My main symptom related to my current conditon has been a constant headache with pain and tenderness over my right superficial temporal artery. This constant pain has been present since approximately mid March 2015. Between July 2015 and November 2015 I have experienced a new onset on progressively worsening fatigue, shortness of breath (I easily run out of breath walking fast or running, and my chest feels heavy at times and I occasionally get chest pains), lethargy, muscle weakness (it's hard to get out of bed, lift things, walk up stairs or hills, exercise at all like I used to), and inability to concentrate and focus mentally (my brain seems slow and tired). Keep in mind I have not started consistently taking high dose prednisone yet as I am waiting for a temporal artery biopsy on December 1st and do not want to obscure the results of the biopsy (I do not have visual symptoms at the moment, but will seek emergency medical help if I do). My question to the forum is:
Are extreme debilitating fatigue, muscle weakness, cognitive issues, and shortness of breath really common in GCA? Or could I have something else more systemic such as Wegener's granulomatosis or polyarteritis nodosa that seems to have evaded a proper diagnosis with blood tests (kidney and liver function, inflammatory (ESR, CRP), and ANCA tests all normal)? I seem to have anxiety about whether or not my illness really is something typical of GCA or something completely different that the doctors might not understand and therefore not know how to effectively treat (really unfortunate that's the case since I'm almost suicidal with the pain, insomnia, fatigue, weakness, and inability to do anything I used to enjoy etc). I will know more from the biopsy results I hope and will report back what they find. Right now I'm just sitting in a couch and find it's difficult (not painful, just feel weak) to lift my arms and get out of the seat and move around. I feel like a vegetable which is just so atypical of me (high school 3 sport athlete, state wrestling finalist, straight A student in high school and college, and then excellent engineer working in a fast paced environment).
I appreciate your comments.