I am a 48 yr old still menstruating (despite mirena iud) Specialist nurse (different field) and have had several episodes of undiagnosed joint pain for years that resolved spontaneously. Family hx - mum Psoriatic Arthritis and COPD (died age 66) dad alive and well, bypass and MVR and knee replacement recently now 73. Me, glandular fever sixteen, endometriosis dx aged 28. About ten years ago I woke up one morning with swollen painful hands and knees, sore throat, and fatigue like I had never known. I had just moved to England from Scotland, changed jobs, so was under a fair amount stress. I then developed oral lichen planus, and a lump in left breast. I saw GP had widespread lymphadenopathy (breast clinic - lymph node too) low WCC mildly elevated ESR. I saw an immunologist who found cadiolipin Ab and CD4 count of less than 200. After months and some fluoxetine I got better and it was put down to stress. I have had several episodes related to stress since, when my mother was dying and I was physically and emotionally exhausted, so I didn't bother with doctors. Not sure if relevant - but I was bitten (accident, by a puppy, tiny wound) and ended up in hospital for a week with sepsis and ? Allergic reaction to bite, and another time I also had a reaction to meds I was on for unrelated thing, developed a swollen calf and collapsed unconscious at gp, low O2 and bp... Suspected PE but ctpa neg for clot, but showed ground glass appearance ? Pulmonary oedema. Cardiology - echo perfect.
In December I had a period of extreme stress, my son has bipolar and was v. unwell, suicidal. My partner (of four years, we dont live together) was made redundant and had to go back to Scandinavia so my support vanished too. I went off sick with stress but quickly got ill - developed pericarditis. I was floored. My gp didn't do correct bloods - no crp no ESR - but told ECG changes (not told what) and low WCC. Not conclusively pericarditis but likely. Developed some knee and hand pain and I went back and asked for repeat sle screen - negative. I went back to work full time in march and have coped but I am more forgetful and very easily tired.
For first time I have felt my health is affecting my work - people are treating me differently, I am usually at forefront and get involved with change and service development etc, but I feel I am being put out to pasture a little (maybe in a supportive way but its worrying) I moved house end of may and bang. Recurrence of chest pain, severe pain at base both thumbs and palms and wrists, can't hold a glass or steering wheel, swollen feet, morning stiffness in feet and brain fog. Pitting oedema both feet. I carried on going to work, but I am making mistakes, forgetting to finish jobs, 11 hour day, I'm exhausted by 7 hrs. I actually went into a room on my break and fell asleep. I saw a different GP last week who for first time suggested RhA gave me naproxen and did ESR (normal) fbc (normal) Rh F (normal) just waiting for anti CCP.
I went to Paris with my partner couple days ago - I nearly cancelled - but in event i couldnt cope with my luggage and walking in Paris, it really spoiled it. I'm back since thurs and my feet are so swollen I can't get any shoes on (I'm supposed to work 11 hours tomorrow - I can't be off I'm on a written warning because I was off when my mum died, the dog bite and the pericarditis) my hands hurt and I am shattered.
Because I'm a nurse I think people are thinking I'm a hypochondriac, and because I was off with stress in December before the pericarditis that I'm mad/depressed. In December with all the stress I was drinking a little too much and told my gp, but I haven't had a single drink since February (except a couple in paris), but I don't think I will get referred to rheumatologist if my bloods are neg cos iv admitted emotional distress..... I'm going to end up losing a job I love and then my home if I don't get well...?
Sorry its so long - its great to get it all down on paper. Suggestions anyone?
Someone on here suggested taking photos when swelling there - so my usually size 4 feet below - hope you have eaten!