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Schmiddy330 05-01-2011 04:10 PM

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.

Thank you,
Kathleen

paperbgprinces 05-25-2011 07:25 AM

Re: Positive ANA/Joint Pain/Fatigue
 
I'm in a semi-similar situation. I've had a positive ANA and Sed Rate, but that's all. I have many of the symptoms you do too. I haven't reached an actuate diagnosis yet.

Have you heard of Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disease?

vasculitismomma 05-25-2011 11:51 AM

Re: Positive ANA/Joint Pain/Fatigue
 
Hi Kathleen...so sorry to hear of your situation. Something similar happened to me Nov 2010 and lasted for 6 wks. Now I just have some lingering pain that comes and goes....never had lingering pain until after that episode?!

A few things I found out...my vitamin D was severely low and once I started taking 50,000UI weekly my pain level dropped significantly. Also found out I an HLAB27 pos and my C3 is very low. Some xrays showed narrowing of my joint spaces and for my age this was too early. I am still uncovering a lot about me and working out how I'm going to protect my quality of life. all of that being said, do not accept a quality of life you are not happy with....keep looking for your answers as deeply as you have too....

I have learned in the rheumatological world nothing is easily sorted out. If you are VERY LUCKY, sed rate, crp, ana, an RA factor, and blood counts will give the details your drs need to help you but, more than likely you'll not get your answers so easily....best of luck on your journey to wellness.

Schmiddy330 05-30-2011 11:26 AM

Re: Positive ANA/Joint Pain/Fatigue
 
Thanks paperbgprinces! I'm sorry to hear you're in the same boat as me. Hopefully you and your doctor will reach a diagnosis soon.

No, I haven't heard of Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disease. I'm going to have to look that one up.

Thanks,
Kathleen

Schmiddy330 05-30-2011 11:41 AM

Re: Positive ANA/Joint Pain/Fatigue
 
Thank you vasculitismomma! Never thought about Vitamin D as being an issue. I'll make a point of trying to add more to my diet. Right now it's a lot of trial and error. And learning modified ways of doing tasks that once were easy.

My Rheumatolgist is all set on figuring out the cause to all this. Which is awesome. Only problem is, I had to switch jobs because the pain and swelling got so bad I wasn't able to perform to the best of my ability. And my job entitled a ton of chopping and cutting vegetables. And with me losing grip of everything, handling knives isn't the best (or safest) idea anymore. Though that means I lose my health insurance through that company. So I found a part time, much less hectic job. Explained that to her and she seems to want to still work with me. She gave me 6 months worth of anti-inflammatory medicine and said we're going to do as many phone consultation as possible. that way I'm not paying for doctor visits until I can find insurance. And hope that the dumb pre-existing condition won't bite me in the butt too much.

And I hope you're still finding answers to your issues and that everything is working out well!

Thanks,
Kathleen

Schmiddy330 05-30-2011 12:03 PM

Re: Positive ANA/Joint Pain/Fatigue
 
Ok so here's my update:

Unfortunately I had to switch jobs because of the pain and swelling. I had to handle knives and I started dropping them because of weaken hand strength. And I cut myself pretty good one time. So I made the decision that right now, this isn't the best job for me. So far, my new job is a better fit for my pain/swelling/fatigue issues. Though I had health insurance through that company and I'm now uninsured until I find some insurance I can afford. But that's a whole other problem!

The only new symptom that has come into effect is that I got a rash on my nose and checks that got worse in the sun. And that I burnt on my chest and back when I went outside. And being a someone with Sicilian decent, burning normally isn't something I've ever had to deal with before. Though the rash and the burns might have been a side effect from one of the medicines I've been on. I did have a sinus infection and was on antibiotics for that, so that could have been the cause.

I did get into my Rheumatologist appointment last week. She said I was still pretty swollen in the fingers, wrists, knees and ankles. She's termed me as Poly-arthritic. Which I guess is normal for people dealing with autoimmune diseases. Did 5 or 6 blood test and I should get my results for them next week. I forgot to ask the doctor what they were for so I asked the lady taking my blood. She said one was for Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, some heart disease and she didn't know what the others were for.

Since I wasn't a huge fan of Prednisone (helped with swelling and pain, but made me VERY jittery and anxious. And I couldn't sleep while on it) or of Celebrex (which did nothing for my pain or swelling) she prescribed me Diclofenac. Which so far, has been the best medicine for me. On certain days I feel like I have the best mobility in my fingers that I've had in months. So I'm hoping this helps.

And so while I wait for answers, I've just been trying to take better care of myself. I'm trying to eat more vegetables and fish, drink enough fluids, take my vitamin and do basic stretches and exercises. I've learned, very quickly, that too much exercise or activity or stress will put me back days. But if I pay attention to my body and accept the pain, it's a good day. If I do too much or ignore my body, it's a very very bad day or two.

And please, anyone with tips, comments, suggests, etc. feel free to throw them at me! I'll keep posting my updates.

Thank you for the support and I wish everyone dealing with health issues the best of luck on their roads to recovery.

Kathleen

Schmiddy330 05-31-2011 02:43 PM

Re: Positive ANA/Joint Pain/Fatigue
 
Latest update:

I got my blood test results back today. Much sooner than expected. I tested positive for a Lupus test (no idea what it's called or if it was a positive/negative reading or just an elevated something.) Though because of that test and with my symptoms she thinks I have early stage of Lupus. I'll be starting a new prescription and going back to see her in around 2 months.

Kathleen

magnummom 07-19-2011 08:15 AM

Re: Positive ANA/Joint Pain/Fatigue
 
I too have many questions. I started out with Laryngitis at the end of May. A couple days into it I noticed a strange rash on my hands over the joints along with pain. I went to a quick Doc clinic and was told it was just a Viral infection and was sent on my way. A couple of days later I developed a Sinus Infection to add to it along with this horrible pain in my upper arms with the rash being over that area as well. I also developed the rash over my face. My arms I can not even raise over my head and my hip. I also am VERY photosensitive. I walk outside on a sunny day and am instantly sick. There are days that it is so hard to even drive the car. I work in a medical office and am constantly moving my arms and hands along with typing, so pain is consistent. The Laryngitis went away but the sinus infection stayed.A month into all of this I finally went to my family doc and told him what was going on. He was pretty sure that I had picked up a rare strep, similar too what had cause Rheumatic fever back in the day. He started me on an antibiotic and said lets see what happens. I did that for the 5 days with no relief. Called him back and he put me on a different antibiotic for another 10 days. Sinus infection went away but pain and rash persisted. We had to take my 15 yr old daughter to her Rheumatologist at Riley, she has Systemic Juvanile Rheumatoid Arthritis, and she looked at the rash and my symptoms and said "You call your Doc and get blood work and a referral to a Rheumatologist ASAP." So I did. He ordered a CMP, CBC, ANA, RA Factor, and Sed. Rate. All were normal but ANA. I had a positive Nucolear ANA of 1:160. I saw Rheumatologist yesterday who barely looked me over, ignored the rash, other than to say you need to wear sunblock, and said well a positive ANA really doesnt mean much because a healthy person with a virus can have a postive ANA, however you do have several postive points that are consistent with Fibromyalgia but I am not rulling out some other problem. So she ordered several more tests checking for other anitbodies. I don't have a follow up for another 4 weeks and was basically told to sit and wait. Mean while I am still miserable, still have the rash. I told my family doc" heck I havent had to wear blush for almost 2 months". He thought that was hillarious, but I don't. I am sooo frustrated.

riko711 08-16-2011 03:25 AM

Re: Positive ANA/Joint Pain/Fatigue
 
Hi i'm also new to autoimmune diseases but since May i've been reading more about it and now i have some usefull info. my problem started with fatigue and numb hands (i'm a programmer so i use the keyboard all day long) at night for 3 months then swollen and stiff with wrists pain reaching to elbows (used anti-inflammatory pills and nalgesics but didn't work- i use splinters for both hands and they make a lot of difference-try them). i had pain and stiffness in both ankles for almost a year but didn't know the cause till now. my knees ache too. to be short i had blood tests in May and got positive ANA and high ESR and CRP but other tests came negative. i visited 4 doctors and got 4 different opinions and medications. my symptoms don't match 4 criteria of any disease so i heard of inflammatory polyarthritis, RA, fibromyalgia and at last Lupus. the last diagnosis was the most convincing and i was prescribed plaquenil having the least side effect and started taking it a week ago. same as you i have allergy and sinus infections (all year except summer) since 2002 and i use flixonase nasal spray whenever needed for 3-5 days and i'll be ok. a month ago i got the symptoms of allergy and sinusitis with otitis (for the first time) and i used flixonase + antibiotic but was not cured the ENR put me on Clarinase + 2 nasal sprays and my ear is still blocked (going back tomorrow). this made me search for the connection between lupus and sinus infections and i found that they are related. i'll ask my doctor about it and get back to you later.
bye

rhondamac63 08-17-2011 12:48 PM

Re: Positive ANA/Joint Pain/Fatigue
 
Hi there
So sorry that you are struggling with this. I was diagnosed with MCTD... Mixed Connective Tissue Disease in January of this year. You might want to investigate that as well. I hope that you can find some answers soon!
Hugs
Rhonda

riko711 08-18-2011 02:00 AM

Re: Positive ANA/Joint Pain/Fatigue
 
Thanks Ronda for your reply.' i'll check MCTD out and tell you if i got the simptoms. in fact yesterday i asked the ENT doctor if lupus affects sinusitis which i have since 2003. he said yes there is a connection.
any way you didn't mention what medication are you on.. i'm using plaquenil 200mg 2/day and have to see my rheumy after 3 months if nothing new occured. i started a week ago and up till now i don't have any side effects except for appetite suppression which i'm thankfull for (i'm overweight..).
hope to feel better soon.
keep in touch
hugs

rhondamac63 08-18-2011 08:25 AM

Re: Positive ANA/Joint Pain/Fatigue
 
Oh sorry! I thought I did. I take Plaquenil 2x a day, mobic, tramadol and have taken prednisone but try to stay away from it. I got an email from a girl that has really been getting good results from sticking with a diet for arthritis. I will post her message for all to read.

paperbgprinces 08-18-2011 04:30 PM

Re: Positive ANA/Joint Pain/Fatigue
 
Riko, MCTD is quite rare. Have you had the anti-RNP test done?

Alexa3 08-19-2011 01:50 AM

Re: Positive ANA/Joint Pain/Fatigue
 
Is it legal where you live to fire a sick person who asked for a sick day?
Sorry you are going though this, I empathize with you. I hope you get a diagnose and medication that helps you!

AgedFlowerChild 07-04-2012 09:24 AM

Re: Positive ANA/Joint Pain/Fatigue
 
Hello, I stumbled onto this message while trying to find some answers for myself. Can you tell me what, if anything has been 'discoverd' about your medical condition. any DX?
Also, if you don't mind my asking, do you have any emotional problems ? Do you find yourself depressed, angry ect more than a situation calls for? I look forwards to your response. thanks



[QUOTE=riko711;4823678]Hi i'm also new to autoimmune diseases but since May i've been reading more about it and now i have some usefull info. my problem started with fatigue and numb hands (i'm a programmer so i use the keyboard all day long) at night for 3 months then swollen and stiff with wrists pain reaching to elbows (used anti-inflammatory pills and nalgesics but didn't work- i use splinters for both hands and they make a lot of difference-try them). i had pain and stiffness in both ankles for almost a year but didn't know the cause till now. my knees ache too. to be short i had blood tests in May and got positive ANA and high ESR and CRP but other tests came negative. i visited 4 doctors and got 4 different opinions and medications. my symptoms don't match 4 criteria of any disease so i heard of inflammatory polyarthritis, RA, fibromyalgia and at last Lupus. the last diagnosis was the most convincing and i was prescribed plaquenil having the least side effect and started taking it a week ago. same as you i have allergy and sinus infections (all year except summer) since 2002 and i use flixonase nasal spray whenever needed for 3-5 days and i'll be ok. a month ago i got the symptoms of allergy and sinusitis with otitis (for the first time) and i used flixonase + antibiotic but was not cured the ENR put me on Clarinase + 2 nasal sprays and my ear is still blocked (going back tomorrow). this made me search for the connection between lupus and sinus infections and i found that they are related. i'll ask my doctor about it and get back to you later.
bye[/QUOTE]


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