[[I have joint aches all over, especially in my knees, but without any obvious inflammation. Sometimes the pain is bad enough that I can barely climb stairs at night.]]
Possible lyme disease or arthritis?
[[I have a lot of trouble with fatigue, some days being completely exhausted at the end of work, or waking up after 8+ hours of sleep and feeling like I haven't slept.]]
Possible sleep apnea?
[[I experience "brain fog" and poor memory, too. I just can't concentrate on things as well as normal, can't do mentally taxing activities for as long as normal, and despite making more lists and relying more on my phone's calendar reminders, I keep forgetting things.]]
"CAN BE" related to sleep apnea... You may want to research NOOTROPICS- Sulbutiamine... helps with brain fog, but please do your research on it first- as it's a bit controversial apparently
[[I have Crohn's disease ]]
Me too- and I have many of the symptoms you are mentioning
[[It was a bad infection, with neurological and cognitive symptoms, so I wonder if it may have done some lasting damage.]]
Quite possibly- But you are dealing with al to don't forget, lymes, Crohn's, possibly arthritis, and it takes a tremendous toll on the body and will result in the symptoms you list
[[ I've been deficient on vit D before, but I've been taking a strong supplement since then.]]
Not uncommon for people with Crohn's- I was severely low- at 9- took awhile but got it back up again- you won't have to take steady diet of D vitamins- just enough to get level back to normal- I found though that regaining normal level did nothing for me strength-wise- didn't even feel any difference between low and normal range-
Crhon's patients also have hard time absorbing Vit b12- you should be getting shots for it but I also found the shots did nothing for me- so I quit taking them
[[Chronic Fatigue seems like another likely cause, maybe Fibromyalgia, but I don't seem to have the tender points.]]
I am in exact same boat as you- Docs will say 'fibromyalgia' one day, Chronic fatigue the next, then 'it's just your crohn's' the third- and so on- I too have no tender points OR trigger points- but all the symptoms practically of both fibro and chronic fatigue, even some symptoms of MS it seems-
Additional symptoms for me that you too might be experiencing?:
1: Night sweats- terrible, literally soaked heat to toe- every night-
2: exercise intolerance- My muscles almost immediately begin to hurt doing things like raking, or lawn mowing- calf muscle and arm muscles, and neck especially- they burn- like it's a build-up of lactic acid- I have to stop and let this burning sensation stop- then I can do a it more, then stop and so on and so on...
3: My thermal regulator is broken it seems- I'm constantly cold or too hot- never really a happy medium- I'll be cold most of the summer even- and this is very unusual for me- I used to work outside all day every day- during temps as low as -30f .. Now anything below 75f and I'm cold
4: Painful hands I n the cold- Renaud's syndrome I guess
5: Constant non stop muscle tension (which leads to the burning muscle pain I'm having)- Especially in neck and shoulders- I can not relax my muscles unless I'm consciously trying to- they are just always tensed up like I'm bracing for an accident for some reason
6: Vision getting worse, could be old age, could be related to a condition- who knows...
7: I find that if I over do it- too much exercise or activity, and believe me, it doesn't take much at all- just like an hour's walk or so (and that is really pushing it for me)- I'll pay the price for several days until I recuperate and get back to my usual crappy feeling
8: When I over do it, I'll get light headed, dizzy, sick to my stomach, sweat will be running right off me- my muscles get real shaky, trembling, short of breath, can't think straight, can't talk well- voices will fade in and out when I've really over done it- it's almost liek I'm passing out- I have to sit down for 5-10 minutes, then I can go a bit more-
There's more, but can't think right now- today is a bad day for me- but you get the idea-
[[I don't want to take pain meds. I want something to treat what's causing the pain and my other symptoms.]]
usually, with chronic fatigue, fibro etc- pain meds are what is used to treat it- There isn't any cure, all you can do is manage the pain really- I was on hydrocodone for about 3 years- kind of a low dose 4 times a day- it helped quite a bit- I came off them, like a dummy, (quit smoking at the same time- Wow- what a horrible withdrawal that was)- Thinking that 'the pain won't kill me- not realizing that while it won't kill me, it WILL make life much more miserable, and now they won't put me back on them, and have labeled me a 'drug seeker' (even though I took myself OFF them because I didn't like being addicted) simply because I want relief from this horrible pain-