Hi, so I'm a new person to the forums here and I've come out of desperation. This might be a fairly long post so I thank you to anyone who reads this and takes time to respond to me.
I'm a 19 year old woman, last year almost exactly a year ago, I was walking around my old college campus with a friend. My legs got sore as we were walking which is not totally abnormal. I used to do gymnastics and I've had my fair share of joint pains and aches. I got back to my dorm and settled in for the night assuming I would wake up feeling better. When I woke up my leg pain was even worse and it had spread up my back. Stupidly I pushed through my day and came home to collapse on my bed again. I called the campus health center at that point and scheduled an appointment that took place a few days later. In those few days the pain was constant in my legs from my ankles to my hips, and my back (mostly lower back). I was nauseous, which is not uncommon for me, I tend to get periods of weeks where I'm very nauseous for most of the day without ever throwing up. I also got a killer headache and would sometimes feel physically weak or light headed.
Another piece of important information is that I consulted my pediatrician multiple times about my joint pain and he consistently blew it off saying I was too young. I also had pretty severe eczema through high school that I self treated with oatmeal soaks and lotionmys.
At the doctor's appointment I explained all relevant information that I explained in the last paragraph. The doctor gave me a full exam checking things like thyroid, etc. She eventually suggested that she thought I might have an autoimmune disease, my mom has an iGA deficiency and she was coming up blank on everything else. She took blood to test and told me she would get back to me. She also prescribed me a round of steroids which sort of worked.
The next day I got a call saying that my ANA levels (which I guess is a marker for autoimmune disease?) was almost 2 times the normal limit. She recommended me to a rheumatologist. This is where the story starts to fall to crap. I went to college in a very small rural area and the rheumatologist only worked there one day a week. I called her in late February and after a lot of phone tag going into March I was told that I wouldn't be able to be seen until well into the summer. So I called back my original doctor and she referred me to a different rheumatologist that was about an hour away from my school. I got an appointment for a few weeks later. At the time of this scheduling my symptoms had been going on for a month and the appointment would be broaching on two months of the symptoms. I couldn't take stairs anymore, I could barely manage walking to the bathroom. I would have to leave hours before classes started so I could sit on benches and take breaks every so often, I was in rough shape and scared to death.
As the appointment approached my symptoms eased slightly. I went to the appointment and was given another full exam, the doctor suggested his two hunches were rheumatoid arthritis or psoriasis based on the eczema I mentioned earlier. He elected to send out another round of blood tests. His nurse was an idiot and she barely got enough blood for the test and I was sent on my way with a handful of pain pill samples. Two weeks later I got a call back saying that my ANA levels were normal and they could do no more for me.
Slowly the symptoms dissipated, the pain pills helped and I was back to normal, although every time I had a slight ache I was terrified of being thrown back into the debilitating pain. This weekend my fear has become slowly realized. I had a back ache Thursday night, woke up Friday with it still being there. Friday afternoon it became very bad at one point and I got extremely nauseous, weak, and light headed. It passed after about 15 minutes and then my back just hurt. Yesterday and today my back and head have been hurting with varying intensity and very rarely am I not in pain or discomfort. I have a dentist appointment tomorrow and if my symptoms are still going strong I'm going to go to prompt care tomorrow night or Tuesday. At this point I'm just trying to see if anyone has a shared experience to some level because I'm kind of freaking out and no one in my life has experienced this. Thank you for reading.