This is my first time on HealthUnlocked. It's pretty hard to summarise what's been happening but here we go...
I am a 39 year-old woman with lupus (SLE) which is generally under control but I am being driven slightly mad by the inexplicable chest/back/shoulder pain that seems to feel better after releasing some wind!
I also experience breathlessness – the extent of this really depends on the day and I don't know what affects it at all. Some days I'm fine and can run and swim without issues and then sometimes I can't get up one flight of stairs without panting. Even bending over to tie my shoelaces is a mission.
I exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight so I really shouldn't be struggling. I find exercise (boot camp or yoga) generally makes me feel better – if I'm not too tired to go. I've had pretty broken sleep since July as a result of the chest/back pain. I can't seem to find a comfortable position. It is something I've had on and off since I was 15 (it all started –coincidence?? – after falling and landing hard on my left side). I couldn't sneeze, burp or yawn properly for years.
As a result of not breathing properly I think I exhaust my upper chest muscles. Having said that, the physio doesn't think that these symptoms are all attributable to musculoskeletal problem. He mentioned that there may be some link between my digestion and the chest/back/shoulder pain but my GP dismissed this possibility. The physio also suggested costocondritis. My podiatrist suggested there may be a link between the oedema I often suffer in my legs. The GP has offered me antacid medication and amitryptaline. The lady who gives me acupuncture suggested fibromyalgia.
I can't believe after all these years of trying to find out what's going on I'm still none the wiser! I have been seen under renal and rheumatology departments for years.
I am also now trying acupuncture and Chinese herbs. And unfortunately having to take more paracetamol than I would like (which doesn't always get rid of the pain).
Involvement of my heart and lungs has been ruled out through tests – so why am I getting this pain and breathlessness?
If anyone has any bright ideas, I would be so grateful to hear them.