I've been reading these boards for quite awhile and yours is the first post that sounds VERY similar to the problems I have.
I was diagnosed appr. 4 years ago with Costochondrits also known as Tietze's Syndrome. It's basically inflammation of the cartilege that holds the rib cage together, affecting the sternum; to me it always feels as if I have a broken rib when it flares up; usually 4 or 5 times a year.
I don't think I get fever (53 y.o.) and dealing with hot flashes anyway
. But I do get canker sores in my mouth from time to time; totally miserable when that happens.
I recently ended up in the ER with INTENSE pain that I could not control with my pain meds; and the ER doc said I don't have Costo but I have arthritis! so not really sure what I do have.
I have appt. next week with a neurologist to discuss Prolotherapy treatments (injections into the cartilege) similar to cortisone.
Can't answer your questions on pain meds; as I took Ultram for years, then was switched this last time to Oxycodone as the pain has increased so much.
Good luck to you in managing your pain.