Originally from the Netherlands, at age 57, was very familiar with autoimmune diseases, with 2 prior diagnoses of Sjogren’s Syndrome and psoriasis.
Gwen experienced a swollen ear, which her physician promptly proclaimed a result of a spider bite beucsae of a small sore on the back of her ear. After a course of antibiotics, her ear was no better and she was feeling unwell. She went back to her doctor but was told, “These things take time,” and to continue the antibiotics.
Gwen had suspicions that her symptoms could be another autoimmune illness. Two weeks later, the same symptoms began in the other ear. Gwen jokingly wondered if this was a very clever spider! Doubting a second spider bite, she went back to the doctor’s office once more, but was seen by a different physician.
She had done her research and had a close friend with RP. She was confident that she had RP as well. She was referred to a rheumatologist, who subsequently confirmed RP. Since her 2 ear flares she has had an episode of nasal cartilage inflammation as well.
Gwen’s symptoms are currently under control with Methotrexate and prednisone, and she is trying a ‘gut healing’ diet in addition to her medication.