Hi, Thanks for viewing my blog. It lets me have a rant and I may even help someone along the way. Got the idea to do a blog following using an Arthritis Forum for the first time at

I suffer from Psoriatic Arthritis which is very demanding in all aspects of my life and this is my story on how I deal with it on a day to day basis.

I have been spending lots of time recently researching arthritis and pregnancy, there isnt loads of information out there and the most helpful thing i have found to date is forums and hearing other peoples story. This just confirms to me why I am 'blogging', if someone like me wants to know they are not on their own.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

The Necessary of Two Evils

So, it’s been a long time since I last posted on my blog and I’m hoping it will become a more regular thing again now. Life has been busy and will remain that way now that I am a mum of two. My little boy will be turning 3 in January and my little girl was born at the end of July. They are both so amazing and I could not even start to describe just how much I love them. They have their moments but I would not change them for the world, my little family is now complete. But I find my blog helpful to put my thoughts down on paper and share my journey with others, hopefully helping people realise they are never alone in their struggles.
The last few months have been hard, making sure a toddler isn’t feeling left out with the addition of a sibling. Caring for a new born who unfortunately hasn’t been overly well, she went to special care after birth as she was dusky from below the belly button and there were concerns about her heart. Thankfully all was well.
However since then it has become apparent that she has a cow’s milk protein allergy, it has been a long 16 weeks of adjusting formulas to find one to suit her and it has been a persistent journey with the doctors to ensure I was listened to and taken seriously to get her well. I feel like we are starting to get on track and feel more positive after seeing a dietician this week. Is it my fault she is poorly though? Did I do something wrong while I was pregnant? Is it because my immune system is rubbish? I’m now approaching the time to start weaning her too, which of course will be very exciting but a challenge in itself having to avoid not only milk but wheat, eggs etc.. too. Sorry little one, no rusks or biscotti for you. To be honest I’m more saddened for her that she won’t be able to go to the seaside and have an ice cream or eat chocolate obtained when trick or treating. Fingers crossed that she will grow out of this. My shopping trips are going to become longer, having to check all the ingredients in everything I buy. It’s strange how you are never really aware of how things like this impact your life until it happens.  You all of a sudden become aware of allergies and the constraint they put on a person’s life.
On top of this I have also been potty training my little boy, the first thing I have experienced with him whereby I felt completely out of my depth, but we are getting there and I am pleased to say I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Of course my arthritis has been weighing on my shoulders too, progressively getting worse and now that our family is complete choosing the necessary of two evils. Yes, my journey of the drugs begins again. Since the birth of my son and prior to becoming pregnant with my daughter I found gabapentin to be a relatively effective pain relief but since having my daughter I have had to increase my dose drastically and whilst it helps the pain subside slightly, the pain is still very much there along with the stiffness of joints and swelling.
So I had my first rheumatology appointment post birth last week, where we discussed the next steps. Firstly some steroids to try and settle everything down a bit. That in itself was a debate, tablet course which we know is going to lead to weight gain which in turn will put extra stress on my joints. Or steroid injection to which I reacted to previously, going numb all over and burning myself. I chose the injection as it should also work more immediately. Brilliant, no reaction to it this time and it has helped settle things down slightly.
There are new medications available now but I won’t be considered for them until I have tried Methotrexate or something similar again. Therefore, I feel no option but to start back on the disease modifying drugs. First step – Methotrexate!!! Argh!? Is this the right thing to do for not only me but my family too? My husband is reluctant for me to go back on this and concerned, but without at least trying it I won’t be able to try new medications which are in the pipeline. Methotrexate has never been overly effective in managing my arthritis but I’m wondering if with the right painkiller (gabapentin) it may be more effective. Not only my husband, but my mum is also concerned about me restarting the methotrexate, the thing we have to consider is the way it compromises your immune system. It seemed I was constantly ill before and is this going to be the case again? Especially as I am around snotty kids a lot of the time?  Am I going to be well enough to look after the children, however if I don’t do something for my arthritis I will be unable to look after them how I want to anyway; as the day to day things are becoming more difficult. My fingers not working properly, making it hard to prepare a bottle for my little girl or get a snack for my little boy. I will not give in! I will give my children what they need! But, I do need a little help, I feel the need to give in before I drown and feel at the moment methotrexate is my only option. So, I’ve been for my pre methotrexate blood tests and now it’s just a wait on the results. Then hello bi-weekly blood tests again. This is looking like a daunting prospect after this blood test experience. On my own with the two children and my ears go fuzzy and my vision goes fuzzy and yes I’ve fainted – how embarrassing, hoping the children are too young for it to scar them.
I thought that it would be a clear OK to the blood tests and the go ahead to start back on the methotrexate but after a phone call today I found that I need further blood test and a chest x-ray prior to starting the methotrexate, so another wait. And these are my drugs before I even begin the methotrexate, will I rattle when I walk???

Ok, so this has been a bit of an update, rant and yes I know a long post. Who knows what’s on the horizon. Watch this space, as they say. Providing my bloods and chest x-ray come back with the OK, my Methotrexate journey starts again! But my amazing journey as a mum and wife continues too. All the cuddles and kisses and smiles remind me of the importance to keep going.

Despite everything my life is good and I know there are many others which are much less fortunate in many different ways.

My heart goes out to a very brave little girl, daughter of a girl I went to school with. She is currently awaiting a heart transplant, and I just wanted to share her story with you to raise awareness of organ donation and hopefully help to get her, her gift of life!

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Mummy and baby 1 - arthritis 0

Sorry yet again for the absence of any blogging. Still can't believe how time consuming a little one can be. More so now that he is into everything and starting to walk. I could do with some extra pairs of eyes and hands.

Still enjoying every single minute of this amazing journey that is motherhood. Very hard work but so worth it, it's amazing see this little baby grow,  he's now a little boy with his own cheeky personality. He will never know just how much he has changed my life and how he has helped me so much with dealing with and managing my arthritis.

I'm feeling sorry for myself today, the pain is the worst it's been for a very long time. I could cry, but instead I've planted a smile across my face for my little man and just got on with it. He's not going to miss out on things because of this horrible disease too.
Mummy and baby 1 - arthritis 0

Just a mention, late for this year but to help this lady, Heather raise awareness of mesothelioma please check out the following link when you get chance

Thanks x

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Time flies when you are having fun!

So this time last year I had an oversized belly, swollen ankles, larger than normal boobs, all in all, I was pretty fed up and even though I had just less than 2 weeks to go until my due date it felt like I was well overdue. I was so eager to meet my little wriggler that hadn't seemed to have stopped moving for the past 9 months. After so long planning for the pregnancy because of my medication it was hard to believe the journey had nearly reached its conclusion. He eventually arrived on 23rd January, words can not describe how amazing it felt to be a mum.

So this time next week I will be celebrating my little boys first birthday, it's hard to believe he will be one already. It's lovely seeing him grow each day and I feel so blessed to have our little miracle, but it makes me sad too, he's not a baby anymore. I feel like the firsts are running out though, even when I know I have years of him doing new things. The past year has just flown by, I can't believe how quickly it goes. One of his friends (from our baby group) was one today and had a party, it only seems like a few weeks ago that I met my baby group and their little ones. It's lovely to see them all developing though and their individual little personalities coming out.

I have had so much fun on this incredible journey so far, and although my arthritis still sucks,  it makes it much easier to deal with. I have no choice but to keep going for my little man. When I'm playing games with him even though I'm having to push through the pain to do it, his little smile or giggle just makes all the pain worth it.

Don't get me wrong I still have my worse days when I could just curl up in a ball and cry. But, I get myself up, usually with help from my husband,  plant a smile on my face and just do my best. Today was one of those days and with the damp, cold weather these days occur more often. I still hope that a cure could be just around the corner,  I want to be able to play football with my little boy when he is a little older, and whilst I stretch myself all the time that may be a stretch too far. Chasing after my crawling monster can be a challenge on days like today.

Thanks for reading and sorry for the lack of blog posts in the last year, life is very busy with children. But like with everything I will continue to try harder.

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Erm, hello? Mother over here not very amused by this!!!!!

Wow! Where have the last 2 weeks gone. Things have been a little bit manic and upside down.

When I last wrote as you know I was in lots of pain, I didn’t however mention that my little boy was poorly. He had come out in some spots, at first I thought it was chicken pox, but soon discovered it wasn’t. He was covered head to two in little spots, he wasn’t quite himself either. His temperature had rocketed to 39.3. We took him to out of hours where calpol and ibuprofen was recommended and told it was just a virus. The following day the temperature dropped to 34.1, after ‘googling’ it, it made us aware that a low temperature can cause hypothermia, so another call to 111, and another visit to out of hours, where we were told to keep him wrapped up. How bizarre, his room was 25 degrees, he had a sleepsuit on, was wrapped up in a 2.5 tog sleeping bag and had a hat on, and yet all night we couldn’t get his temperature to reach 35 degrees. I just knew something wasn’t right (guess this is what they call mothers intuition!), so I took him to the GP. My baby boy is far too precious to me to ignore these symptoms and the fact he just isn’t quite himself. The GP agreed it was just a virus, and I was satisfied with his explanation and agreed with his suggestion to keep him out of circulation for a week.

However, the day after I last posted, I washed him at 8am as usual and he still had the rash which he had, had for 5 days. Less than an hour later I noticed the rash on his leg had changed, I pressed on it and it didn’t disappear. So out came the glass and the glass test reached the same conclusion, the rash was not disappearing. So by this point I was a little worried however my little boy was still alert and responsive and with everything I know about meningitis (albeit very little) the rash is generally the last symptom by which point the they would be very poorly. I therefore made the call to phone my GP practice, who I have to say since joining them in December have impressed me no end. I was seen very promptly, and the Dr was a little concerned but as he was so alert, was in two minds what to do about it. He suggested going to the hospital to be on the safe side and I completely agreed, you can never be too careful. Especially when he is only 6 months and can’t tell you how he is feeling. I don’t really know how I held myself together; I can honestly say I have never been as scared as I was at that point and for the next couple of days.

We went straight to the hospital, and he was looked over by a dr who wanted to take bloods and also suggested possibly carrying out a lumbar puncture. I agreed to the bloods but had to speak with hubby before deciding on the other test and I needed to know more about what it involved, risks etc...

The bloods were traumatic! They struggled to find a vein anywhere and ended up having to go in at his wrist, where they canulated too, so had to splint his arm up to keep it straight. The blood went everywhere, he was screaming. And then when they tried to tape it down and bandage it up, because he was sweating the tape kept slipping off. The Dr seemed to find this amusing, or at least that’s what I got from him laughing. ‘’Erm, hello? Mother over here not very amused by this!!!!! ARGHHHHH!!!’’ I was so angry.

After that and speaking to my husband we did agree to the lumbar puncture but I did ask if anyone else could carry this out, my confidence in that Dr after the bloods wasn’t all that good. Unfortunately, not, but we had to make sure they found out what was wrong so that he could be treated. I couldn’t go in the room with him, and still feel awful for not doing that now. Instead, I sat in the room next door, hearing him cry, it was complete torture, and I just wished I could take it all away from him. Sitting in that room, it took me back to when I was a teenager and my first experience of hospital. I am glad unlike me that my little boy is too young to remember! This was the type of experience that has made me cautious and untrusting of hospitals ever since. They had a similar difficulty with my blood and that went everywhere too. They told my parents to prepare themselves for the worst, as they didn’t have any idea what was wrong with me. It wasn’t until I was sitting in hospital with my little boy that I had any idea how they must have been feeling. OMG, this is hell. This is the part about being a parent I am not liking.

He got through the lumbar puncture like the brave little boy he is and then they began daily IV antibiotics. We stayed in hospital on the same ward I did 14 years ago, for 2 nights and the best part of 3 days. We went home knowing most of the results were clear but we would need to go back the following day for the results of the blood cultures and he would need to keep the canular in, in case they needed to continue with the IV antibiotics. The poor little boy, the arm which was bandaged up due to the canular was the thumb he sucks, so he couldn’t get to it.

The following day we went back and the cultures were clear too. They put the whole thing down to a virus. The canular came out and he got his thumb back. He also got a trip to ‘Toys r us’ and some new toys for being our brave little boy.

What a hard experience, and I am sure I am still catching up on my sleep, words can’t describe how happy I am that my little boy is OK though. I am truly blessed to have him!

I am still suffering with my pain and managed to get to my emergency rheumy appointment, we didn’t go for a steroid injection and instead we are trying a new painkiller, Gabapentin. So far, so good, no side effects to note and it seems to be taking the edge of the pain, making day to day a little more manageable.

I feel like life is just about getting back to normal now, the hospital stay really turned things upside down.

Thanks for reading again, will keep you all posted on any more developments in my life, which now isn’t all about my arthritis, but what comes with being a wife and mother too! Which reminds me, we have also celebrated our 2 year wedding anniversary in the last 2 weeks too. Love you hubby, thanks for being my rock xxx

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

The BEST Medicine

A well overdue instalment to my blog. Who knew how busy a baby keeps you?

Well I am enjoying every second of being a mummy, and my little boy is going to be 6 months next week. The time really does fly. He is rolling over, sitting up and not far away from crawling or cutting his first tooth.

So, the flare settled down, and whilst I was no means pain free I was able to push myself through every day. I want so much to be able to avoid the drugs after the damage they done to my body. I met with the physiotherapist as this is one of the things I have requested to try; the medication really is a last resort! When I met with her I had started flaring again, and hydrotherapy was also suggested. To date I have had 2 hydro sessions, the flare started to settle but BOOM!!! I am officially in agony again. My little boy really is ‘the BEST medicine’, I can’t just give up, and he gives me a reason to get out of bed every morning.

Last night was the first time that the pain has really got to me in a long time. My joints felt like they were on fire and as though someone had taken a sledgehammer to them. Pain is so hard to describe. I laid in bed on my memory foam mattress and it felt as though I was lying on a bed of stones. The pain had me sobbing, this does not happen very often and I feel somewhat disappointed that I have let it get to me. But the sobbing was a combination from the excruciating pain and the frustration of this horrible disease. It has been suggested by my rheumatologist that as well as the arthritis I am likely to have fibromyalgia, I’m currently waiting a referral to pain management.

I have however, throughout my sleepless night made the decision to call rheumatology and request some help, probably a steroid injection. I reacted badly to this before, by going numb all over but it did take some of the pain away. I have to think about my little man now too and I NEED to be able to look after him. I would prefer this to be as comfortable as possible. So I have an appointment at 11am on Friday. I still want to avoid continuous medication but I am at the point where I need some relief. Hopefully, with this, physio, hydro and pain management I will be able to find new ways to deal with it.

As from day one, I hope this blog helps people to understand the condition. I wish people would be less ignorant, whilst I have learnt to ignore the looks and comments when I park in a disabled space, my husband finds this really frustrating, I tell him it is just ignorance. On the outside, I’m young and healthy looking, but you should never judge a book by its cover. Believe me; if they want to park in the disabled bays I would be more than willing to give them this, the catch, they would need to take this horrible disease too. I don’t think I’d have any takers somehow! These little things just make day to day things people take for granted just that little bit easier for me.

Now my little boy is in a better routine hopefully I will be able to update you all more frequently, thanks for reading!

Monday, 25 February 2013

WOW!!! And OMG, I'm a Mummy!

A long time since my last blog as I have been a little busy. I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy on 23rd January at 6.33pm. He was perfectly healthy, weighing 7lb 8oz and had a full head of thick, dark hair - which explains the horrendous heart burn I suffered throughout the majority of the pregnancy.

After 9 months (well less 5 days) we had our baby boy in our arms, WOW!!! And OMG, I'm a Mummy! Labour was by no means easy, but now 4 and a half weeks later it is pretty much forgotten and it was all so worth it. I cant believe my little boy is already a month old. So that was one journey complete, and now a new one is starting and it is so exciting!!!

2 days after giving birth, the arthritis flared and it felt as though I had hit a brick wall. But my son, gave me the motivation to keep going and with some fantastic support from my midwife and GP practice I was given a hospital appointment with my new consultant. It was a very productive appointment and the consultant listened to my wishes too. I am going to go through all the tests again to see what the condition of my bones are like and to try and get a more definite diagnosis on my condition and then get a treatment plan in place to help me get the best quality of life but balancing it by trying to avoid the drugs which give nasty side effects. So at the moment I am managing it with pain relief and anti-inflammatories.

I'm enjoying being a mummy so much, but the arthritis does make some parts challenging. Like the night feeds when I have stiffened up and cant get out of bed when he is crying for a feed. It is amazing how much of a motivation he is and just pushes me beyond where I would previously have given up. As usual I am lucky to have fantastic support from my husband and family and I'm looking forward to the coming days, weeks and months! I'm just hoping it doesnt go too fast as this time is so precious.

So now the journey of motherhood......

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

The Waiting Game

Sorry for the delay in posting. It has been a busy month or so.

We eventually moved and now just about sorted in our new house ready for the arrival of our little baby. It really does feel like a weight has been lifted now, just knowing that we have the room to grow as a family. We moved 10 days before Christmas and I was 34 weeks pregnant. I felt slightly useless, I don't like not being able to do things, you'd think with the arthritis I'd be used to it by now. Moving this late on in pregnancy and so close to Christmas is something I will try not to repeat; however it feels awesome now we are settled.

Bump has continued to grow and continued to be trouble - since my last post we have had another 2 visits to hospital having contractions. First visit was New Years Eve, and again another good experience, they also tried feeding me up in case I was going into labour and the food couldn't have been more of a contrast to the previous visit. It wasn't slop this time, in fact hubby described it as almost gourmet. Bump had suddenly dropped and I no longer looked 8 months pregnant, and yippee some relief from the heartburn. I was having contractions but not dilating, the hospital said I had an irritable uterus. Wonderful! So they let me out and we went and celebrated NYE with my family. I hadn't been as hungry as I was in the whole pregnancy either, I had a good go at the spread mum had laid out, I was convinced the baby was going to be here very soon. We are still waiting.

On Saturday 5th I was in so much pain that I was in tears, it hurt to move. The pain was low down but no contractions. I called the hospital for advice who said rest and take paracetamol, this done nothing and at midday contractions started. They began 10-12 minutes apart but by about 8pm they were only 2-3 minutes apart. I was convinced that this was it. So a little scared I called the hospital who told me to come in. This time I didn't even freak out when I was taken straight into a delivery room. The staff were lovely again, I had the monitor again, they wanted to check babies movements as my little terror is usually very active in the evening and I had only felt about 3 movements since 6pm. They must have thought I was lying as, as soon as the monitor was hooked up it didn't stop moving. Contractions were measured again and I was 1cm dilated, babies head wasn't engaged and they didn't think anything was going to happen. Again an irritable uterus was making me feel how I was, along with a possible water infection which I will need to wait until the end of the week for the results. I was sent home and told to continue with regular paracetamol. This I have done, and had lots of rest. I do however have this little problem that I seem to be falling asleep anytime I sit down. Which I suppose is good as I cant get comfortable and sleep at night.

So today I am 37 weeks 2 days, so officially full term now. It feels like I have been pregnant forever and that I'm going to be pregnant forever. I'm getting very uncomfortable now and fed up, not helped by the fact my arthritis is flaring with the ever changing weather. OK, so maybe I'm just mainly impatient and want to meet our little one. I want to know if its a boy or girl now too. Off to see the midwife this afternoon and just trying to keep my mind active and fingers crossed baby will come soon.

I would also like to congratulate my friend at on the birth of their daughter on the 20th December, I believe operation is complete! Its been a long journey, but it is proof the end is in sight.

I am so excited to meet my little one, the end of one journey but the start of the next! Keep you all posted. As usual thanks for reading.