Diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis and osteoarthritis in his hands at age 45, Scott Freelove believes his aggressive treatment and the care he’s received has helped him to live a good life.
When Scott was a young boy living in Chicago, he was diagnosed with psoriasis and had rashes all over his hands. He remembers how painful it was for him, and even more so, how embarrassed he felt about how his hands appeared. He dealt with it for four years, and one day, the psoriasis just went away. He didn’t have any more issues with it until much later in life.
In January 2000, Scott and his family moved to Colorado. A few years later, he started having pain in his hands. He couldn’t even shake hands without it hurting. He had started working out with a personal trainer and lifting weights, so he wasn’t sure if it was from the exercise. While working one day, he was chatting with a friend about the pain in his hands and other symptoms. His friend’s wife had arthritis, so he encouraged Scott to see a rheumatologist immediately, calling his wife’s doctor right there on the spot.
Scott got in right away to see a rheumatologist. He was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis and osteoarthritis in his hands. Scott believes his aggressive treatment and the care he’s received has helped him to live a good life. He credits his friend with taking quick action, giving him a good quality of life today, as he says he might have waited longer to call for help.
After some trial and error, Scott found the most relief and convenience with infusions, combined with methotrexate, to keep his disease under control. It took about seven years for him to feel like he was somewhat back to normal. He feels fortunate when he goes to his infusions and sees how well he’s doing in comparison to others in the room who aren’t as lucky.
Scott’s psoriatic arthritis has affected his ability to play golf due to decreased strength in his hands and difficulty gripping the golf clubs. He also has pain in his left foot that limits his activity. Being embedded in the golf world, he spoke with golf professional Zack Anderson who helped him to modify his golf swing. With practice, he was able to change his golf swing so it wouldn’t be painful. He’s had multiple injections in his fingers and thumbs and takes an anti-inflammatory medication to decrease pain. Today, he still plays, but on a limited basis due to the pain in his thumbs.
Despite the challenges, Scott feels like he has been able to manage his disease well the past few years. He’s able to do activities he never imagined he would be able to do, like a nine-day biking tour of Italy with his wife. They biked between 30-40 miles a day. Recently for his 60th birthday, one of his best friends took him on a golfing trip to Scotland, where they played 10 rounds of golf in nine days and walked the course. This is something he never dreamed he could have done, but truly believes the medications he takes has helped him to live a normal life.
In golf, being under par is a good thing. It means you’re beating the average. Scott says when people ask him how he’s doing, his answer is “four under par.” Thanks to a great health care team, being on the right combination of medications and a supportive, loving family, he feels like he’s always living under par. Scott hopes his involvement will help others to beat the average and live full lives.