First, YANMD and I know this. Over the last two years, I've lost count of how many doctors and specialists I've seen to try to figure out why I have a weird chronic pain in my arms and legs. They're completely stumped, so I thought I'd query the hive-mind to see if any of you fine folk have either had or heard of a similar condition. Medical details inside.
posted by bjork24 to Health & Fitness (31 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I'll try to make this as concise as possible:
- January of 2012, my chest started to feel sore. I was in the middle of the 100 push-up challenge, so I figured I'd just overdone it.
- For the next two months, the vague achey feeling migrated from my chest to both arms (upper and fore). I went to my primary doctor and he was stumped. He suggested I go gluten-free and try to get more rest.
- In April of that year, I had an appendicitis and had my appendix removed. After recovery, the pain in my arms remained, but migrated to my legs as well (calves and hips), I saw my surgeon and he gave me an ultrasound to rule out a surgery-related blood clot. Everything looked fine, but the pain remained.
- Saw my primary again after being gluten-free for several months. Still no change. He screened me for all sorts of auto-immune diseases, but everything came back clean. He suggested Savella, but I declined.
- Tried yoga and meditation, and saw little to no improvement. Went back to my doc and asked if he could send me to a Rheumatologist. The Rheumy screened me for Lyme's disease (Eliza and Western Blot), ran a panel checking for vitamin deficiencies, and tested the classic Fibromyalgia points. I was negative for Lyme's, negative for Fibro, but my Vit D was low. Took supplement doses to get back in the normal range, but no change in pain.
- Went to acupuncturists and massage therapists. No relief.
- In early 2013, finally bit the bullet and started taking Cymbalta. The pain was dialed down and I was able to go about my day without constantly focusing on my aching limbs.
- Went to a new doctor in the hopes that he'd have a better idea than my primary doc. He didn't, but he sent me to a Neurologist.
- The Neurologist ran me through a battery of tests to gauge my nerve health. Everything came back clean. He suggested that I had Fibro, but was at a loss when I told him that I don't suffer from any of the classic symptoms (other than pain), and that the Rheumatologist had said it definitely wasn't Fibro.
- The last specialist I saw was in mid-2013. Since then, I've just been treating my symptoms with Cymbalta, which I'd love to stop taking.
As for my basic lifestyle, I have no problems sleeping, I'm generally active, I drink a ton of water every day, I eat fresh home-cooked meals 5-6 times a week, and I drink green smoothies nearly every morning. I'm a non-smoker, but I do drink on occasion. I poop regularly and my pee is typically crystal-clear. I suffer from seasonal allergies, but that's the extent of any health-related problems that I have beyond the constant pain (when unmedicated).
As for the pain, it was migratory and constant. My calves would ache one day, then it would move into my upper arms, or maybe into my forearms. My hips might affect me one day too. The muscles were never sore to the touch, but the pain felt like it was coming from deep within the tissue. I tried every alternative medicine under the sun, but nothing worked. Prolonged periods of exercise don't lessen the pain either. When unmedicated, I would be prone to flare ups of pain everywhere every once in awhile. Compression sleeves on the calves and arms did help a little.
Phew. That's about it. I've been dealing with this for just over two years, and this is the first time I've turned to the internet for answers. I'm not looking for a definitive diagnosis -- after all YANMD -- but if you've suffered something similar, or known someone who has, I'd be very grateful to hear your story or advice.