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.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Pregnancy Diet?

The 20 week scan was fabulous, we got to see our little baby again and it was amazing at how much it had grown. I was shocked by how detailed the scan was, you could see all the tiny little bones which make up the spine, the heart chambers and the brain. This is now so real, its actually a little person growing inside of me. I was also very amazed that I weigh less now than I did when I first found out I was pregnant, Pregnancy diet?

Baby is wriggling around lots, it seems to only settle down in the morning but moves constantly other than that. Its a nice reassurance though that baby is doing well.

Unfortunately I haven't had a very good few weeks. The morning sickness came back and on top of that I was constantly dizzy and felt as though I was going to collapse. Lots of tests and all came back clear. The Dr gave me strict orders to rest (which could be the worst thing anyone could say to me), and carry on making sure I am eating and drinking enough. But I have done as I am told and now starting to feel better and looking forward to going back to work on Monday. I'll be 23 weeks!!! And only 11 weeks left at work, one of which I am on holiday. This pregnancy really is flying past, its making me wonder if everything will be ready in time for baby's arrival.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

An expected outcome

I received my 2 month follow up Rheumy appointment through the post yesterday as they couldn't book it when I was there the other day. 3rd April 2013, hmmmm??? Now my maths may not be the best, but I do know that more than 6 months away rather than 2 months. An expected outcome I suppose following the disastrous appointment. So I had the hassle today of calling to sort that out.

I seem to have had a unwanted return of my morning sickness, spending the majority of yesterday bent over the toilet. Luckily today the vomiting had stopped but the nausea has stayed around all day. I was not expecting this, I thought I had seen the back of it; fingers crossed it doesn't hang around for too long. 20 weeks left and I don't want to spend those with my head over the toilet. And just when I'd started really enjoying being pregnant!

OK I'm not too hot on law, but not impressed today when I tried to purchase tickets to a Peter Andre concert on 15th December. It was going to be my gift to my best friend for her 30th birthday, so absolutely gutted by the result. I have been trying to get tickets since July. The venue have been appalling at getting back to me. They returned my call once at which point I asked if it was a seated event or standing event. I was told it was standing at which point I asked if they have disabled facilities as not only do I have arthritis and could not stand for the length of a concert but at the time I will also be 34 weeks pregnant. He told me they have a raised disabled section towards the back but he would need to check what was available with the venue organiser and would get back to me. He didn't. Throughout August I was calling every few days to get an answer, I left voicemails every time as there was no answer, and as of today my call had still not been returned. So I have called again and was told due to health and safety as it is a standing event they cannot provide any seating. So in actual fact they will not accommodate for the disabled. Absolutely gutted, I feel I have let my best friend down! It really does suck having this disease. I know I would probably need to sit down anyway due to how pregnant I will be, but it would be the same if I wasn't pregnant. I feel so disappointed, surely there should be some law in force to prevent this obvious disregard for equal opportunity?

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Another great REASSURANCE from the NHS

Today I had my rheumatology appointment.

I had been thrilled at my last appointment to be told i wouldnt need to be seen again until after the baby had been born; which was fine by me as I had been managing well. It was sad however as Dr C said it was the last time i'd be seeing him as he had a job elsewhere. He had been looking after me since my arthritis was first suspected. Unfortunately, a week after this appointment my arthritis started flaring - the main problem being in my hips and not being able to put weight on them but also swelling and pain in my lower limbs and hands. I wasn't expecting an easy pregnancy but I was hoping i'd be one of the lucky ones whose arthritis would go into remission for this time. Still i'm plodding on. Its been six weeks since the flare started and things have become much easier again, however joints keep playing up intermittently and are quite stiff. Just trying to keep mobile.

So back to the appointment today, I have been stewing over it the last couple of days; as i was a bit nervous about seeing my new consultant for the first time as well as it being the chance to ask some important questions about certain aspects to consider, now, at the birth and after. After sitting in traffic longer than I expected I reached my appointment with a minute to spare, and my pregnant bladder desperate to be emptied. I dont know why I was expecting to be seen on time.

I was called in by Dr S, not in the usual fashion 'Mrs Grant' or 'Charlotte' or 'Charlotte Grant' but instead 'Grant, Charlotte' which I didnt really appreciate and to be honest wasnt a good starting point. Next I see the Dr pick up my records at the same time I am entering his room. So he has no clue about me, OK. So when he asked me how I was doing I thought I'd help him out a bit by responding 'Dr C didnt want to see until after having my baby as I was managing well when I saw him but a week later I started flaring.' Nope, obviously this was not enough as I was next asked 'How olds the baby?' ARGHHH!! NO, I'm 20 weeks pregnant, obviously he just thought I was a fat cow. So I correct him and explain the flare and where I have been experiencing symptoms. Obviously, sods law I was having one of my better days today so hard for him to see. He carried out an examination and at least could see the pain my left hip is causing me. He therefore decided to refer me to a physio, which I am happy with, as obviously drugs carry too many risks in pregnancy so anything else I can do to help is a bonus.

I had the questions I had pre-prepared as I wasnt expecting another visit between now and after the birth. So I start by trying to find out with him if the inflammation in my back will pose any problems or complications if an epidural or spinal block was needed in labour or in the event of a caesarean. He agreed this was a very valid question but couldnt understand why i'd have inflammation in my back. I explained that I suffer with pain in my back, especially the lower back and coccyx. He told me this was to be expected in pregnancy at which point I had to correct him saying my arthritis has always affected my back. He therefore checked a lumbar xray from 2010 and confirmed it should be fine. I was looking for more of a confident answer bearing in mind the situation of inflammation could very well have changed since 2010.

Next I went on to explain that I would like to go back on medication as soon as possible after the birth and therefore wanted to discuss this so it could be ready to start. I mentioned I didnt want to go back onto Methotrexate. No question was asked as to why, and I was shocked by the next thing which came out of his mouth. 'Well there's Leflunomide.' If you are a regular reader you may remember that this was the drug I was initially told I had to be off for a year before trying to conceive but when it came to it they had changed this and said 2 years, so I had to go through a wash out procedure and then wait ages for special blood tests to confirm it was out of my system. At this time I was told (and it was coroborated with information I was able to find on the internet) that this drug is no longer given to women of child bearing age. Not only am I definitely of child bearing age but the Dr didnt even establish if I was likely to have any more children. I told him I wouldnt be going back onto that either but it scared me that this was suggested so easily and makes me wonder how many other women which may want children are still having this prescribed to them. I think I will discuss my medication at my next appointment as I will be seen again in 2 months.

The last question was advice on whether i should let the obstetric consultant know about my recent flare up, as I saw her also when I was managing well and on that basis she had said she wouldnt need to see me again until 34 weeks. Dr S, said he see's no reason as its just 'a mild flare up'. Yes mild now! Not 6 weeks ago. I think I will ask this question at my 20 weeks scan next week instead.

So i'm given my follow up appointment sheet to take to reception and notice he had written my name as 'Charles Grant', so not only am I fat, not of child bearing age, but I am obviously also a MAN! At reception I had to ask if this was my new consultant as in all honesty I had expected a woman from what I had been told previously. The receptionist said that it was a locum I had just seen covering until my new consultant starts in November. I couldn't help but to respond 'Thank God.' If it had of been my new consultant, I would have been insisting on a change in consultant. My appointment in 2 months should be with my new consultant too so hopefully will find this more beneficial. I made sure to point out to the receptionist the error with my name, I wasnt going to let that go by unnoticed! So now I await my physio appointment to come through.

Not an over impressive day and a bit disheartening as I was expecting to come away with some answers. Now it will just be a waiting game until I can ask these questions to someone which can help and with any luck may be familiar with my notes first.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Bump Update

Bump is progressing well - I actually think its getting bigger everyday. Getting quite excited as next week we get to see baby again as we have the 20 week scan, cant believe we are nearly half way through.

I cant believe how exhausted I still am, I'm sure all I do is eat, work and sleep! Well sometimes sleep - its quite interrupted, cant quite get used to not sleeping on my back or tummy, and with the added discomfort of my arthritic pain in my hips I'm not getting many nights which I get to sleep through. At least I'm getting used to it now. Good preparation for 5 months time, lol!

Keep feeling what I think is flutters but I just want baby to really start kicking, just a bit of reassurance everyday that he is doing well.