I'm 26 years old, used to be healthy and active, now have been living with chronic pain for at least 9 months that has completely zapped my life energy. Muscle stiffness and joint soreness, some bad issues with soreness around a tendon in my left foot and also my right hip, causing a lot of pain, I can hardly walk some days stiffness is so bad in the morning and evening, and after any period of inactivity. Constant tiredness, no appetite, depression, referred to CBT , given anti-anxiety medication, had my thyroid function tested (normal), standard bloods (normal).
When the physical symptoms became hard to bear which was what ultimately led me to really push for answers/treatment, it took a couple of doctors to get anywhere, but the second Dr noticed I had psoriasis (increased risk of arthritis) and referred me for pelvic xrays, fibromyalgia was mentioned but I didn"t have any 'tender points' at the time of her examination. Xrays showed nothing and I tested negative for both the rheumatoid and inflammation factor in my bloods. I was told that this alone couldn't rule out rheumatoid arthritis so she referred me to a rheumatologist.
I waited 2 months and my appointment was cancelled on the day and put forward another 2 months time. I cried as I walked from the hospital back to my car. How was I supposed to carry on like this?? I'm a student veterinary nurse and we wouldn't allow an animal to suffer this way. Aware of the harmful effects of Ibuprofen when taken regularly I didn't want to take it so I asked the GP for codeine and she put me on repeats of codeine phosphate 30mg. It did little to ease my pain but at least lifted my mood enough to feel that life was bearable. I soon began taking too many too often and stopped altogether. Ive since been mostly without pain relief, occasionally on a bad day in work I take Ibuprofen. Worried i'll over exert or put too much pressure on my bad foot.
When I finally got my appointment the rheumatologist was baffled. He pointed out the painful spots on my foot and hip (I nearly hit the roof when he pressed there). He found no joint inflammation. He referred me on for ultrasound scans of my hands and feet to rule out arthritis and a follow-up rhematology appointment in August. He also sent me for a shedload of bloods! 4 tubes ! I actually got a phone call the very next day from my GP about the bloods, informed me that my B12 tested low at 150. I assumed it was because of my vegetarian diet but he said not necessarily, they were going to do a further test for pernicious anemia. I tested positive for the intrinsic factor antibodies and needed B12 injections for life, and also they have given me a gastrology appointment to be scoped???
So that brings me to now and I have finished my 6 loading dose injections today.
When I found out about the PA my feelings were all over the place, but ultimately I couldn't get jabbed with B12 quick enough at the thought that it was going to be a 'cure-all'. I was in quite a bad depression at the time of my diagnosis. I had a couple of really good days following the first injection but I have to say I think it was placebo because I feel no better in terms of joint pain/stiffness. I would say there has been an improvement in my mood and also I am less fatigued. And my resting heart rate has gone down. But the rest is still there. And when i've mentioned it to the nurses when getting my jabs they have both said sort of maybe its something else?? So now I feel like I'm back to square one and I actually haven't found a diagnosis, I am having a terrible day today, worst in a while, and I just feel like I am going to have to live my life like this.
I am due to start at a new job in less than 2 weeks and I just feel like I don't know if I can do it... working with animals my job is very physical.. also I am losing the security, sick pay etc I had with my other job I try to do things as normal as possible and get on with my life but sometimes I don't accept my limitations and it gets me into bad situations like this...
Could pernicious anemia be my diagnosis, will the B12 fix me... that would be really great if it did.