In March of this year (2003) my right ankle started to swell, but no pain. At the time I was living in an apt with what I believe was toxic mold. Sand dollar looking things growing on a wall that would puff up and then black powder would pour out of them. I moved to another apartment, but my ankle continued to swell and became painful. My left ankle started the same thing shortly thereafter, then both knees became painful in the morning. In October, when my feet also began to swell I went to a GP who thought it might be rheumatoid arthritis. He put me on prednisone (10mgs AM and PM) for 7 days then (10mgs) AM only for 7 days. The prednisone helped with the pain and morning stiffness but not the swelling. He also put me on Lasix (40mgs) daily. When I cut the prednisone back to (10mgs AM) the pain and stiffness came back full force, so I went back to taking it AM and PM, the swelling did not abate even with the Lasix. Last week he drew blood for a sed rate and RA factor, both came back normal! I'm at a loss as what to do now. I have no insurance and if it's not RA what could it be? I am a 58 yr old legal secretary and spend 9 to 10 hours a day sitting at a computer. When I keep my legs elevated on weekends the swelling improves marginally, but without the prednisone the pain is unrelenting in the AM and PM (worse in right ankle), not so bad during the day. The swelling causes some limited range of motion in my ankles. With the sed rate and RA coming back normal my GP is pretty much at a loss as what to do next and financially I can't afford a battery of tests. I'm starting to get frightened and just don't know what to do. Please advise. Has anyone else had anything similar to this?
I may not have an answer, but it does sort of sound like arthritis. I don't know anything about the mold you experienced, but that sounds unusual. I've had RA for about 20+ years and have had blood tests come back as normal. So you can't afford to see a specialist? No insurance? If you do have arthritis you really need to be under a rheumatologists care. I would be worried too if I were you. I mean this is nothing to play around with. With the right treatment everything may turn out just fine. But you may not know until you can rule anything out. Hope you can get to the bottom of this soon. Good luck. MV
Last edited by Mission_Void; 12-02-2003 at 04:28 PM.
Just reading your post. I don't know if you've considered this or not, but my story is about 3 months ago my knees became painful in the mornings, particularly when I walked up and down the stairs. I took no real notice, just thought it was one of those things. After about a month, my ankles started swelling up and I developed hard red, very sore lumps on the side of my feet, I was in agony and had to take a week off work as I couldn't walk very well, or put my shoes on. After a week, I went back to my GP, and as she didn't know what was wrong so she sent me to see a Rhematologist (I went privately, as I couldn't wait for a NHS appointment). He diagnosed me immediately with Erythema Nodosum, which is a condition that may be a marker for a more serious underlying condition, such as TB or Sardicosis. My feet and ankles have gone down and are fine now, but I am still having blood tests done, as some of them are still coming back abnormal. After reading your story, I just wondered if your swollen ankles etc could be the same thing?