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General health

Aches and pains - arthritis?

10 replies

JoAnne427 · 12/04/2002 21:02

Having been feeling really crappy lately and thought I would see if anyone else has been through this, and maybe has some input. This may be long, so I apologize in advance!

About five weeks ago, I awoke in the middle of the night with intense neck pain, couldn't move my head. Over the next several weeks this progressed to different muscle groups in my neck, shoulders and back, making it very difficult to take care of dd (11 1/2 mos). Went to my doc. two weeks ago, ran bunches of tests, nothing came up. The next day, I awoke to find my knuckles sore - like I had punched a wall. This developed over the next couple of days to swelling in both hands, can't make a fist. My right hip is shot - it feels as though I have been pummelled (sp?), only no bruises to show for it. Has now moved on to my ankles, toes, back of legs, knees. Have to walk down stairs backwards, and dp now has to get up in the night and first thing in a.m. for dd, as I can't walk right away. He brings me three aleve (more than I should take!), and within a 1/2 hour I can move enough to get my day going.

Went back yesterday for more tests - lupus, scleroderma, etc., very scary stuff. Doc thinks it could be anxiety (which makes me anxious!) and has suggested I take medication for it if tests come back negative. Can anxiety cause pain and swelling in the joints? I would think not, but would prefer that to be the case, than a connective tissue disease!

I did just buy a house, then lose my job. I have been dreaming almost every night about the World Trade Center (used to work there). Had dd. Had surgery recently to have my gall bladder removed. So there are things on my mind, and there have been major events in the past year - only I don't feel particularly anxious.

Other changes - now living on three floors instead of one - wood floors, pounding up and down stairs many times a day. Now spending LOTS more time with dd - so much more picking up, lugging her around, etc.

This is very difficult - have always been very active, and now am struggling to walk. Always upbeat, I find myself feeling quite depressed about the physical ailments...anyone been through this? If you have managed to get through my pedantic spew, any advice/input would be much appreciated!

Oh, and I had been doing yoga, so stopped, but it didn't make a difference...

OP posts:
robinw · 13/04/2002 08:05

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honeybunny · 13/04/2002 13:34

JoAnne427-poor you. Sounds like you've got more than your fair share at the moment. The symptoms sound inflammatory, so a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen should help. You can also take this in conjunction with paracetamol for extra pain relief if necessary, but this is something your GP should be looking into. Pain can and disability can most definitely be influenced by your mood, which is why things can develop a downward spiral. You in pain, feel rubbish and useless, do less, results in more pain, feel even worse about yourself etc etc.
Change in lifestyle is another big indicator for some of your symptoms. You've identified that you are doing different things to usual with caring for dd, more stairs etc, all relevant, as inflammatory joint problems can often be just down to increased use without the necessary increased fitness to ensure you're up to it.

Yoga may not have been enough to improve your muscle power, vital for healthy, supported joints, so my advise would be to consider doing something to improve your fitness and muscle strength. Power walking (even pushing the pram) is a good place to start. Then progress to more demanding exercise, an aerobic video, or exercise class or aqua-aerobics. Take it slowly, with a rest day between exercise days, expect to feel a little worse before you get better, and persevere. There's nothing more dmoralising than doing something for a week or two, not feeling a huge benefit and giving up, keep going. It may take upwards of 4weeks to notice a change. And try not to put off an exercise day until tomorrow, as tmr, often becomes next day, never!

Ask your GP for a referral to see a physiotherapist who will be able to give you a thorough assessment and be better able to suggest the right form of exercise for you, coupled with some hands on treatment, to get you over the worst initially.

Best of luck, I hope things improve soon.

PS sorry for the pushy style, the physio in me never goes away for long!! Its meant with the best intentions!

JoAnne427 · 13/04/2002 14:44

RobinW - will look into shiatsu - always interested in alternative modes of healing...

Honeybunny - not pushy at all! This is what I am looking for. The doc. didn't seem to really know what it could be, so didn't want to prescribe anything until 2nd batch of tests come back (next week), and said he will then probably send me to a rheumatologist.

Last night was really bad - dp and I watched my right hand blow up before our eyes - wondering if it could be the rain? Not sleeping much, as I am envisioning life never being the same! We were laughing this morning at me scooching around the house on my bum with dd in my lap - great way to dust the floors!

I have been trying to get out with dd and walk - and was wondering if that was causing problems, because I would feel so bad the next day - but now I will continue, and will do every other day as you suggest. I know that taking of 20 lbs would certainly not hurt!

Unfortunatey, ibuprofen doesn't seem to be working...

thanks for the input, I am really quite concerned, and don't want to keep going on about it with dp, friends, etc. and it helps to let it out here...

OP posts:
honeybunny · 13/04/2002 19:37

JoAnne427-always difficult to try and diagnose over the net without going through a thorough history and physical examination. So I won't even begin to. Hope the tests come back with some answers and some good news. Everything you describe sounds "inflammatory" but I'm sure your GP will have looked for the obvious, so if nothing has come back with a diagnosis yet, don't worry. Rheumatology is a good next step in that pathway as they are the experts in joint pathology. Hope you don't have to wait too long for an appt.

Keep going with alternate days of gentle exercise (20mins walking is enough to begin with, but if you feel like more, do another 20mins in the afternoon. If not, don't worry, just pace yourself, and try to do a little extra, by that I mean add an extra minute each week or 2, depending on how you are feeling. Don't if you don't feel ready to.) It will be slow going, and made harder by not knowing whats going on. Try to stay positive, and accept any help going with the heavier every day tasks.

Thinking of you.

Art · 13/04/2002 19:48

Sorry to hear you re having such a hard time, I know how miserable aching joints makes you feel.
I once had a sudden flare up of arthritis after an upset stomach - two totally unrelated incidents (or so I thought) but was told by the doctor that the bug I had could lead to arthritis. You mentioned an earlier operation - maybe some other illness you have had has triggered this attack. Whatever it is I hope it settles down soon.
Meanwhile - we are always here to chat if you need us.

JoAnne427 · 13/04/2002 23:39

Interesting point Art - when I had the aching in my back and neck several weeks ago (which is why I originally went to doc), I was told by many people, independent of each other, that they knew of a virus that was going around, and affecting those areas.

I wonder if this could be some sort of a bug that is moving through my system? Waiting impatiently for some sort of an answer next week - hopefully will get one...

OP posts:
robinw · 14/04/2002 18:23

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emmagee · 15/04/2002 18:51

JoeAnne, sounds similar but more severe version of what I recently had, aching in every joint and muscle, even hurt INSIDE my bones! My left knee seems to be permanently stiff and swollen at the moment.

I went to my GP who said that I have slack ligaments in the back of my knee (could this be a post natal problem?) and that whilst Yoga is good, I too need to develop much stronger muscles in and around the knee, he suggested swimming or cycling as the best with some gentle physio. I am also tempted to go and see homeopath - if only they weren't so expensive! I know there has been a viral thing going around which might explain some of the symptoms, both yours and mine, but I do hope you find out what the full cause of your problem is soon.

JoAnne427 · 15/04/2002 21:46

thanks emmagee - I'm curious, do you have pain in your feet? That currently seems to be the most painful for me, making it very difficult to walk. Also, my hands are very swollen and knuckles pretty painful. Left knee same as yours - I am gimping around, and feel like I've aged 20 years in one week. With all that said, today is a pretty good day - didn't take any meds, and pain is bearable. It is very dry and warm today, beautiful spring weather, and that may be one of the reasons I feel better. DD is being watched as we have a contractor doing some work on the house, and I took the opportunity to pamper myself. He didn't need me here, so I took myself out to lunch, had a latte at starbucks, and watched all the Yale students scurrying by, while I had several hours to just sit, or wander (gimp!) around. Didn't even open my book!

So all and all, this has been a very good day! Hope you feel better soon...

OP posts:
Emmasian94 · 13/10/2022 20:34

OP long shot but any update?

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