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Can anyone help?

I am a 35 year old female who is struggling with my health. In my teenage years I dealt with quite a bit of joint pain in my knees and hands but nothing ever got me down. I was ambitious and active but I did deal with lots of stress. Fast forward to my mid 20’s. I had an 60lb weight gain, dealt with depression and anxiety but still continued to work and stay as normal as I could. When I was 28 I sought help for my depression and anxiety. Things started looking up. I got active and started running. I lost almost 70 lbs and never felt so good mentally and physically despite some chronic knee pain (I thought was due to running). By 30 my knee pain was extreme, I was falling when my left knee would catch and finally had an arthroscopy to find out what was wrong. After non weight baring for a month, my left leg had completely atrophied and I was weak and discouraged. I rushed back to work because mentally I needed to stay active. I limped around on that leg that aches an was constantly swollen for over a year. By 2016 I started noticing this tiredness that wouldn’t go away. I would wake up tired and by mid afternoon I was completely wiped. My hands started to cramp up and seize while I was working. I am employed at my local hospital as a sterile processor, a dietary aid and a house keeper. I really started struggling with cleaning small instruments and scopes due to my hands cramping. I was diagnosed with trigger finger in my left index and had some cortisone shots. I did have surgery for this last year. By 2017 I woke up one morning with this feeling that something was stuck in my throat. I have not had one day since that I had any relief from this. I started getting waves of vertigo, this too comes and goes almost every day since. In the spring of 2018 I injured my back transferring a patient in the OR. Instant pain that I have had no relief of since. I was booked off work and WCB covered me. X-Ray showed Spina Bifida Occult in my L5. MRI revealed only a disc bulge with an annular tear in my L3-4 with some mild narrowing of the spine. My L4-5 has a diffuse disc bulge, also with a tear that flattens the anterior of the thecal sac. Also some narrowing secondary to extension of the disc. I was told this isn’t a big deal and was put into treatment for a return to work. During treatment I started getting major joint pain and swelling in my knees. My hips were flared up, my elbows ached and burnt constantly my neck was seized, my wrists were achy and painful and my second toe on my left foot was constantly swollen and sore. I had numbness and tingling in my left leg, a constant throbbing in my left buttock and my back pain usually sat at a 5. My muscles were extremely sore and tight all over my body, feels like an elastic band stretched so tight it’s about to break. I started feeling weak and nauseous when I’d be out in the heat. My heart raced steady, day and night. And I was hospitalized for a major flare up, of what I found out was, diverticulitis. I had a CT and colonoscopy that showed moderate diverticulosis a 4.5cm pericardial heart cyst and extreme pain with the scope that was consistent with IBS. I continue to struggle daily with my stomach. Fluctuating between chronic constipation and diarrhea also constant bloating and abdominal pain. I had 2 positive Fit tests (blood in my stool). Sometimes large clots in my stool. In 2019 I started having major eye issues. Lots of floaters, my eyes are sore and tired, my eyes twitch back and forth very quickly when I’m focusing and I see stars. The stars started with big explosive events. Now I see static like starts constantly every day, with periodic busts. I see big blotches of colour like greens and yellows. I have on and off chest pain, gets worse with activity. I get big sudden busts of pain in my abdomen and back that takes my breath away but only lasts less than 20 seconds. I trip over my words, I’m clumsy. My left foot is often swollen and it turns dark purple. I usually notice this when I am cold. When I start to warm up, my toes turn white. My hands continue to cramp and flare up. My back pain is constant as is a deep achy burning numbness in my left leg. I have constant headaches, sometimes so bad that I’m nauseous and sensitive to light. My skin is sensitive. A simple scratch or bump causes so much pain it takes my breath away. My BP is on and off high, averaging 130/90. My ears ring steady. I have constant waves of tingles that run down my back through my buttocks and down both legs every single day. Muscle tension and weakness has remained. Holding my hands over my head for longer than 10 seconds is almost unbearable as is walking up stairs or getting out of bed or getting up from a seated position. My muscles twitch and spasm often. I periodically get burning tingles in my jaw or chin. I am itchy. So itchy in fact that it sometimes drives me completely mental. I get night sweats. And when I get big flare up of my joints and stomach I get a raised red rash on my cheeks and across my nose. This has happened about 3 times over the last year.

I am still on disability. Every single day I push myself to go on the treadmill (sometimes I can only go for 10-15 minutes at a time) usually I try and do 1 hour total. I do strengthening exercises for my core, legs and arms. I also do light stretching for at least an hour. My goal is always 1500 steps a day. With activity everything flares. And stretching never helps but I am so worried my body is going to completely seize up. My motto is “a body in motion, stays in motion”. I want so badly to keep active but I am struggling so badly with all these symptoms that I have such a hard time staying positive. After my exercise daily, I always have to lay down with my legs up. My muscles seize completely. I never sleep. I’m always in pain.

I have been diagnosed with chronic tachycardia, high BP, Chronic pain Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, IBS, and moderate diverticulosis.

I’m waiting for bloodwork for Lymes, celiacs, CBC, CRP, ESR. I did a fecal calprotein and am waiting for a scope to make sure I don’t have Crohns or colitis. I take a lot of Advil and Tylenol. I was just put on Lyrica to try and start to regulate pain. I have been prescribed hydromorph 5mg for pain but cannot take it because it causes such awful constipation.

I am 35 years old, 145 lbs, and 5'4. I have worked extremely hard to live an active and healthy life. I feel far to young to be dealing with all of this, I am exhausted and frustrated. I want so badly to have a normal life and to stay positive but my ability to be active has almost complete vanished. Every day seems to get a bit more difficult.

Can anyone help?
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Avatar universal
Get checked for a condition called May-Thurner Syndrome or Iliac Vein Compression Syndrome. I was diagnosed with MTS about 4 years ago and it can cause all of the problems you’re having. I would recommend joining a May-Thurner Syndrome support group on Facebook on how to properly get checked for MTS. Hope this might help as I know from experience very few doctors understand this condition.
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Thank you for your comment. I will look into this.
May-Thurner syndrome is typically seen in young to middle-aged women and presents with unilateral left leg swelling, pain, and aching +/- venous stasis and ulcers. This condition is caused by compression of the left common iliac vein by the right common iliac artery. If you want to rule out May-Thurner syndrome and/or peripheral arterial disease, consider CTA or MRA runoff.
In your prior post, you mentioned that you already had a CT abdomen/pelvis to diagnose diverticulosis/diverticulitis. Consider having the ordering doctor ask the interpreting doctor (radiologist) to take a second look at your prior CT to see if there was any obvious compression of the left common iliac vein. This would allow you to rule out May-Thurner and save time and money!
Thank you CHIN_C. That is a totally valid suggestion.
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