This all started with 2 weeks of neck pain, severe headache, extreme fatigue (sleeping 16+ hours per day), a persistent cough (mostly due to feeling of tickling in the back of my throat and fever up to 103+. After 2 weeks of this it all just went away overnight. Then 3 weeks of feeling pretty good but my feet were a bit sore to walk on... didn't think anything of it at the time. Then 2 week relapse of the "flu-like" symptoms but not as fatigued. Then just as that ended I developed really bad joint pain/arthritis (feet, ankles, knees, wrists and elbows). Had this for 3 weeks. Then 2 weeks flu, then 3 weeks arthritis, then flu then arthritis... etc. Each time around it seems to be a little less sever than the previous time. Now, 5 months later, the arthritis stage is just minor pain for only about a week of the 3 week period and the flu like symptoms are mostly neck pain, headache and mild fever off and on for the 2 week period. Also, during the flu stage, after eating I notice a strange (can't really describe it) after taste in my mouth. I seem to have a bit of a reduced appetite to and usually end up losing 5-15 pounds over those 2 weeks (and putting most back on during the in between 3 weeks). During the latter part of the flu symptoms and a few days afterwards my liver enzymes spike and I get darker urine but that clears up with the flu... suspect it's the liver flushing out whatever is causing this.
Possible known vectors - tick bites, mosquito bites, ant bites, all in the Chicago area in late spring/early summer.
Been to 5 GPs including one in the ER, 1 Rheumatologist and 1 Infectious Disease specialist. Probably about 12-15 total visits. The did: 24 blood draws (guessing at about 50-60 tests from this), 3 urine samples, 3 CT scans, 14 xrays, 1 EKG and 1 Ultrasound. Specifically tested for WNV, Lymes (x2), Meningitis, Mono, Hepatitis A, B, C, Kidney stones, Kidney infection, bladder infection, appendicitis, Strep, Pneumonia, Liver Enzymes, Rheumatoid Arthritis and that's just the list I can remember. They did see high liver enzymes (see above) in some blood tests and the ultrasound showed a mild NASH liver but as the flu stage ends the liver readings all go back to normal.
Results: I'm in perfect health... at least that's what they tell me, even while sitting in front of them with a 103 fever. White cell count normal, all other tests negative or normal. No bullseye rash, no indicators for RA... and on the border for diagnosing just on symptoms plus no joint damage. Infectious Disease guy said that unless I have uretha discharge, penile lesions or conjunctivitus, then he can't think of anything else that would also cause the joint pain and hasn't already been tested for. I don't have any of those three. No nausea. Bowels are normal.
I don't know what I have or where I got it from. Married, monogamous, no risk for STD of any type. I suspect insect bite as the cause as I help out with local nature groups by doing forest and wetland surveys which basically mean you go walking off in the woods and swamps counting/looking for stuff while every bug out there tries to see if you are edible. I have pulled ticks out of me this year (and many previous years too). On www.aldf.com under the "other tick born infections" Ehrlichiosis, Anaplasmosis, Babesiosis and Tick-borne Relapsing Fever all seem to be at least a semi close match... which upsets me that the Infectious Specialist didn't even consider (or know about?!) these... and he said he has been doing this for 29 years. But I haven't been back to any Dr. yet for testing on the above items.
So, anyone else out there experience this? Know what I got? Ever heard of this? Know what I got?
I get the feeling (and my records show) my body is slowly fighting it off and/or eliminating it but I'm scared that perhaps this is something that in a year or two will flare up again and I don't feel like going through another 6 months of this cycle. I'd rather find out what it is and if there's a cure/drug to combat or eliminate it to get on that.
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