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New Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 1/15/2010 11:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Soo... I'm new to this site and just trying it out cause I kinda feel like I'm trapped and running out of options. I have been fighting rapidly progressing arthritis for a year now, and am having a lot of issues trying to handle it and my school since I'm in a very physical program but I'm too
stubborn to change my plans. I just turned twenty, and i haven't yet found a Dr that can figure out what kinda of arthritis I have, it follows nearly everything for ankylosing spondylitis, except only minorly effects my spine or SI joint. And it hardly hits anything needed for rheumatoid diagnosis (symmetry etc. ).

Anyways, needless to say I'm definitely battling with the pain, and what i'm beginning to worry is actual REAL depression (but can't go to a health prof about that since i'm a student and there's no way I can ask my family for the money). It's made me have to quiet 3 jobs so far, which were the only ways i could pay for my way through school, and has cause countless other issues that the Dr's can't deal with, since they're hitting me with essentially every med they can to try to control it. Evey day I'm nearly overdosed on painkillers just to make it to class, and try to put a smile on my face, but its really killing me. I really have trouble finding ppl to talk to since all my friends are in nursing (my univ. program) and though they listen and really care... they're kinda too knowledgable if you can sense what i mean. Also, I'm usually a very social person, but I now can't drink because meds, and I find myself just avoiding going out... because its awkward.

I feel bad because i'm a bit out of my league and I know I'm not near the worse off, but can anybody here give me anything to think about? Ways to deal with insomnia, alternate pain management THAT ACTUALLY WORKS (and doesn't req too much $$ or time), ummm... thoughts about meds, or even anyone that has a simular undiagnosable arthritis?

I know this was a bit scattered, but thanks for sticking it out till the end - a smile for you if you did :)

thanks a lot.


Dx: Periferal Arthritis (+ Vasovagal episodes, anemia, benign tremor, orthostatic hypotension... stress/anxiety problems :/ )

Meds: Naproxen, Prednisone, Methotrexate, Tramadol + Tramacet, (Omeprazole, Iron suppliments, Folic Acid, Tylenol...)

Post Edited By Moderator (Chutz) : 1/15/2010 10:32:24 PM (GMT-7)

Screaming Eagle
Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 1/15/2010 11:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello Marg! Welcome to the Chronic Pain Forum! WOW! The first thing that strikes me is that you cannot go to your parents for money to help you through school, but you admit that you have had to quit three jobs already, because of your health. I really think your health is very important, and may well determine your future employment or schooling. I hope you will reconsider asking your family for some help, and really seek some medical attention right away. One other thing,...this forum will not allow members to use any foul language even if it is abbreviated. It wouldn't surprise me to see a moderator remove the comment from your post. We ask our members to respect and follow the rules and guidelines. Now, we do encourage you to share as often as you like and please check here often for the replies. We have wonderful members here, and I'm sure they will have some excellent suggestions for you. Again welcome, and I hope you get to feeling better soon. Take care now!


Post Edited (Screaming Eagle) : 1/15/2010 10:05:10 PM (GMT-7)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 2042
   Posted 1/15/2010 11:43 PM (GMT -6)   
Forgive me if I come across a bit harsh.

First and foremost you must take care of yourself. If you do not do what is needed for you then what good are you going to be for anyone or to anyone else.

Next have you been to see any specialists. Rhumetologists, neurologists, and physiologists are three that come to mind that may be able to track down what exactly is wrong with you. If you have progressed far enough in nursing school then I am sure you are aware that there are many diseases and conditions that share symptoms and it is possible that you have been misdiagnosed at least partially as it is possible you may have another condition(s) beside arthritis.
2 confirmed herniated lumbar discs. Spinal Arthritis. Spinal Stenosis, diabetic peripheral nueropathy.

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 1/16/2010 12:28 AM (GMT -6)   
Screaming Eagle, i am so sorry about that comment. Obviously it was inappropriate, and I missed it when I wrote it. Thank you for bringing it to my attention, and i understand if the post needs to be removed because of it.
On another note, since my parents are separated and my mom has serious health problem with cancer, brain injury etc that prevents her from working and is already stressing my dads insurance, I can't force them to pick up the slack on anything that isn't absolutely necessary (such as psychiatric support). I do get complete drug coverage, and physiotherapy when it was helping.
Thanks for the thoughts on the other specialists, it's definitely an idea to look into those.
Again, so sorry for my foul mouth.

Screaming Eagle
Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 1/16/2010 12:35 AM (GMT -6)   
Marg....that was a very respectable reply....and I'm sure well received by all. We are here to help you in any way we can. I don't think I'm the one with the right suggestions, but other members should be along to direct you to a better solution to your problem.
Also, I'm sorry to hear about your mother, and understand you not wanting to bother them with your problem. Lets hope someone here will have a good suggestion for you.

Thanks, your friend,


Post Edited (Screaming Eagle) : 1/15/2010 10:38:17 PM (GMT-7)

Mrs. Dani
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 2787
   Posted 1/16/2010 12:55 AM (GMT -6)   
   Dear Marg,
      Good evening :-)  My name is Dani and it is very nice to meet you. I would like to welcome you to the Healing Well Community. I think you will like it here.
      First! Dont worry about the occasional (*&*(*&. Just pound the number keys with the shift down and we will understand your frustraition :-)
     Now on to the important stuff. I have some quesitons so bear with me. Are you on the insurance programm provided by the university? If so, (or maybe can add it as supplimental?) Either via University insurance or just provided free resource, yous hould be able to get into a counselor. Just call admissions and they should be able to direct you.
      I wish I could give advise about the parent part.. but I cannot and my only experience has been for last few years knowing my husbands parents and I am sure that is completly different dynamic than mother / father / daughter. But! Maybe, just for emotional support? You could talk to your mom about it? ... but again I just dont quite know how that works
     So I am a little confused, you do or your dont have arthritis??
You said ~~>  "thoughts about meds, or even anyone that has a simular undiagnosable arthritis?" But your signature says ~~>"Periferal Arthritis "?
      My early symptoms "Mimmicked arthritis" but I very quickly turned for the worse. I am now 29, the pain began at 27. I have widespread bone loss. The inital lab tests for that can be done by a general / primary care doctor. The X Rays show it very clearly.
       Sorry that I am not of much help. It is very nice to meet you, and we look forward to getting to know you better as time goes by.



Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood



Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 3193
   Posted 1/16/2010 6:28 PM (GMT -6)   

First, welcome here to the board... I am, though, sorry for all that you have going on... You are so young.. and I'm sorry all of this is happening at this point in life (not that it is great to happen at ANY point! but hopefully you'll see what I mean!). Am I right that you are in nursing school? I got sick about your age...and I was in nursing school, too...I was in a very intense BSN program. I did have to withdraw my 3rd year in. I eventually had a "remission" of sorts for about 10 years... and then have been ill for about six years this time around.

Anyway, do you see a pain management doctor? I agree w/ the others in that trying to seek out some specialists would be a good thing.

You mention insomnia. Many of us here deal w/ horrible insomnia. What have you tried so far to help you? I think that if I could have gotten a handle on my sleeping issues earlier....I wouldn't be as bad as I am now. I think I went for about 5 years w/out much sleep - and it just about killed me. So, I would encourage you to try to find something that works for you. There's lots of meds out there....but, w/out knowing what you've already tried, it's hard to give you advice on what to try next.

Anyway, I don't think I was much help! But... I would really encourage you to arm yourself w/ all of the information that you can, and try to build a good support system for yourself. This board is an excellent place to start. Just keep posting... and I think you'll see the encouragement and support you can find here.

Look forward to getting to know you better! --Tina
Pain Issues: Cervical/Thoracic back pain; migraines; carpal tunnel syndrome; widespread joint/muscle pain, nerve pain in hands/arms/feet; I also have Dysautonomia/POTS; CFS/Fibromyalgia; Severe Hypertension; Hypothyroidism; Hypoadrenalism; Mixed (Obstructive/Central) Sleep Apnea - on Auto BiPap; Depression/Anxiety; etc etc

Meds: MS Contin; Dilaudid; Actiq; Soma ; Neurontin; Atenolol; Midodrine; Phenergan/Zofran/Reglan; Effexor; Synthroid; Prednisone; and on the list goes...

Future Plans: Intrathecal Pain Pump; already completed trial; awaiting my decision for implantation

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3089
   Posted 1/16/2010 9:28 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Marg,

Welcome to HW! I'm sorry that you have to join us because of pain, but we're more than happy to welcome you to our family. Everyone here is wonderful. This is a very supportive, caring environment.

Are you currently in school? I ask because I'm only a couple years older than you (sr. in college) & I know that my school and many others have a mental health/counseling center on campus. Often times these services are even free to students (as is the case with my school). You might want to contact your campus health center or the Dean of Students' office & ask about this. Either way, I'd get in contact with the school & see what they can do for you.

Good luck!


Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 453
   Posted 1/16/2010 9:56 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm sorry you have to join HWCP because of pain too. Geez you are so young and dealing with so much right now. I do have to agree with the others regarding the free on campus mental health clinics and talking to a specialists it can't hurt to check those things out. As the parent of two daughters I wouldn't want to know about health issues second hand I would want them to tell me about it before I heard it from someone else. I sometimes think that we try to protect our parents and shelter them from the bad stuff going on in our lives and they just love you and want to help you in anyway possible. My mother is still alive at 89 but is mentally gone and I'm her momma but she felt the same way I feel about our girls. Trust your parent with the information you may be surprised at the relief you feel. Take care kiddo and don't forget to update us once and awhile. I'm no help with the lack of sleep but have oesto arthritis and have had several surgeries but it sounds like you aren't sure of your dx. If your doc is so good about giving you rx's for pain then I would think he would help you refer to a specialist.

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 79
   Posted 1/18/2010 1:10 AM (GMT -6)   

I was going to ask you the same thing that Skye did. I recently graduated from college and went directly to grad school, though I'm taking this semester off to try to get my pain managed a little bit better. Most colleges have on-campus clinics that can help. Sometimes even talking with the residential life department can get you pointed in the right direction (not that I worked for res life in college :) ) I'm sorry to hear that you're young and having these problems. I completely understand the taking meds to try to get through class and still put a smile on your face. That's exactly where I was at the end of last semester. As tough as it is, you have to make YOU the number one priority, not school. That was a tough thing for me to learn, and its still hard for me to accept that, but I'm starting to see the light. Get yourself healthy first, school will be there once you do! There are a couple of us younger folk around (younger than some of the older folks underwear, tehehe), so if you need anything don't hesitate to ask. You'll find the wisdom of adults or the companionship of peers, either way. Let me know if there's anything Ic an help you with!

Pain Issue: Sub-scapular bursitis, scapular dyskinesia, nerve damage down left arm, shoulder and neck
Treatment: PT, Tens Unit, Tramadol, Flector Patches and a semester off of school!

“Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.” - Lance Armstrong

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 702
   Posted 1/18/2010 10:10 AM (GMT -6)   
marg- have you ever been tested for Lyme disease?? It might be worth looking into.

pain stinks thats for sure and I am sorry it happend to you.

good luck.
Chronic Lyme Disease

Chronic fatigue syndrome

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

Sleep Apnea


Adrenal Fatigue

Type 2 Diabetes

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9664
   Posted 1/18/2010 11:19 AM (GMT -6)   
Have you considered a sleep study program, they might be able to pin point where you should go to get help with your insommenia (Sp?) sleep and not getting into that "rem" state can affect your over all health and make the pain worse, so try with a sleep study program and try to get your sleeping pattern change, cause the longer you let it go the harder it is to break out of a bad cycle.
Just some advise, I hope it helps.
Keep us posted as to how your doing and I wanted to wish you well.
* Asthma, Allergies, Osteoarthritis, Spinal Stenosis, Degenative Disc (Lower Lumbar S1-L3 and Cervical C5,C6, C8 and T1), Fibromyalgia, Gerd,
Enlarged Pituitary Gland, Sjogren's, Ocular Migraines, mild carpel tunnel, ect.... "Would be nice if we could use the edit button in real life"...


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