It started when I was 22. From picking up my new born son all the time with a scooping motion using my thumbs, I was told I would need surgery. The diagnosis was the same as carpal tunnel except it was in the synapses of my thumbs, not my fingers. I exercised in opposite motions and tried to lift him differently whenever possible. I was dropping things and my hands were sore. But, after a couple months the pain went away, never to return. When I was about 24 I started to experience pain in my bones. It was a sharp shooting pain, usually in the bones of my forearms or between them. It would come suddenly and last for a few seconds to a minute then be gone, then return. It did not seem to have a real rhythm to it but at times it could almost throb.
I was also getting headaches that would last for days and make me feel foggy. Ibuprofen and Prozac were both prescribed. I discontinued the Prozac after the people around me informed me that I was behaving strangely, I had not noticed. The headaches did not stop with the Prozac anyway.
I have also had neck and back injuries. The first was a case of whiplash as a teen. I again experienced whiplash from an auto accident when I was 26. Then when I was 27 I fell and injured the middle of my spine. I did not seek treatment until when I was 30; I yawned and my neck went out. I could not move. I went to the emergency room, they referred me to a chiropractor. It was to expensive to continue, but I learned posturing and exercises that would help.
When I was 28 I tore my acl and required surgery. The meniscus required repair as well. Ironically, the knee I had been having the most problems with (I suspected meniscus damage from working on my feet and being very active) was not the one that gave way. I required three surgeries on my knee, all one year apart. 1st for acl repair and meniscus repair, second for acl and meniscus repair and removal of lose screws, and thirdly to remove a cyst that had formed around a biodegradable screw that was not biodegrading. A core of cadaver bone was used to fill the whole in my bone. My knee still grieves me after standing or sitting for long periods, it is restless and any high impact exercise (even running across the yard to catch my dog) will cause a strange bruise to wrap from the site of the cyst around my leg toward the back of my knee. I cannot stand the scars to be touched; they are numb yet sore.
A few years ago I developed what I tought was a ganglion in my right wrist. It was not terribly troublesome, but it would get painful with alot of activity. I could usually just pull on my fingers and snap the wrist and the pain would recede. This continued for about a year and then the cyst became too large to get relief from. Thankfully, as I was digging in my garden I struck a rock with a shovel and jammed my wrist. The ganglion popped. I had no more trouble for about 6 months. Then it returned. It no longer seemed to be in the same spot however and it was smaller but more painful. I saw an orthopedic Dr who agreed it was a ganglion and recommended cortisone injection. I refused.
The ganglion went away over the course of the next year. However the pain in my wrist did not. I also began to feel pain in my other wrist. The pains in my bones were back also and my neck, back and knee were all becoming very painful. Sept. 2010 I was playing volleyball at a retirement party and aggravated everything. I went to the Dr. 10 days later, (the soonest he could see me) and he took x-rays. He also ordered tests for RA. The xrays showed c5 & c6 were ruptured, there was minor ligament tearing in the shoulders and nothing in the wrists except that the space between the bones of my hand and the arm were a bit further apart than usual, perhaps due to a long Ulna. There was also a small divot in the bone, the dr stated that was from where the ganglion had been, even though I told him I had hit the back of my hand very hard in that spot while moving into my new home in Sept 2009.In December 2010 I returned to the orthopedic Dr. The tests for RA were negative, as was gout. He referred me to a rheumatologist.
While at his office I stated that the wrist was still the worst of it and I finally agreed to a cortisone shot. The first couple days after the shot were worse than it had been but I did experience relive from the ache. The jamming sensation in the wrist continued, as did the tingling on my fingers, the pain in the back of my hand. The hand and fingers would also go very cold, especially when I was working; running a mouse all day.
He also ordered further xrays of my neck and back, then an MRI of my neck. I had two degenerative disks at c5 and c6 in Sept 2010. In Jan 2011 I had two more in my lower spine. Since I still was not feeling any better I made the Apointment with the Rheumatologist.
None of it has gotten better.
The rhuemetolgist checked my thyroid and diagnosed me with Fibromyagia after hearing that I have IBS and anxiety/depression. He also stated that I have Ortho Arthritis in my back and in my fingers.
He refered me to a surgeon specializing in hand surgery. The surgeon stated I did not have arthritis of any kind and that fibro. was the only diagnosis. He did not reveiw any of my history or mri's. He took 3 new xrays of my wrist since he did not have the records from my other doctors that I had the other Dr's office's fax/email to him the day before.
An additional side note- I never had acne till I was 18. It was very mild until I was about 25, at which time it began on my back and in my hair. I started to develop deep cyst type acne on my face around age 30 and it has just gotten worse as time goes on. The only thing that seems to help at all is the vitamin d and the tanning salon, yet I do not want to go more than once a week because of the risk of cancer.
Dactylics (swelling of my fingers) is an issue when I over-do-it. I can count on a couple of bad days after a couple of very active days. I am in a fog, my headaches still last for days, my lower back has become an agony and the fatigue is awful. I wake up screaming with back pain and can barely get out of bed most mornings. Days where there is allot of stress can trigger symptoms also but lack of sleep and too much physical activity is more likely to agrivate. I have always had trouble falling asleep before midnight and average about 5-6 hours a night all week since all of us have to be up by 6-7am Monday-Friday.
The stiffness does seem to be helped by vitamin d supplements ( 2000 iu) and definitely by the tanning salon. Ibuprofen gets me through the day the best; the Naprozen hurts my stomach with little result and the Cymbalta I took last night gave me such nausea and diarrhea that I called in to work this morning. Good thing I did because I slept all day.
A friend has suggested food allergies and if I can get the money and ambition to go to the store to start eliminating different likely factors...I already know I am allergic to yellow food dye but the symptoms are mild.
Anyone have any suggestions? I am at wits end... thanks!