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Autoimmune Disorders Community
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1693900 tn?1306296819

Pain in hands and joints... no answers!!

I am going to lose my mind without help anymore. Here is my synopsis (shortened version) and any help is appreciated. 3mo ago I started having shoulder pain (as if slept on it wrong), I ignored it, but it didn't go away. I then started waking with stiff fingers that would not move with joints swollen. Then slowly wrist and forearm weakness. Every morning I wake with fingers aching. I went to Rheumatologist-xrays ok, blood tests ok-except one non-descript auto immune came back elevated. Then tests again and nothing. Sends me to ortho hand dr., he finds nothing, sends me to ortho shoulder-nothing, EMG nothing, MRI of neck only-nothing. Rheumatologist throws Cymbalta at me and now on that. Meloxicam didn't help, Tramadol doesn't help. One day I take Tramadol with .5 Ativan and my pain was relieved. I sleep on my sides, it feels like a tight wide rubber band holding my fingers and hand/joint pain during day like I punched someone and it's the next day. Wrists when squeezed shift/crack. Tonight pointer finger numb and shoulder burning again. HELP.
Could this be Rheumatoid? Shoulder injury pressing on nerve? EMG said no nerve compression. I don't think Fibro is generalized-we don't have pain one day for nothing! My body is telling me something. More stress aggrevates-but I type a lot at work and they said no carpal. I'm so lost. Any orthopedic doc that would actually feel my shoulder and press and move it and feel around? Isn't that normal??
2 Responses
Avatar universal
I'm sorry for all your pain and for the frustrating search for answers. It sounds to me like your doctor(s) are doing due diligence in ruling out other possibilities. It can take awhile to get a diagnosis sometimes. Since my first symptoms I have had this autoimmune disease for 20 years and still don't have an exact name to call it. So I understand your frustration! The thing is autoimmune diseases can look like one thing, but then end up actually being something else quite similar. Rheumys don't like to pin a label on it prematurely and then later change the label if the disease is not clearly presenting itself in symptoms and bloodwork. (I was diagnosed 16 years ago with RA then 6 years ago told nope not RA just something undiagnosed. Then I heard from my PCP a year ago that "he believes it is RA".) The important thing is that your rheumatologist is listening and treating you for your symptoms. And then of course that the treatment is working! If it's not let them know because not every treatment works for every person. I encourage you to press them for whatever answers or explanations they'll give you. If you're not satisfied go get another opinion there's no harm in that!
I really hope you find relief and answers!
1693900 tn?1306296819
Thank you for the advice and refocus! I'm on Cymbalta and it started to work last Thursday... yeah! Pain was down to one finger and then next day none. Still wake up a little stiff in fingers... but maybe the anxiety lessening plus the meds on week 4 have helped finally. Fibro is probably what it since this is working... but I still would like a clear diagnosis. Thank you so much!
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