| | Positive ANA/Joint Pain/Fatigue
Hi everyone! My name is Kathleen and I'm 29 years old. I'm hoping someone can help me out. I'm feeling very out of sorts right now.
First off, I use to be a very active person. I used to work 40+ hour work weeks, exercise 3-4 times a week, run my online craft hobby/business, sell at craft fairs, stage manage theatre, etc. I was always on the go. I got run down and sick very easily, but I could always deal with it. I've had arthritis for years. Specifically in my fingers since I do a lot of hand sewing. Some days could be really hard to move because of the joint pain. I normally just took over-the-counter arthritis medicine and depending on the day, it may or may not work. I've never been officially diagnosed with Raynaud's, but nurses/doctors suspected that I did. I just dealt with the pain/sickness/fatigue and moved on. And I've always had eye/vision problems. And sinus/ear infections.
Though the last 2 months have been extremely difficult. It sounds odd, but I feel like my body isn't doing what my brain wants it to do. What I know my body could do 6 months go. I'm struggling keeping up with a pace of a 30 hour work week with no extra activities on the side. I've explained to my employment what going on, but they don't seem to understand or care. And they like to fire people. I feel so tired and in so much pain. And it all happened so fast, that I can't make head or tails of it. It's hard right now trying to twist my wrist to open a doorknob or to uncap a water bottle. And since I'm super stressed, I'm sure that isn't helping the matter either.
About 5 months ago, I got really sick with the flu, then sinus infection, then Strep F. I was on antibiotics for a month because the doctors said I ran my body into the ground so badly. Though it took longer than a month for everything to clear up. I actually lost my job for being sick and needing a sick day (and I will note I never took a sick day while I was dealing with all this. Until one day I said I needed one, they said no and fired me. I went to the doctor the next day and found out I had Strep F/sinus infection/etc.) After a few months I started feeling better and figured everything cleared up.
About a month and a half ago, I started a new very labor intensive job and a lot of my joints swelled up to the point of not being able to move them. Specifically my fingers. I would wake in pain 3-4 times a night because they were so swollen. And then after I woke up the took hours to move. The wrists, knees and ankles are also greatly affected. Sometimes the hips and toes, but they are only on bad days. I've started dropping items because I've lost grip and strength in my hands. Along with the pain is really, really bad fatigue. I'm struggling at work because I don't seem to have the stamina that is needed. And I tend to have low grade fevers a lot.
I went to the doctor and they took some blood work and x-rays. Everything came back fine except for my ANA test which was positive. She told me to make an appointment with a Rheumatologist. Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus have been mentioned as possibilities. She did prescribe Prednisone for the pain and inflammation. Which luckily has taken down a lot of the swelling. But the pain and difficulty moving the joints is still there.
Now a week and a half later since starting the Prednisone, I think my sinus infection has come back with a vengeance. I called the doctor Friday when I started to feel really poor and she said to try Mucinex-D over the weekend and if it's not better by Monday I have to go back in. I will definitely be going back in tomorrow because I feel like it might have gotten into the chest because my chest feels heavy. I've had Bronchitis a couple of times and this is what it felt like.
And I think I should throw this in to, about 2.5 years ago, this sort of happened. Not as extreme and I just ignored it then. But now, I'm wondering if that was maybe my first flair-up and didn't know. I, again, was at a very labor intensive job during the very busy holiday season and my fingers and wrists swelled up. Not to the intensity of this time, but definitely enough to make my cry a lot because it hurt so had. I do remember waking up many times through through the night to find swollen sausage fingers. But after I changed jobs, and let them rest for a month or so, the swelling went down. Never figured I'd have it happen again. I actually thought I just sprained my wrists or something.
Good grief that's long! Sorry for the long rant.
But if anyone has any ideas about what this is or any tips for helping the pain and fatigue, I'm open for anything! I just feel very confused and stressed as to what happening with my body.