About Us

I'm Holly, a wife and mother of four, and I have Psoriatic Arthritis. Looking back I can trace mild symptoms to 1996. But in September 2010, I noticed pain in my fingers as I played the piano and within a few weeks it spread to my toes, ankles, knees, hips, back, elbows, wrists, shoulders and jaw. As a pianist and piano teacher this has been a devastating diagnosis. My disease resembles Rheumatoid Arthritis because all joints are affected and the medication I take is the same that an RA patient would use. I am an unusual PsA case, with a small patch of psoriasis appearing for the first time following the onset of the arthritis. I've been on Naproxen, Meloxicam, Plaquenil, Indomethacin, Avara, Celebrex, Methotrexate and Sulfasalasine; but Enbrel, and now Humira, have been my real life-savers.

My 14-year-old daughter, Maddie, has arthritis too. She was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, JIA (Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis), and most recently Psoriatic Arthritis. Her arthritis began at age 5 in her knee following a bad case of Mononucleosis. She has been on Naproxen and Prednisone during flairs and currently takes Voltaren daily. She has had flairs in her knees, ankles, and wrists, and deals with Enthesitis as well.

When we found out that I was HLA-B27 positive, doctors assumed that was the genetic link between our cases of arthritis. So after three years with arthritis, Maddie was tested and is also HLA-B27 positive. A few months after my diagnosis my youngest sister suffered a sudden onset of arthritis and also tested positive for HLA-B27.

Since our diagnoses, my sister has been diagnosed with Seronegative Arthritis. Also, my grandmother has Sclerdomera and Ulcerative Colitis, both systemic autoimmune diseases. It's all in the family.

Having an autoimmune disease consumes your life. It changes your life. I needed an outlet for my pain as I deal with this disease, so rather than be a constant complainer to others, I decided to write down my arthritis experience. That way I feel like I'm getting out my frustrations without forcing anyone to listen. I'm not a private person when it comes to health issues, so in 2011, I decided to type up the arthritis diary I had been keeping to document this disease, and post it on a blog. For better or for worse, here it is, the triumphs and the sorrows.