Swelling of joints
I initially posted this in the general health forum but maybe this is the right place?:-
For the past three years, I've been suffering from very painful swelling of the joints. I don't seem to be getting anywhere with my doctors or hospital, here's the full details:
Up until three years ago, I lived and worked in Spain, carrying out building work. I was a very healthy and active 55 year old. Before this date I'd had no signs of health issues, swelling joints etc.
One particular day, I was working digging a pit, alongside waste pipes etc. The very next day I noticed slight swelling in one of my ankles, within two weeks this has spread to both ankles, both knee joints and was causing agonising pain. I attended A&E at a hospital in Spain whereby I was given antibiotics and pain relief but no diagnosis.
The flare up then disappeared and I thought the end of it, however it returned within weeks so I headed back home to the North-West of England as I could no longer work due to the pain, couldn't even walk.
Back home, I went to my GP who prescribed more tablets (apologies don't have a record of all the medication I've been given). But this didn't help, flare ups came and went, some not too bad, some rendering me unable to get out of bed.
Within a few months, I was referred to a specialist (Professor) in Rheumatology, after umpteen tests and hospital visits I was told that I was an unusual case and they didn't know what was wrong with me! Arthritis and Gout had both been ruled out.
That was over two years ago, since then I'm still on medication, I still get the flare ups every other week, flare ups have since spread to my hands, elbow, shoulders!!!
Everything is a struggle, especially as I was so active and fit just three years ago.
To this day, I think something happened when I was working in the damp pit, as my illness came over me instantly the next day.
Could there be anything in this? Could it be a tropical disease or blood disease?
Any ideas would help!
Is there any other treatment I should go for? Can I have more detailed scans done? I've mentioned to my GP if they can send blood samples to the Tropical Medicine hospital but I just get brushed aside, maybe this costs too much!
Thanks for your time in reading this!