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Forum Name: Rheumatology Topics

Question: all over joint and muscle pain


 inpainjane - Mon Oct 26, 2009 3:23 pm

I am not sure where to begin. I am so desperate for all the facts to be laid out that I am fearful of missing or forgetting a symptom. I am a 34 year old single mom. I have had pain for as long as I can recall. Perhaps it best to start from the beginning. My mother had told me of my birth quite a few times. It went from being amazed when i was younger - to pity for her when i became a mother - followed by anger when all this pain and weakness began, wondering if this was part of the problem. When I was ready to meet the world, i was face-down. This doctor had decided to flip me while i was on my way out. Simply told my mom "sorry" then stuck his hands up there and twisted. My mother, of course, passed out from the pain. As a child I was a tomboy doing silly things and always getting hurt. Once i had fallen 20 feet out of a cabin on stilts and landed flat on my back. My headaches began around 10. Pain and stiffness in my neck and shoulders. My parents were big in chiropractors so that is where i went. For 6 years. 4 times a month. At 16, I realized this was doing nothing for the pain and was in fact causing more pain, so i stopped. At age 19, an iron gate (the kind from the olden days at the mall when closing time?) fell on me the length of my spine, nearly knocking me out. A few other car accidents were about the extent of my trauma. At age 20 i had gone to see my doctor regarding severe pain in hands and wrists. He brushed it off as arthritis (to me seemed odd at a young age) and sent me on my way. When i was 24 the severity of my pain and symptoms really began. (after my child and emergency c-section). I was always an abnormally strong girl. (carrying 3 cases of beer etc. always pushed myself as well if something was to heavy i would strain to carry it.) Those days came abruptly to an end. To this day my strength has not returned and on what i call my bad days - my weakness is worse than ever. (having my daughter open things for me! I sat on the floor once for 1hour and cried cuz i was unable to open a spaghetti jar) The pain in my back was awful. Each time i would go to the dr, i would ask him to check my back. He said it felt like every muscle in my back was in spasm at one time. (which it felt worse than a spasm) I was not a crybaby so i just ignored it, hoping it would go away one day. One visit, I was suffering from severe pain shooting from my shoulder, to my neck - up through my head/ear, and my jaw would pop. He said was chronic pain, thus began the testing. MRI's were normal - have been to this day. (though I can not lower my chin to my chest for over 5 years now- like it is stuck - not just because it is painful) I began therapy which after 4 months really did nothing. I lost my job due to having therapy 3x a week for 2 hours so i lost my insurance. I have been on a downward spiral since. Bouncing from dr to dr to find someone who cares what becomes of me during the times i do have insurance has become exhausting. The pain is daily, in every joint i have - though i am not sure if it is the muscle pain that is causing that or vise versa? After all of the testing and therapy - it was determined that i have fibromyalgia, but I don't believe that is it, and the most recent dr i visited agreed. My pain is in shoulders, elbows, wrists, fingers, toes, ankles, hips etc etc. It at times feels as if my muscles or nerves whatever are going to rip right through my skin because they are so tight. I had recently been tested for carpal tunnel, which i was told i had 5 years ago. It came back negative, though i have limited mobility, severe pain and weakness. He also performed a test where he was to stick 25+ needles into my muscles...not sure what that was? He barely got through 10 of them. When those needles got into my muscle, it felt as if he were using a jagged knife to rip through my arm. I was screaming and crying, I had never felt such pain. He could not finish all the needles - he was shaking so bad. (for the record, my tolerance to pain, before all this was very high. now i do not believe it can be charted after living with this pain for so long. i have a few tattoos and barely flinched for them. Just to give you an idea of how very painful it was) This exam was following a slip and fall at the dealership i was working for. I had not seen this dr after nor did i really find out his thoughts. Before i left his office he spoke to me of SMS - stiff man syndrome but I heard nothing more about it. To try and describe my daily pain - it is almost like i was in a car accident and it is the day after, every day. Always a constant ache all over. Except for a few spots (that change daily) where it feels like the worse tooth infection I have ever had. Could be a shoulder or knee or ankle- changes all the time. At that time i was prescribed baclofen, zanoflex and vicodin. It did help me to get out of bed and to actually sleep more than 3 hours. The pain is worse when i lay down in bed at night. If i am actively doing something, the pain in less, not gone but less. When i stop doing that something and sit down, the pain is worse. I cannot stand for longer than 20 min or so w/out my legs getting shaky and weak. It is hard to shave and wash my hair etc anything longer than 2 minutes, due to arms and hands giving out. My sex life has gone down hill. I am too weak to do much but lie there and that is no way to live. I used to be a very active and fun person. I played 2 games of darts one evening (plastic darts!) and could not move my arm for 3 days. Due to having no insurance, I have to buy street drugs (painpills) to be able to get out of bed and care for my family. I no longer can take any OTC medicine. They no longer help and i had been told by doctors that i had taken too much of it. (approx 4-6 ES at once 3-4x a day, then PM formulas to try to sleep) I was already not suppose to be on anti inflammatory medicine due to overtaking them when i had my impacted wisdom teeth. I had no insurance and had to take naproxen for bout 2 years - til i passed blood in my stool.. Am afraid my liver and kidneys will be/are damaged. I can't type much more, because my fingers are missing keys and shaking. I used to type 60wpm! I just want to know what is wrong with me. I am much to young to feel this dam old. I want to go walking with my daughter. I want to have a normal life. Or at least as close to normal as i can get. As for other things in my life - my eyesight is poor - 2 astigmatisms left eye vertical, right eye horizontal and i am near sighted in one eye and far sighted in another. I get migraines. I was told i have plantar fasciitis...my bowel movements are never normal - were green more than a few times and at lease twice a month, at least, i get these awful attacks that feels as if an alien (for lack of better analogy) is bursting through my stomach. I get light headed, sweats and almost vomit. I get to the bathroom and on that trip rarely anything happens, but passing of gas. Followed by diarrhea that lasts about 3 trips then am fine. Sorry for the book - I could keep going if my hands would allow...I hope someone has something enlightening for me. Thank you in advance for your time.
 Tom Plamondon PA-C - Tue Nov 03, 2009 12:22 pm

User avatar Hello,
I am truly sorry and sympathetic towards the suffering you have been going through.
Medically speaking, it sounds as if there have been no testing for connective tissue disorders or rheumatoid conditions.
This would include a basis screening with CBC, ANA, CRP, sed rate, anti-CCP and rheumatoid factor. You may also need a muscle biopsy done.
I have also seen some type of therapy i.e. Feldenkrais methods which have been very effective for chronic pain and movement disorders.
In essence, find a family physician who can take some time to do some focused examination of your condition and get you on the right track. Some of the sweatiness, nausea could be withdrawal symptoms from the narcotics.
Nevertheless, begin with an understanding family doctor who will invest at least 12 months of time with you to guide you to better health.
Remember nutrition and adequate water intake are part of good health.
Take care.
 inpainjane - Tue Nov 10, 2009 7:29 am

just wanted to be clear that the sweats and the nausea that i experience are only when i am trying to have a bowel movement-this has been ongoing, monthly at least, for about 13 years- although i do experience nausea often in the mornings (for about 1 year) comes and goes in waves. wanted to be sure that was indicated in case there would/could be ne connection with that. i am not able to get medicine on a regular basis due to only receiving unemployment currently and when i do have the option, my intake is limited to 5 mg -enough to take the major edge off so that i may do ordinary cleaning and cooking for my family. i try very hard to make them last as long as possible because without them, my life barely exists beyond the couch. my mind wants to get going and do the things that i need to but my body just can't. it feels exhausted - like each limb weighs 100lbs. and the muscles are being pulled from my joints or my joints are pulling my muscle? i feel as if i am becoming hunchback? i really do not have the control to sit straight any longer. the pain is just too much. and i have always been ocd with sitting up straight. (ask my daughter! lol)
i do have every intention of seeing a rheumatoid specialist - but not sure how far in the future insurance is. very difficult finding a new position at this time. i am almost at my wits end. this pain and fatigue is getting the better of my mind. i cry now almost daily and although i tell myself every second how much worse it COULD be-that has stopped helping. wanted to get a better feel i guess from someone on what they think this could be...i know u can't diagnose but has anything i have told u strike some familiarity with u? i looked up the testing and i am assuming it was an EMG performed on my wrists and then on my muscles (that caused the near passing out pain i spoke of previously but got no diagnosis from the appointment) thanks so much again for your time! hope all is well and have a great day.
 vikki_beee - Mon Dec 28, 2009 9:53 pm

Hi,

I am very, very sorry about all of your pain and i hope that i can help. I am experiencing the similar kinds of symptoms. you can hust so much that you can not get out of bed, let alone anything else and the pain makes you want to give up!!
I have been diagnosed with psoriatic (pronounced soriosis) arthritis and irratble bowel the psoriatic arthrits causes the irratble bowel. It mimics rhumatois arthritis but is not the same so no matter how many bloods you have done there is no result. you sound like you are from Amreica, I a m from England so obviously meds would be different here, as to what gets prescribed but not even morphene touches me but codine does (codine phosphate,) but unfortunately i am allergic to it. It only helps a bit but it does help some. I cant sleep, which makes pain worse, which stops me from sleeping which causes pain and so on, i am constantly swollen and as you said typing is almost impossible for me. but i have found that the codine phosphate woeks a little. I am truly sympathetic with you and hope that your doctors do all they can to cure you as i know how you feel.

Good luck, hope you find a cure x

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