Join Date: Jan 2007
| | Noisy/stiff joints, hair loss, vision problems
I'm very sorry this is enormous but after getting nothing from various doctors and accumulating so many medical bills, I'm desperate for at least an ANSWER as to what I have, if not also a solution, and I thought it best to list all possibly pertinent information at one time. I started having all these problems around the same time and have dealt with them for a couple years now. Below is everything I suddenly started having to deal with in the past couple years, and any related symptoms from the past that just have all of a sudden gotten worse in this time period (I tried to keep it as chronological as possible, though a lot of things overlap):
1) Hip tendon/muscle always felt, since I was 9 or younger, like it was catching on bone or something when I moved my leg a certain way, especially doing in-to-out kicks in Tae Kwon Do (this kick is done by sweeping your foot in front of the other and up across your face/over your head to the other side, making a half circle over and in front of your body). No pain with this, just annoying and movement-impeding.
2) Since about middle school (or maybe earlier), my ankles have clicked when walking, loud enough for people to notice. No pain with this.
3) In April 2006 (I was 25), I got stomach pain for about a week that was the worst pain I’ve ever felt, went to specialist who did endoscopy/biopsy and said all was okay and it was probably just stress or a gas bubble… Though it’s come back in the years since here and there, just not nearly as bad (but bad enough I’ve been afraid to drink orange juice, eat pineapple, etc) until one night a couple months ago (April 2010), when I had excruciating pain for several hours after dinner.
4) It might be important to note that I was depressed for a few months in 2008, so I got into the habit of drinking a LOT, and very often, which lasted from Aug/Sep 2008 until probably Feb 2009.
5) October 2008: did a Tae Kwon Do move (can’t remember for sure, but I think it was a neck chop) in the mirror full force/speed without warming up, and the next day that elbow (left) was sore in the center of the joint. I rested it for a few days, during which time I pulled my right hamstring doing a high front kick (though I had warmed up, just not done kicks full force/speed in a long time), so now that I couldn’t work out my lower body while that healed, I had to come up with other things to do w/my upper body in between weight sessions, so one night I practiced with escreema (the 2 fighting sticks), and the next day both elbows and all the little muscles around them were sore, but mostly just in a way that muscles you don’t ever use should be after working them out. But then after the muscles healed, both elbow joints were sore in the center still. For the next month I kept giving myself a few days to a week to rest, feeling better, then lifting weights or doing something that would let me know I hadn’t actually rested enough, and by the 3rd or so round of this, both elbows not only were sore, but also had started clicking when I would move them a certain way or flex my bicep while tensing/holding something heavy, or even tilting a mug or cup to drink. I rested and hardly worked out for a few months, and by February I went to Jewett Orthopaedic, who did x-rays that showed everything was fine, then did MRIs that showed everything was fine, so then decided they were going to do an arthroscopy on the worse elbow (left).
6) The surgery was planned, but then I got my first ever STD (gonorrhea) from my boyfriend, so I went to the doctor and he gave me Doxycycline, but I got hives from that and therefore got a different antibiotic from him, Azithromycin. I took that and went back to check that it had worked, which it had, but for some reason still unbeknownst to me, he decided I should have a prostate exam, and said that it was “just slightly” enlarged, so he thought giving my Cipro(Ciprofloxacin) was a good idea…
7) I’d already been annoying my family, friends, and boyfriend with my hypochondria about the previous drugs (Azithromycin and Doxycycline), worrying about toxic epidermal necrolysis and other horrific, though rare, possible side effects of antibiotics, so by the time it came to taking the Cipro (which warned of tendon rupture right in the “black box” at the top of the information page that comes with the prescription), I foolishly decided to take it and try not to worry as I usually did. Though after taking the first pill (500 mg), I couldn’t help but double-check on the internet what other people’s experience with it was, and that’s when I found plethoric horror stories about not just tendon rupture, but all kinds of irreversible damage to vision, central nervous system, muscle, cartilage, etc. A lot of the stories are from only a week’s worth of doses or even a few pills. Within a week I’d started feeling weird muscle spasms in my hands, toes, feet, thighs, etc, random sharp pains or aches in various muscles (though they didn’t last more than a few minutes usually). Everything I felt, though, was listed in the numerous sources online about fluoroquinolone (class of antibiotics to which Cipro belongs) toxicity, and the timeline/progression of my symptoms seemed to match what these websites said, as well.
8) I had the rescheduled surgery in March of 2009. I went to physical therapy for a month after that, and while the clicking in the left elbow was gone, it felt looser somehow, and it feels as though they knocked my ulnar nerve out of its groove or something, because when I extend my supinated hand from my chest all the way out to the side, I get a shock that starts in my elbow and ends in my pinky finger (I think the tingling sensation skips the forearm, but I’m not sure because it happens too fast to really tell – supposedly this is important because if it didn’t it could be a pinched nerve in my neck? That’s what the Jewett doctor said anyway, though he’s the one that did the surgery, so that seems like it could be an excuse). Now, a year later, that elbow doesn’t hurt, but it still feels loose, and still gives me that shock, and it kind of “crunches” when I loosely bend and extend my arm (like the tendons and bones are just laying in there loosely).
9) For the next several months of 2009 after the surgery, I slowly got back into lifting weights and after about 6 months started including pushups again, but during this time I’d noticed my hair had thinned a lot (I don’t think it is telogen effluvium – rapid loss of hair from traumatic event or surgery – because that happens in clumps, and mine looks like alopecia – male pattern baldness – though I noticed it all of a sudden amongst all these other problems). My ankles all of a sudden in these months (following the surgery/Cipro) gradually started clicking much more loudly and stiffly than they had my whole life before this, and would be uncomfortable (not painful) when I would rotate and crack them. The spasms pretty much disappeared during this time, but the random sharp pains in tendons have remained until now. During this time I also started noticing the following with my eyes: my periphery “pulsing” in sync with my heartbeat, especially when bending over, but even sometimes when upright, random pinpoints of lights or “sparks” in my vision (I would just see one spark for a split second) several times throughout the day, and when I went running, in the top right corner of my vision, against the blue sky, a little blood vessel sized and shaped white “lightning bolt” that would flicker a couple times for a minute or so (I wore contacts to run at this time, if that makes a difference). Also, this only happened once, but scared me most; while running, I looked down a street as I was crossing it, and a big black spot about a ¼ of my overall vision flashed.
10) I’d recently gone to a regular eye doctor and had my eyes dilated, so to be sure I went to a retina specialist in September 2009, and they said my retinas looked totally healthy.
11) My hamstrings started bothering me about this time (Sept 2009). They would feel like they had been pulled, but not nearly as bad, after running, lifting weights with the upper body, which of course makes no sense, or for no reason at all. My neck and back had also started being “crunchy” feeling and stiff and sore in the morning a lot of days. In the end of 2008, since my elbows were so messed up and I couldn’t do a lot of my normal workouts, I’d started running more and before each run I’d do a full stretching routine like I used to in Tae Kwon Do, which ended in front and side splits. I’ve been doing that this whole time until now, and I can do a full side split and pretty much sit there, comfortably, and that of course stretches the hamstring most of all, so it makes no sense that they’re being sore like this. And I can even do a full split WHEN they’re sore, and it won’t bother me, until I stand up, then they feel tight. My knees also at some point started clicking weird and once or twice were sore (at the MCL), though I’ve lost track of when exactly that was.
12) During the past year or so I’d gone back to the doctor who gave me Cipro, to a new family doctor several times in the end of 2009, and back to Jewett around that time, too, for knee/hamstring and ankle xrays/MRIs, and I’ve had tests for gout, diabetes, thyroid levels, something to do with muscle analaze (it was some blood test that told them if there was inflammation in my muscles), and rheumatoid arthritis, and I still didn’t have any answers. The doctors would just test one or maybe two things they think it might be, and then tell me the test was negative and not tell me where to go from there, so I had to keep finding possible problems on the internet and asking them for tests myself, and my medical bills are getting out of hand, now. So I went to an acupuncturist out of desperation in November 2009.
13) The acupuncture really felt like it worked for 2 or 3 days following the first 2 treatments I had (ankles still clicked but felt looser, for example), but then I was switched to a different acupuncturist, and didn’t notice anything anymore, but kept thinking the effects would “catch up”, and I wasted about $1000 worth of treatments before my sister, who had just started going, had the same problem. She had felt a difference with the first acupuncturist (the main, more experienced one) and after 2 sessions was switched to the other woman and stopped feeling anything from the treatments, so we both requested to be switched back to the first. I immediately felt results again, but only for a couple treatments, and the last couple months I’ve been back to questioning the treatments effectiveness. Aside from those 4 or so treatments, and one in particular when the MCL in my knee hurt and she made a pin cushion out of my knee with the needles and the next day it was totally better, all the rest of the weekly treatments since I started in November have seemed to have no effect. She also started me on some herb formula (in gelcaps) that were designed “just for me”, which has a bunch of Chinese herbs in it (I’ve looked a few up for the English names on the internet, and they include stuff like Angelica Root, Shellfish shell, etc), and I’m not sure that’s helping either, at least not with joints, muscles, and tendons.
14) Recently, in my desperate attempt to find a solution, I’ve read (and now actually taken seriously) just how terrible most of the food Americans eat is, so I’ve started trying to incorporate organic food into my diet.
15) Over the past couple years, I’ve tried the following supplements/tests/treatments that have yielded no answers or relief:
a) Eye dilation: retinas supposedly healthy
b) Blood pressure: high almost everytime I go to the doctor or use one of those machines in the grocery store/pharmacy, however my upper arm is 17” and the standard cuff is for 9”-13” arms, and this supposedly throws off the reading immensely, though the nurses never listen and use the bigger one, so I don’t actually know for sure if my blood pressure is high.
c) Endoscopy/Biopsy of stomach: everything looked fine
d) X-ray of elbows: looked fine
e) X-ray of knees: looked fine
f) MRI of elbows: looked fine
g) MRI of knees: looked fine
h) X-ray of ankles: looked fine
i) Arthroscopy of left elbow: found a lot of inflammation which they scraped out during the procedure
j) Visit to chiropractor: he didn’t think I needed to be there; didn’t even charge me
k) Diabetes test: negative
l) Rheumatoid Arthritis test: negative
m) Gout test: negative
n) Thyroid: normal
o) Muscle analaze (?) level: normal
p) Cholesterol: slightly high LDC (bad cholesterol)
r) Chinese herbal formula from acupuncturist
s) Milk Thistle
t) CoQ10: could possibly help w/how I feel overall but not sure
u) ImmunoPro (undenatured whey protein that supposedly has the precursors needed for your body to produce Glutathione, since Glutathione can’t be taken itself)
v) 4g of Fish Oil a day for an extended period of time, currently back to taking 1g
w) Magnesium Chloride
x) Magnesium Chloride Oil (supposedly absorbed better through skin than taken orally)
bb) Traumeel, Arnica rub, and Tiger Balm (injury/sports rubs from Chamberlins)
cc) Marijuana since 2007 (daily for most of the time, though I’ve quit a few times for 2 or 3 months each time): Not sure if this affects anything else besides mentally (social anxiety/depression), which I definitely know it does
dd) Kefir (1 or 2 cups a day): could possibly help w/how I feel overall but not sure
ee) Bee propolis
16) As of right now, I still have the following problems:
a) Left elbow: still “loose” kind of “crunchy”, feels better while and right after working out, sometimes sore for the 24 hours or so following a work out.
b) Right elbow: more of a “tight click” and I can make an audible snap every time I make a fist and bend it.
c) Eyes: pinpoint sparks probably 5-15 times a day, usually when I change my focus to something else, floaters, dryness, noticeable pulsing periphery (can see my heartbeat/pulse in top outside corner of each eye, mostly the left one) anytime I bend over and also often when I stand up/change altitudes and various other times. They also feel dry often and will sting here and there.
d) Hamstrings: no problems in the past 6 months really, even after working out/running.
e) Knees: feel loose and sometimes feel as though, when I change direction “too quickly” while walking, they’re on the verge of dislocating something inside (no pain, just loose feeling of ligaments and bones that doesn’t feel right), stiffness once in awhile
f) Ankles: stiff upon waking up, feels like all my bones, ligaments, and tendons are loose and interfere with one another, LOUD snaps when I rotate, God-awful crunches and clicks, I can actually see and feel in a couple places where it at least seems like a tendon moves over a bone in the wrong way, pains in the center of the joint, the Achilles tendon, and various other places once in awhile that aren’t excruciating, nor do they last very long, but are random and enough to worry me, since pain does mean SOMEthing.
g) Stomach: sometimes dull aches, sometimes sharper gnawing pains, sometimes in the stomach, sometimes lower in the abdomen (intestines), nothing really horrible recently with the exception of the one night I mentioned above.
h) Back: stiff in the morning, often feeling the need to crack it to release the tension, but to do so requires a sideways somewhat downward motion that sometimes results in a horrible sharp sudden pain (just for a second) that freaks me out because I don’t know if I just came close to doing some kind of permanent damage.
i) Neck: sometimes, especially in the morning, makes a slight grating noise (that only I can hear internally, apparently) along with a slight grating feeling (but no pain) when I turn it side to side.
j) Ankles, wrists, hips, and shoulders: all of these joints feel both loose and as if either the bones have protrusions that the tendons catch on, or the tendons are moving in the wrong way. They also all make noise. Rotating my left wrist outward and up results in a click right by the knob of the ulna, doing wrist rolls with the dumbbells makes me feel a tendon right in the center of each wrist on each rep, lifting my knee to my chest and letting it back down makes the front of my hip make an awful dull noise (that others can hear), moving my shoulders makes gross dull noises and sometimes louder clicks and also feels like everything inside is getting in the way of each other.
k) Hair: the hair on the top of my head looks even thinner now than it did just a couple months ago.
Thanks so much in advance