It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Arthritis Message Board

  • Am I more worried than I should be?

  • Post New Thread   Closed Thread
    Thread Tools Search this Thread
    Old 01-13-2011, 10:18 PM   #1
    tamatie
    Junior Member
    (female)
     
    tamatie's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Jan 2011
    Location: South Africa
    Posts: 17
    tamatie HB User
    Am I more worried than I should be?

    Hallo... I was hoping to get some advice here please? At the beginning of December (summer here), I noticed the following symptoms appearing out of the blue...as in overnight:
    1. both knees swollen and very painful
    2. stiff fingers in the morning, lasting till about the time I get to work
    3. fatigue (most of the time I guess, but in the afternoon / early evening, really bad)
    4. cannot lift my arms above my head (like when you wash your hair in the shower, or want to shave under your arms) - it hurts REALLY bad. So much so, that I cut off all my long hair as it got really difficult washing and blow waving it
    5. painful wrists and sore knuckles, both hands, some swelling

    I also had a little bit of a sore throat, but nothing serious. Not even worth mentioning, or so I thought. Eventually I decided to go see my GP. He asked the questions, did a physical exam and sent me for some blood work. This came back and the findings were as follows (I will try to be as precise as possible, not knowing much about medical stuff)

    1. very high white blood count (87 ?)
    2. high anti bodies (?)
    3. no rheumatoid factor (I am still not sure what that means)
    4. "average" ESR (not sure what that means either)
    5. little bit of a red throat (although I don't feel any symptoms)

    What I do know, is the following. GP says I have a strep throat and that the "signs" of arthritis is an effect of the strep throat. He checked for a heart murmur, but there was nothing. At first (before the blood results came back) he gave me Celebrex 200 and some painkillers. I am sorry to say, but none of this helped. When the results came back, he gave me a MASSIVE shot (sorry, but it was really sore ) of anti-biotics, and said I will be fine soon...

    Now, am I worried unnecessarily? Its still summer here,and the temperature in the Cape is touching 30-38 degrees Celcius! I should be on the beach... not at home fatigued and in so much pain. Any help / advice will be appreciated. Even if you agree with the doctor...Just for re-assurance. I am worried I may have some polyarthtritis or OA or RA and my GP might be waiting too long to refer me to a rheumatologist?

    Thank you. Tamatie (that's a tomato, because I love them SO much but was told to cut them out of diet...for now)

     
    The following user gives a hug of support to tamatie:
    mim (01-15-2011)
    Sponsors Lightbulb
       
    Old 01-14-2011, 10:38 PM   #2
    mim
    Senior Veteran
    (female)
     
    mim's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Nov 2005
    Location: South Carolina
    Posts: 741
    mim HB Usermim HB Usermim HB Usermim HB Usermim HB Usermim HB Usermim HB User
    Re: Am I more worried than I should be?

    I would ask for a referral to a rheumy if it was me. If antibiotics, Celebrex and pain medicine are not helping, it would not hurt to get a more specialized work up and once over. Any time our quality of life takes a hit, it is natural to experience anxiety when things strike us out of nowhere. Take a deep breath and continue to search for answers. Keep us informed!
    __________________

    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
    Mim

    Last edited by mim; 01-14-2011 at 10:38 PM.

     
    The following user gives a hug of support to mim:
    tamatie (01-17-2011)
    The Following User Says Thank You to mim For This Useful Post:
    tamatie (01-17-2011)
    Old 01-15-2011, 10:10 AM   #3
    Applegreen
    Newbie
    (female)
     
    Applegreen's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Dec 2010
    Location: Latvia
    Posts: 4
    Applegreen HB User
    Re: Am I more worried than I should be?

    I agree to Mim Gregg- I'd ask to be sent to rheumy. It is always better to find out multiple opinions.

    Take care,
    Apple

     
    The Following User Says Thank You to Applegreen For This Useful Post:
    tamatie (01-17-2011)
    Old 01-16-2011, 09:15 AM   #4
    Moldova
    Senior Veteran
    (female)
     
    Moldova's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Dec 2006
    Location: NYC
    Posts: 3,714
    Moldova HB UserMoldova HB UserMoldova HB UserMoldova HB UserMoldova HB UserMoldova HB UserMoldova HB UserMoldova HB UserMoldova HB UserMoldova HB UserMoldova HB User
    Re: Am I more worried than I should be?

    First of all i have to say I agree with everyone here; will not hurt to hear from a specialist.
    Second of all, strep throat does it you, sweetie. This is why they tell us how important to diagnose strep asap and treat it asap. Otherwise it can give you heart problems as complications, can also affect your joints. If your white cells,blood counts levels, is high, this means you have infection in your body.
    the fact that you dont have RA factor is good, but as all said here, better to go and see RA Dr. He/she can explain to you and maybe do some further tests which GP don't do.
    In any event, good for your piece of mind, then you can relax and not to worry. Always good to have answers to your questions...

    Best of luck to you,
    Moldova

     
    The Following User Says Thank You to Moldova For This Useful Post:
    tamatie (01-17-2011)
    Old 01-17-2011, 12:10 AM   #5
    tamatie
    Junior Member
    (female)
     
    tamatie's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Jan 2011
    Location: South Africa
    Posts: 17
    tamatie HB User
    Smile Re: Am I more worried than I should be?

    Good morning all. And thank you SO much for the replies, it's much appreciated. I think my mind is just racing away with me a 180 kilometers p/h because I have seen how devastating RA can be.

    I had an aunt who passed away some 7/8 years ago of lung complications due to RA (she needed assistance breathing) and last month a friend's husband died of a heart attack while undergoing an operation (for his RA - had his since childhood). My mom and all her sisters has some form of arthritis, so I was okay about getting it, but not now, not yet. I am 39, and that's still too young. (or so I thought - I guess)

    I am not a sickly person. My mommy has osteo-arthiritis and a heart disease, but I have always been just fine. The worst illness I ever had was probably the week I spent in hospital for pneumonia in August of 2009. I have never had a swollen anything in my life. I can deal with pain because I suffered from endometriosis until an emergency hyst in 2005. But that was somehow different. I could still work...and go out...I had an active social life when the endo wasn't bad (okay, relatively active - no partner and no children)...now, I just try and spend as much time as I can in bed - to rest my knees, my aching arms and fingers, my tired everything.

    I am so sorry for the rant, but this is seriously affecting my life atm. I try to hold up a front before colleagues...friends...family. But its hard. I just want this all to go away. Did not sleep much over the weekend, struggled to fall asleep and when I eventually did manage to, sleep was interrupted because of the pain in my knees, wrists and arms. Seems like I turn over in my sleep and onto my arms and then I wake with the sharp pain in my arms. Of course if I can sleep during the day when the fatigue hits, it would be perfect!

    Maybe this isnt even arthritis? I am trying to read up some more about the strep throat thing, but there is just too much info on the web and I'm behind on my work...or maybe something else?

    Anyhow, anyone with some ideas what I can take for the pain? My GP only gave the anti-biotics shot, nothing for pain. Preferably something that won't damage my stomach lining - had enough of that with the endo. I will keep you all updated! Thanks again. tamatie.

     
    Old 01-17-2011, 09:04 AM   #6
    jennybyc
    Inactive
     
    Join Date: Feb 2009
    Posts: 3,892
    jennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB User
    Re: Am I more worried than I should be?

    Hi Tamatie. The first run in I ever had with joint pain was when I got a nasty strep throat. Pain like you wouldn't believe. And it was from the strep throat.

    When we get any kind of infection, it can make the body over-react. The body sends out all sorts of chemicals to fight the infection and believe it or not, it is that over-reaction that makes the joints hurt so badly. The body over does it. This is a common problem after strep or even a virus and it may take up to a year to completely go away.

    You don't have RA....just a really good immune system.

    Just as an aside, I just read a book on small pox....did you know if isn't the small pox virus that kills us but our bodies own intense reaction to it? They call it a "cytokine storm" and for those with RA, we all know that in Ra a certain cytokine keeps going and just won't shut down and that is what causes RA. All our new biologic drugs are aimed at inhibiting those cytokines.

    So with strep throat, the body put out cytokines to fight it off and those cytokines can irritate the lining of the joints very badly and leave you in pain for months. But it should stop sooner or later now that the strep has been treated and cured.

    What can you take? Ibuprofen and acetaminophen make a good combination. I take 2 or 3 of the ibuprofen and 2 acetaminophen every 4-6 hours and that does more good than a prescription pain killer. If it gets your pain down, reduce the dose of the ibuprofen down to 2 each time(may irritate your stomach at the higher dose if taken too long). If it helps but doesn't quite do it, you can take up to 4 ibuprofens at a time, 4 times a day, but no higher and only for a short period of time. That is the maximum prescription dose. Use that with the acetaminophen and see if it helps. If it does, bring the dose down as fast as you can but keeping the pain under control. Usually once you get it under control, you can maintain control at a lower dose.

    If you get any stomach pain, stop the ibuprofen and just use the acetaminophen and ask your doc about a low dose pain med.

    I've been there and I can tell you, it should go away. If it doesn't go away after several months, then see about getting a referral to a rheumatologist. It may have triggered something else. But do give it time.

    Let me know.

    gentle hugs..........Jenny

     
    The Following User Says Thank You to jennybyc For This Useful Post:
    tamatie (01-18-2011)
    Old 01-17-2011, 04:38 PM   #7
    Moldova
    Senior Veteran
    (female)
     
    Moldova's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Dec 2006
    Location: NYC
    Posts: 3,714
    Moldova HB UserMoldova HB UserMoldova HB UserMoldova HB UserMoldova HB UserMoldova HB UserMoldova HB UserMoldova HB UserMoldova HB UserMoldova HB UserMoldova HB User
    Re: Am I more worried than I should be?

    Dear heart,
    I hear you and understand where you are coming from.
    But just remember even if this RA, this absolutely not necessary people die from it. Each case is very individual, all depends. RA is not a life sentence, nowadays even cancer is not life sentence anymore if people get diagnosed on time.
    So dont worry about it. Especially so far you dont have much symptoms to worry about.
    I had endometriosis since I got my first period, so does my daughter. I had my hysterectomy at age of 34 and thankfully I had my 2 children before the surgery. I had full happy life, was very athletic and gym was my second home for years. I don't say it was pleasant, but this is really nothing to compare to what I have to fight now.
    I know sweetie, how knees and other joints can hurt. My heart goes out to you and I just pray that you will find your answers soon. Make sure you avoid caffeine completely; first of all it can cause sleep disturbances but also it can cause inflammation. You said you never had inflammation... your painful joints now hurt b/c of inflammation. Endometriosis is also severe inflammation of the uterus and in bad cases even bladder, ovaries and colon can get involved...You may not see it, but your blood and your diagnoses may show it.
    Good if you see someone and only after that you may get treatments if you need.
    But so far help yourself with pain reducers OTC; you may try Tylenol PM to sleep better.

    Hugs,
    Moldova

     
    Old 01-18-2011, 01:10 AM   #8
    tamatie
    Junior Member
    (female)
     
    tamatie's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Jan 2011
    Location: South Africa
    Posts: 17
    tamatie HB User
    Re: Am I more worried than I should be?

    hi jennybyc

    Thank you very much - I suppose I did not know much about strep throat. I did not believe I had the symptoms as the bit of a sore throat was more a frog in the throat than anything sore or burning. No fever, no aches, no headache, no nothing. Its great to hear though that my immune system is so good!

    I am just not sure what to do about the swelling and pain in my knees. I suddenly feel like an old lady - avoid stairs, don't wear high heels etc. My knees were swollen at the top of the knee, but now the insides and outsides are swelling too and the pain is constant. Had another bad night and eventually got up from be to take some OTC painkillers.

    How long did your strep infection last? You think I will be okay by the time winter comes? Our winters are quite cold! (May to August) Thanks much.

     
    Old 01-18-2011, 02:06 AM   #9
    tamatie
    Junior Member
    (female)
     
    tamatie's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Jan 2011
    Location: South Africa
    Posts: 17
    tamatie HB User
    Re: Am I more worried than I should be?

    Hi Moldova

    I thought I was suffering with the endo, but I think this is worse (or perhaps I think that way because I'm older!) But as you say, at least one managed to have some sort of an active lifestyle. I was involved in community projects, I had my sick dad to look after, I studied and worked...I accomplished a lot, I think...

    Now, I don't have energy. As a matter of fact, I felt fatigued and listless since about October of last year? I used to get so tired in the day, I would take my lunch break at midday or 13h00 and take a nap in my car! I prayed for December to come, so I could take a break...and that's what I did. I took 2 week's vacation and guess what? I spend it in bed. In bed every single day of my vacation. Sleeping...What kind of a life is THAT for a previously active 39 year old with no dependants!? I reckon my immune system was a bit down...and that's probably why I got that strep-throat thingy?

    My work is suffering also. I am an office manager, and a very hands-on one too, for a very large company. I jump in when things need to be done and I get it done. Now, with the pain in my fingers, hands, wrists, arms, knees, fatigue...I'm afraid my work will suffer.

    I told my GP I will come back by the end of this month if the inflammation is not better - luckily, we have a good relationship and he understands. By then it would have been more than 2 months. But, with what you all have been saying, a strep throat can take time...Perhaps my doc could just see if the inflammation is getting better?

    Once again, thank you all SO very much for the advice and support. Talking to someone who listens, understands and don't judge, really helps.

     
    Old 01-18-2011, 06:57 AM   #10
    jennybyc
    Inactive
     
    Join Date: Feb 2009
    Posts: 3,892
    jennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB User
    Re: Am I more worried than I should be?

    Strep can be confusing...not what the kids get and can be hard to figure out. I had no idea I had strep.

    For your knees, try getting a couple of 6" wide elastic bandages....the type they use for sprains....needs to be the wide type or it interferes with circulation. Wrap your knees gently at bedtime so it helps to force the fluid from your knee joints. I'd wear flat shoes as much as you can until the fluid is down. Heels puts too much pressure on them.

    During the day, make sure to move them frequently. they actually get worse with no movement. It causes the extra fluid to "pool" in certain places and then it has to move when you do and that can cause a lot of pain.

    I bet you are feeling much better by winter. If you aren't, then you have something else and need more testing. There is no one test to confirm this disorder so you just have to wait and see. It is based on observation and history.

    Hang in there.

    hugs...............Jenny

     
    The Following User Says Thank You to jennybyc For This Useful Post:
    tamatie (01-19-2011)
    Old 02-03-2011, 01:29 AM   #11
    tamatie
    Junior Member
    (female)
     
    tamatie's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Jan 2011
    Location: South Africa
    Posts: 17
    tamatie HB User
    Re: Am I more worried than I should be?

    Hi all

    Promised to keep you updated, so here goes! The swelling and pain have gotten worse, but I guess that is to be expected? The long-acting anti biotic shot the GP gave me, was supposed to work for 3-4 weeks. Only problem is, if I can call it a problem, the swelling have no also moved to my lower legs and sometimes my ankles. But unlike the knees, the ankle swelling seem to come and go. Knees are still swollen after 2 months, and nothing I do seem to help - resting actually seems to make it worse... I have tried the bandages and cold packs as suggested, but no joy as yet. The thing is, I can live with the swelling, but the pain is really getting me down...

    During the say, I cope okay. I try and keep busy and instead of driving somewhere during my lunch hour, I now take a 30-45 minute walk. Not briskly, just a nice leisurely pace - for the excercise. The pain and stiffness in my hands, fingers and feet are only bad in the mornings and after I have been inactive for a short while...like sitting in a meeting or watching tv.

    Saw my GP again yesterday, and he was a little worried about the fact that I still can't lift my arms above my head and that I have very bad muscle pain in my arms. Fatigue and the feeling of "not being well" still there - but no reasons why. He put me back on Celebrex. He believes I have an inflammatory arthritis, but not sure which one...I heard I am too young for Polymyalgia rheumatica. Is that correct? I am 39.

     
    Old 02-03-2011, 04:54 PM   #12
    mim
    Senior Veteran
    (female)
     
    mim's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Nov 2005
    Location: South Carolina
    Posts: 741
    mim HB Usermim HB Usermim HB Usermim HB Usermim HB Usermim HB Usermim HB User
    Re: Am I more worried than I should be?

    I was tentatively dx w/polymyalgia when I was 37, but now am waiting to see a new rheumy to find out which inflammatory arthritis it is...glad your doc is paying attention to what is going on, and hopefully you will finally get some relief. Hang in there!
    __________________

    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
    Mim

     
    Old 02-22-2011, 01:34 AM   #13
    tamatie
    Junior Member
    (female)
     
    tamatie's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Jan 2011
    Location: South Africa
    Posts: 17
    tamatie HB User
    Re: Am I more worried than I should be?

    Hallo everyone...

    Just a quick update then. Symptoms are still the same, except one more thing to add now...My knuckles are now really very stiff in the mornings - so much so, that I cringe when I try to make a fist to get them moving. My left hand is painful (achy) most of the time, and both my knees are still stiff and swollen - but what bothers me the most really, is the pain in my knees and arms (muscle) - Its really getting worse, and my sore wrists.

    Anyhow, I had an appointment at the hospital a week ago, and 2 doctors saw me (GP's) The one wanted to dx RA, but wasn't sure and she called in another. He was concerned about the amount of pain and discomfort I was having, along with the fatigue, and requested an Anti-CCP test. I will get the results of that next week, and they have made an appointment for me with a rheumatologist at the same time.

    What I would like to know, is what if this test doesn't show anything they're looking for...I mean, if its also "negative", like the RF? Will that mean I will go undiagnosed until this "thing" sorts itself out in my body? Why is it not getting better? As my knees have now been swollen for about 3 months, will I have any problems? I mean, won't that cause damage to my knees?

    Any ideas / advice? Please...

     
    Old 02-22-2011, 09:28 AM   #14
    jennybyc
    Inactive
     
    Join Date: Feb 2009
    Posts: 3,892
    jennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB User
    Re: Am I more worried than I should be?

    Well Tamatie....it's looks like this has turned into "something else". As I said, I started with strep induced joint pain. But it got better. When it doesn't then you know you have gotten something else. But post infection joint pain is so common, the have to assume that until proven otherwise.

    Even if you don't test positive for the Anti-CCP you can still have RA. It is called sero-negative RA. About 25% of all those with RA test negative to everything.

    Let us know how the test comes out....it is fairly sensitive but I am still negative with that too.

    gentle hugs.............Jenny

     
    Old 02-22-2011, 12:39 PM   #15
    tonyinhampshire
    Senior Member
    (male)
     
    tonyinhampshire's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Aug 2006
    Posts: 104
    tonyinhampshire HB User
    Re: Am I more worried than I should be?

    Hello tam

    I worry about health all of the time, i look out for symptoms, you can see my post here and is very scarey. Worry achieves nothing and adds further problems to you mind. Easier said than done but you need some diagnosis and treatment, assuming that diagnosis is possible.. I prey that my situ does not deteriote, i think of worst case scenarios but I am in need of help but i have to wait my turn on the NHS ( 06/03/11 ) just to get the ball rolling...... take care, tony

     
    Closed Thread

    Related Topics
    Thread Thread Starter Board Replies Last Post
    Feeling the cold more? kdel Arthritis 7 10-04-2007 06:26 AM
    I am worried about having RA. Dont have diagnosis yet wisegirl Arthritis 8 07-05-2007 06:41 AM
    which is more painfull, DDD,compressed vertebra or arthritis in spine? missree Arthritis 1 05-16-2006 09:57 AM
    NO MORE VIOXX - Ibuprofen or Aspirin? Hacamila Arthritis 11 11-02-2004 05:39 PM
    Damp Weather = More Joint Pain aubry Arthritis 4 10-23-2004 05:00 PM
    Sore No More arthritis cream? NancyH Arthritis 4 03-07-2004 09:49 PM




    Thread Tools Search this Thread
    Search this Thread:

    Advanced Search

    Posting Rules
    You may not post new threads
    You may not post replies
    You may not post attachments
    You may not edit your posts

    BB code is On
    Smilies are On
    [IMG] code is Off
    HTML code is Off
    Trackbacks are Off
    Pingbacks are Off
    Refbacks are Off




    Sign Up Today!

    Ask our community of thousands of members your health questions, and learn from others experiences. Join the conversation!

    I want my free account

    All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:28 PM.





    © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved.
    Do not copy or redistribute in any form!