I have psoriatic arthritis. I was diagnoses with Juvinile Rhuematoid Arthritis (JRA) at age 11 (I'm 35 now.) My mom said I started complaining around age 7, but it took years of doctors and testing before they figured out what was wrong. No one could figure out where I got it from. I had rubella (German measles) as a child, my guess is that is the culprit. It was suggested to me in 96/97 by a doctor that I had psoriatic arthritis, or at least rhumatoid with autoimmune disorder. The psoriatic arthritis was later confirmed by a rhuematologist in either 2000 or 2001.
Currently I'm taking Plaquenil. It is helping me a lot - I wish I didn't have flares, but what can you do? Drugs like Feldene, Voltaren, etc., never did much for me, however NOW I do get some relief from ibprofin since a lot of my problems cause muscle and tissue pain as well.
I have issues with my immune system and was unoffically diagnosed (unofficial I say because they never did a biopsy of my liver) with autoimmune hepatitis. Because I'm what my doctor calls immuno compromised topped with the sensitive liver, I get sick very easily and very often. I was supposed to start Enbrel a few months back, but constant illnesses have kept that on hold. Much of the severe illness issues started when I was pregnant w/my 2nd child 5 years ago and then reappeared 3 years ago after I was hospitalized for an acute case of Mono/Epstein Barr Virus that had thrown my liver enzymes off the charts and caused me to almost loose my spleen.
I understand the feeling of uselessness - don't let it get to you, you'll get through this. If you work days, won't that mean you'll be on a register more? Beware of doing that to yourself - the repetitive motion like that may get to you faster than normal because you are not doing well at the moment. My husband can no longer work the physcial jobs and does the register, it gets very painful - luckily, he can still do some tasks and that helps him get some relief/change during his shifts....but on the days he's strictly on the register all night, forget it, he's in a lot of pain!
Take care. **