The Lupus Forum banner
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Everyone,

My name is Dawn and I live in Pittsburgh, PA - USA. I have read through some of the posts and what a wonderful and supportive site this is!

I am 36 years old and have been experiencing some unusual things over the last few months, and by themselves the symptoms aren't too concerning but put together are worrying me a bit.

Since September I have lost 10 lbs. (from 115 lbs to 105 lbs) without any effort (this by itself seemed like a good thing to me!). This has never happened in my life and I am at an age where I really thought I'd be putting on weight unintentionally, not losing it.

Then, in late November I woke up in the middle of the night with sharp, left-sided chest pain that was really bad anytime I increased the pressure in my chest (yawning, taking a deep breath). I hadn't been sick with an upper respiratory infection, fever or any other problems - it just came out of nowhere. It lasted about a week and a half and went away. I thought maybe I had pleurisy (never had it before) or maybe pericarditis. And since I didn't feel poorly otherwise, I didn't see my doctor. Just as I was beginning to get concerned about it and thought that maybe I should get it checked, it went away on its own.

Then, a little more than a week before Christmas I had what I think was the flu or some other nasty upper respiratory virus (fever, stuffy nose, sore throat, headaches, etc). The viral (malaise,f ever, etc) symptoms subsided after about 4-5 days but I had awful sinus pain and congestion. I called my MD and they prescribed Zithromax (an antibiotic). About 3-4 days on the Zithromax and I felt great! My nose wasn't stuffy and my sinus pain was gone. One morning (about 12 days after my initial flu symptoms and on my 5th day of the Zithromax), I went out to breakfast and shopping with my family. While we were shopping I started to feel terrible pains in my leg muscles, knees, ankles, the top of my feet and in my wrists/hands. My skin actully felt painful to touch. This was out of nowhere. I went home and took Tylenol and Motrin and parked myself on the sofa. As the night wore on, the pain increased. I went to bed and when I woke up the next morning, I could hardly walk. My ankles and the top of my feet hurt so badly, I actually cried. I am an ER nurse and was working an overnight 12 hour shift that night, so I tried to take it easy that day, which wasn't hard because I felt so very tired. I went to work at 7 pm that evening and the pain got worse and worse throughout my shift. My hands hurt so badly that I could hardly open any equiment. It hurt to even sit down on the commode (my legs were so painful). Then, around 5:00 am, I got terrible chills and took my temperature and it was 100.8. I went home at 7 am, took Tylenol and climbed in bed. All I could think is how did I get sick again?!? I slept on and off until 6 pm and made myself get out of bed and onto the sofa. I was still in so much pain - no medicine in my cabinet (Tylenol, Motrin) was taking the pain away. On Tuesday I went to see my MD who thinks that it is a complication from the virus I had before Christmas. He had me get some blood tests to see if I had the flu (those will be back on Monday), gave me Celebrex (anti-inflammatory) and told me to take it twice a day (the normal dose is once per day) and to return in one week. I took the first dose as soon as I left the office and it took the edge off of the pain. But when I took the second dose that evening, I felt like a new person. That medication really worked. I was so excited to be able to move and walk without pain. Then, when I woke up on Wenesday, the pain was back. I took the Celebrex again and had the same results throughout the day. Then, when I woke up this morning, pain - again. I just find it so hard to believe that almost two weeks later, I would still have the flu or another virus wreaking such havoc on my system. Also, when I add up the weight loss, sharp chest pain and now this muscle and joint pain, I can't help but wonder if I should have my doctor do some further tests if the pain is still there when I go back on Tuesday. By the way, I have had no rashes or skin lesions of any sort. I am an otherwise healthy person. Up until the Celebrex, I was taking no medication and have no other health problems (non-smoker, no alcohol, etc.).

My mom's cousin had Lupus (she passed away this past spring at 52 years old) and my mom has multiple sclerosis. So, autoimmune diseases do tend to "run" in my family.

I guess I am just wondering if I am overreacting or if this is something I should ask my doctor to explore.

Thank you to all who read this post. I appreciate and welcome your opinion.

I wish you all well and hope that this post finds everyone feeling well.

Take care,
Dawn
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,444 Posts
I can certainly understand your concerns over your symptoms in the last month, especially given your family history. I think it is reasonable to ask your doctor about checking you over for the possibility of an autoimmune disease. Two weeks does sound like a long time for a virus to do this to you, especially given the earlier symptoms of weight loss & chest pain. Although it's not unheard of... and if you do have a virus or two causing these symptoms then there is the possibility that it could cause your ANA test to be a lower value false positive.

I'd at least mention the full lot of worrying symptoms to your doctor at your next appointment, and mention the family history, and at least ask if he/she thinks it's wise to check you for that possibility though. Let us know how it goes...

The longer your symptoms last, the more important it is to get tested. And keep getting tested/checked over especially if your symptoms last and the first time the bloodtests are negative or unconvincing. Many people will test low or negative early on and then be clearly positive later on.

PS Unless you have a great relationship with your doctor, it's important to not go in appearing to have self diagnosed with lupus. So I wouldn't advise asking if you should be tested for that specifically!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Dear Maia,

Thank you so much for your response.

I agree. I was planning on just putting out there that I've had these other symptoms (because I didn't mention them at my visit on Tuesday) and asking if he thinks that I should be concerned that these things are all sort of happening in such a short period of time. The only reason I even put them all together is that I looked up each symptom I was having one at a time and everything I researched mentioned that these were Lupus symptoms. Especially when I had searched for information on the sharp chest pain. I remember thinking that the pain was probably just that, a pain that happens. Then when I was looking up the joint/muscle pain I, again, stumbled on Lupus symptoms and subsequently noticed that weight loss was also on that list. That is when I began to think that maybe all of these things weren't just coincidence and maybe something else was going on.

I trust my doctor will know where to go with all of this. That is why he wanted me to come back in a week. He said that if I was still having the pain (I pray that I don't by Tuesday), then we would need to investigate a little further. He didn't mention what that investigation would entail and hopefully it won't be needed. Maybe these are just isolated incidences and all will be well. I am keeping my fingers crossed...

Again, thank you so much for your response. I will certainly let you know what ends up happening. It is great to know that if things do go beyond Tuesday that there is a place where compassionate and knowledgeable people are there for support and advice!

-Dawn
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,152 Posts
Hi Dawn

Welcome to the Forum. Maia has given you good advice and I just wanted to wish you the very best of luck.

Your personal experience with joint pain resonated with me as it brought me back to my first ever major flare up (pre diagnosis). Like you I woke up one Tuesday morning with a sort of achy feeling in my legs but nothing that wasnt bearable. However within the space of about two hours I could barely walk. The pains in my legs just got worse and worse by the minute. Then the pains started travelling to various joints including my wrists and hands. By the end of that day in work I needed assistance getting back down the stairs, I couldnt wear my shoes (because of the swelling in my feet) and spent the next two days in excrutiating pain before finally seeing a doctor. I wasnt prescribed anti inflammatories - just a codeine based pain killer which only helped a small bit.

That was the start of my diagnostic journey. After that big flare up I started to think back to various other 'symptoms' which had been going on for over a year and started to put the picture together. I had never heard of Lupus or even autoimmune conditions come to that. I met with my doctor and put the 'case' in front of him and he sent me off for blood tests. The rest is history as they say.

Also I have fairly recently started using Celebrex and it is the best anti inflammatory I have tried so far. On two occasions I have forgotten to take it in the morning and within a few hours I feel my joints starting to hurt badly and sieze up. Given your results with the Celebrex its a fairly sure bet that whatever is wrong with you is caused by underlying inflammation. I sincerely hope that everything has resolved itself by Tuesday but if not you have a great place here to bounce ideas off and get some good advice as to the next steps.

Good luck with the doc!

Joan:rose:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you!

Thank you, Joan, for the warm welcome and for sharing your experience.

I was a little leary about taking the Celebrex because of some of the bad press the CoxII Inhibitor anti-inflammatories have received, but on Tuesday I was so desperate for something to take away the discomfort I was feeling. I was amazed at how well it worked and that it continues to do so. Today, I didn't take the second dose around dinner time as I had on Tuesday and Wednesday and I really felt that pain creeping back around 8 pm. I won't be making that mistake again!

I am so thankful that my doctor gave it to me and hope that it continues to provide relief. I am glad that it works for you as well. I never realized how much chronic pain takes away from the joy of daily life - it really takes its toll.

No matter what, I will return with an update. Hopefully a positive one!

Thanks again,
Dawn
 

·
The Other Illinois Tammy
Joined
·
1,193 Posts
Dawn,
Welcome to the site. If someone had came to you and shared the same information you just shared with us what would you advise them to do? I am sure you would tell them to see a doctor and that it is important to find out whatever the cause of the problem is. You may not have lupus but something is going on and you know in your heart that it is. I am sorry that you are not feeling well but it is important to know why. I would ask my doctor to check all the things you told us about and your concerns as it can cut down the time of finding the cause to your problems. Remember if it is lupus: rest, stress reduced, eat well, some exercise, and listen to your body. I wish you the best and if you need us we are here.

You are right that the pain can be unbearable at times, you will have to find what works for you and helps to ease that for you. You have a chance to get some help as it sounds like you are just getting things showing up. Please let us know what is happening with you. Hugs to you and take care.
Tammy
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top