the symptoms. I am sorry that you are going through the same thing. My mother and brother have since passed .
I hope you have your Mother for awhile longer.
I just read your post and if what you said it correct then I would go to another rheumy. That is not true. You do not have to have psorasis to have PsA. Many people do not. I did not for most of my life and just started a few yrs. ago with 2 small patches on my knees and on top of each foot.
They are not scaling or silvery patches either but very dry and red.
As far as the lymph node in your neck it would depend on the size and palpation of the node. Apparently if several physicians have examined it and felt it then they must think it is nothing. If you exhibit other symptoms then you should have it checked out again.
The toenails are a part of the PsA and you get psorasis of the toenails. It is not a fungus but psorasis. I have it now in the large toenails and the ones next to it. They represent as ridges in the toenail and then separate at some point and will fall off near the nail bed. This is my third year having my toenails fall off. Now the toes next to the big toe are doing the same.
What labs have been done? PsA usually will not have a positive RA factor.
If you are not happy I would seek another opinion.
sorry about your parents too. Enthesitis is ligaments and tendons inflammed so in a way I think tendonitis might be the same but I am not sure.
What kind of feet pain do you have? I have severe feet pain but it is mostly from plantar fascititis which is more painful that the psoriatic arthritis. It also comes and goes. I was pain free for many months and boom it is back again. Now I am also having pain on the back of my heel so that is a new one. Plantar fascitits feels like you are walking on broken bones . The tendon shrinks during sleep and when you get up in the morning until the tendon stretchs again it is very painful. Usually with some walking it will subside but you can also have swelling and tenderness on the sides of the feet. I am sure that there are degrees of pain and placement of pain with this condition as well as with PsA. My friend has PsA and was in her early 30's and suffered terrrilbe. I am 17 yrs older than she and did not have near the amount of pain. She was put on Methtrexate but got off of it after a yr. Now she takes nothing and is doing alot better.
That doctor should not say something like that to you. They think it is funny until it happens to them and then they rush to get the best care within a few days of dx'ing and do not have to go through what the rest of us do.
Hope you find someone who can help you. Not alot of physicians are up on PsA and most do not even think of it when giving a diagnosis.