Hey there kabelladonna.. welcome to the PA family... I was diagnosed in March 2005 with PA, although I had been exhibiting symptoms since October 2003.. It took a while for me to get diagnosed.. My bloodwork came back negative for RA, and I wasn't being seen by a rheumy at the time, so no one thought to look at PA.. Within 5 minutes of seeing my Rheumy, he diagnosed PA.. Oh the relief, but then the anxiety! He put me on Enbrel. I thought.. oh no.. not this, not for the rest of my life.. and side effects, uhm, Lymphoma? Seriously? I have 3 young kids, so I figured I'd just be sick all the time.. and I'm in the military, constantly getting shots for this thing or the other.. But you know what? It hasn't been that way. Luckily, the only thing I did get was infections... I get a bladder infection like once a month.. but I am on a maintenance plan of anti-biotics to help with that..
It is scary at first going on new meds.. especially when they are like MTX and the different biologics, but the benefits GREATLY outweigh the negatives, I promise! Hang in there, we'll get you through this.
No, you don't have to wear a mask.. I would suggest good hand washing habits though.. Even think about carrying some hand sanitizer with you (if you don't already).. that will help to ward off some of the different bugs and viruses out there..
Take good care and let us know how you are doing!
Moderator of Arthritis Forum
Confirmed Diagnosis of - Psoriatic Arthritis/Spondylitis/Graves Disease/GERD/Scoliosis/Hiatal Hernia/Graves Disease of the Eyes/Chronic UTIs
Current Meds - Enbrel/Prevacid/Synthroid/Nitrofurantoin
Past Meds - Inderal/PTU/Prednisone/Voltaren/Feldene/Mobic/Cortisone and Steroid Shots
Additional Supplements - Multi-Vitamin/Bromelian/Acidophilus/Green Tea