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- Sun Mar 11, 2007 12:55 pm
I'm a 22 year old female, generally healthy (I believe.) I don't know my family's history as I am adopted. I'm a smoker for about 5 years, but not steady and only smoke about 1/2 pack a day. I also just recently had a leep procedure done for highgrade cervical dysplacia and I am due for a colposcopy in three months.
About a year ago I started to feel ill, mostly just weak and sore muscels and joints. I also had a swollen, soft, movable lymph node under my left jaw. Being a hypocondriact, I was convinced I had HIV and took myself to several doctors for blood work and physicals. They all told me I was fine, blood work negative, yada yada. About 3 months ago I took myself for the doctors AGAIN for extreme fatigue and muscel aches/weakness(it's been coming and going for the last year) and she told me I seemed fine (I swear she hates me because I'm such a worry wart.) and did some bloodwork. After a week she told me my bloodwork was good, lymphocytes were good, etc but told me I should think about seeing a Rhematoid Specialist.
Now here's my problem. About a month ago what I call a "smokers cold" .. just a little cough, a little post nasal drip, only really hurts in the mornings and when I smoke. I've had it for a month though. About two weeks ago I had a 4 day period of night sweats which have since disapeared. Then about a week ago a lymph node on the top right back part of my neck (practically right below the skull) seemed to swell. I figured it was alright until I noticed yesterday that within a day a lymph node in the back left part of my neck (I'd say midway ) swelled up to the size of a large jelly bean. Like I said, I'm a hypocondriact for I would have noticed it that happened gradually.. I practically palpitate my neck on an hourly basis. Anyway, it doesn't hurt, and doesn't seem movable. It's firm but not rock hard. You can see it just by looking at my neck. I have a small ingrown hair at the hairline that I have been picking at for a few weeks, could it be from that? I'm freaking out.
| Dr. Chan Lowe
- Sun Mar 11, 2007 5:35 pm
From your description, I am assuming that there may be exposure to STD's (forgive me if I am incorrect). As such, testing for HIV is very warranted. If HIV has been excluded your on going fatigue, etc. may be due to countless other problems.
A rheumatologist is a specialist in autoimmune diseases. Many of these present with fatigue and muscle pain. This is likely the reason that your doctor suggested you visit one.
Regarding your lymph nodes it sounds as if you are fighting off a cold. In this situation, lymph nodes very commonly swell very quickly. Cancers do not typically cause lymph node enlargement overnight. Given that you have been checking, I suspect the lymph node enlargement was rapid making infection much more likely than lymphoma or other cancer.
If the lymph node does not begin to reduce in size a week or two after you are all better you should be evaluated.
Hope this helps.