Mucus stools, Stiff Neck, Weakness, Head and Body Aches
I am a healthy 24 year old new graduate nurse that within the last week, have been feeling quite off. I have had bouts of intense diarrhea, meaning feeling fine one moment then literally sprinting to the bathroom the next. It came and went for a couple days, but yesterday, I developed all over body aches, swollen/sore lymph nodes, mucusy stools, and a headache that I treated with Imitrex prior to bed (I'm prone to migraines). I took my vitals at work, didn't have a temp, BP in the 100/70 or so range (normal for me), but had a 122 and 121 resting HR (about 15 minutes apart). About an hour later, it had dropped to 96. I figured I would just wake up with a bad cold this morning, but instead have a stiff neck/back. What's worse is that when I'm in the bathroom trying to have a bowel movement, I feel pressure/pain radiating down the middle of my back when pushing.
I know I have some bug in my system, but I guess I'm just wondering how serious this might be, and if it really requires medical attention or if it might just pass. I'm at a new job, with new insurance, and actually had to pick out my doctor from a booklet (whom I've never met) just a few weeks ago. As a new nurse, I can ask my coworkers, but I don't want to seem "attention getting" or out of line. For these reasons, I just want to see if it's really necessary for me to go to someplace like Urgent Care to get treated or what I should do. I'm baffled as to what this could be. IBS? Ulcerative Colitis? I would sincerely appreciate the help.
No other significant medical history other than migraines, no known allergies.
I also forgot to mention that I have been quite hydrated (consuming at least 64 ounces of straight water per day) and active at my new job. I have been under quite a bit of stress lately (just got married, new job, took my boards, moved to a new apartment), so that's why I'm leaning towards GI.
However, I have also been urinating a lot. No pain, but I have been waking up from a sound sleep to urinate small amounts. I NEVER usually ever wake up while sleeping to urinate, so that's made me also question my kidney functioning, too. Thanks again for the help!
If you haven't been tested yet for Clostridium Difficile infection, get a stool culture in for testing right away. I've had C. Diff. and so has my mom--not saying you have it, but we both had many of the same symptoms you had. My mother ended up hospitalized and quite ill.
Also, you should be tested for meningitis, becuz of the development of a stiff neck. Whether it's viral or bacterial, you are going to feel sick in general, your body is trying to fight off the infection, but the stiff neck...that's the hallmark of meningitis. So, GO to the doctor. You don't want to be spreading this around, plus if untreated, it can make you VERY ill indeed. By the way, since you are a nurse, this is the sort of thing you can expect from time to time, to catch some crazy illness, because of being in close proximity with a large number of sick people.
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