Your new term for today is “psoriatic arthritis.” www.mayoclinic.com/health/psoriatic-arthritis/DS00476
You MAY have seen an ad for it in Time® magazine. I had several times, but didn’t really notice how much the arm in that ad looked like mine (minus the question mark formed by lesions.) My back & joints hurting has been an on & off annoyance for years. I dismissed it all as “getting older” — until this winter.
In December the pain and stiffness got so bad I couldn’t get out of bed without help. My whole left side will periodically go numb, and there’s a constant sensation of electricity down my left leg.
The VA neurologist says I have a pinched nerve in my left hip. The MRI ordered in conjunction with this exam confirms that I have arthritis in my lower back; likewise a dermatologist has confirmed that the lesions are psoriasis. When I went to school, 2 + 2 = 4 , unless you were doing it algebraically, which means there could be some imaginary number lurking in there somewhere.
My civilian doctor thinks the pinched nerve has nothing to do with the arthritis, but is a separate yet equally debilitating disorder. So now I am doing battle with the VA about my arthritis trying to increase my disability rating as well as Workman’s Comp about the nerve.
All this with an employer with all the compassion of the Marquis de Sade. When I told them about this, their response was to move me from what was a primarily desk job where I had freedom to get up and periodically relieve the pain in my leg to putting me in training to go back onto the production floor, where I will be connected to a phone and a computer eight hours a day- at least.
I went to my civilian doctor and asked for written work restrictions. He asked “Why do you need those?” Well, according HR at my employer, they can’t even file my Workman’s claim unless they have them, nor are they required to make any allowance for my alleged disorder. The VA is reluctant to give me any WRITTEN work restrictions until all of my tests are complete. They gave me some verbal advice, but this isn’t good enough for my employer.
So I am limited to sitting for no more than 15 minutes or standing for more that 30 . Also I can’t lift anything heavier that 5 pounds– which lets Bailey, our “Schnoodle “, out because she weighs 11 pounds. At least through April 1. That’s when I see the VA doctor and hopefully get something more definite. And this is strictly enforced, because if I try to sit for longer, the pain is more than I care to stand. It’s more efficient than one of those house arrest ankle bracelets.
This week-end, I started using a cane. It’s not so much to help me walk, but to get up when I’ve been sitting for too long. Matter of fact, it’s getting to that point about now. Oh, did I mention that I am allergic to aspirin and other NSAIDs? More later when I feel better.