My name is Ria Bloemberg Lubbers, I am almost 75 and have been living in Zevenaar for 51 years. I already had psoriasis and the psoriatic arthritis came when I was in my mid-fifties, I think, yes.
With most people it starts in their hands, which was the same with me. When closing suitcase, I thought hey, it does not work. And not being able to hold a [tennis] racket. And all those other joints. It was not always the same. There were weeks were I hardly had any problems, but mostly it was bad.
They (nails) are very short now, because I keep them that way, but of course I would also like those beautiful, long, polished nails, like some women. But I have never had that. It mainly tears, dents and rips along the sides. I just have very bad nails. I really regret that.
I do know enthesitis, but not at the heel as you often hear. But I have a lot of trouble at the attachment of the knees. I will also get balloon knees, very swollen knees. It passes sometimes, or most times and I can be without for 14 days and then it will be back, so I cannot climb stairs for instance.
Skin has marked my life. In all kinds of ways . I could not find a boyfriend then. I was sent out of the classroom because I was scratching, I was taken out of the swimming pool, the hairdresser did not want to do my hair, I was rejected from a very nice secretary job, because I had to take off my blouse at the medical examination.
I think that if I would not have had psoriatic arthritis, my life would have been totally different.
Yes, successful treatment means that as a patient your disease does not bother you that much. So that you will be able to do the things you would like to do, but were not able to do before. That is successful treatment. So fewer problems and more of a social life.
Because if you are covered in psoriasis or you walk like this because of the arthritis it will bring you nowhere. You will not leave the house. So actually, when the treatment is successful, a whole other world will open up for you. And that is where we should be moving towards. Opening up a whole other world for all patients with psoriatic arthritis. Too many people who are in need of a very good treatment just sit on the couch.