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12-27-2017, 02:25 PM   #13381
Izzie
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Izzie, it could ďjustĒ be extreme sensitivity to cold. Have you had your thyroid checked? I think hypothyroidism can cause people to become extremely sensitive to the cold. If your fingers or toes were turning blue (or white or red) then Iíd suggest Raynaud syndrome but it doesnít sound like that. Are you anemic? People with anemia are often more sensitive to the cold. My Mom doesnít seem to be in pain with it, but she has always been cold, even during the summertime. Sorry not to be of more help.

How is the pain and/or reflux? Any better?
It's calmed down but I still have burning. It doesn't seem to be reflux though, since it doesn't seem to be triggered by "reflux triggers". Eating triggers it, but not from acid, I don't think. Could be my motility issue causing problems...
12-28-2017, 10:47 AM   #13382
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Has anyone tried tart cherry for joint pain (specifically osteoarthritis)? If so, did it work?

I was doing research to explore my options before going to the rheumatologist again on 1/12 and really want to stay away from narcotics as much as possible - they help but I definitely don't want to become addicted and I don't like the GI side effects (if you know what I mean). Anyway, I read quite a bit on Celebrex and may discuss that with her but I also read on HealthLine that tart cherry can help quite a few forms of arthritis. I went on Amazon and was looking at the various supplements and spotted one that is 2500mg and so many people said it was very helpful for arthritis pain. I'm all for natural stuff that doesn't interact with my other medications.
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12-28-2017, 01:14 PM   #13383
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We have tried Tumeric and fish oil for my daughters, for inflammatory arthritis. We did not notice any difference.

Generally narcotics are not used for osteoarthritis except in very severe cases. They would use Celebrex and Tylenol first and try procedures like a steroid injection into the affected joint (in your case, I think it was facet joints). Radiofrequency ablation is another procedure that can be used if the steroid shots are successful.

Physical therapy should also help with pain.
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dx with JIA at 14
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12-28-2017, 03:05 PM   #13384
Izzie
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I got the all clear from a nurse to remove all dressings from my incision today! Yes! I've had tape on me for 5 weeks straight I'm over it. It looks super ugly, though. The staple marks are totally going to scar and are here to stay. I was hoping that this wouldn't really bother me but it actually does really bother me. It looks brutal and ugly and red and just... yeah. I don't like it. If it fades to white with time I'll tolerate it probably but right now I really hate it.
12-28-2017, 10:35 PM   #13385
MissLeopard83
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We have tried Tumeric and fish oil for my daughters, for inflammatory arthritis. We did not notice any difference.

Generally narcotics are not used for osteoarthritis except in very severe cases. They would use Celebrex and Tylenol first and try procedures like a steroid injection into the affected joint (in your case, I think it was facet joints). Radiofrequency ablation is another procedure that can be used if the steroid shots are successful.

Physical therapy should also help with pain.
Tylenol Arthritis seems to be helping more than regular Tylenol because it is time-released and higher dose. I did buy some tart cherry juice (real juice, not sugar filled stuff) at Target to try - I figured it couldn't hurt. I knew turmeric didn't work because I tried it a couple months ago and noticed absolutely no difference whatsoever. The facet joints are one area that is affected that we know of but I will get the results of the lower back and pelvic x-rays soon (hopefully, tomorrow) to know if there is any confirmed damage there by the radiologist report.
12-28-2017, 10:40 PM   #13386
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I got the all clear from a nurse to remove all dressings from my incision today! Yes! I've had tape on me for 5 weeks straight I'm over it. It looks super ugly, though. The staple marks are totally going to scar and are here to stay. I was hoping that this wouldn't really bother me but it actually does really bother me. It looks brutal and ugly and red and just... yeah. I don't like it. If it fades to white with time I'll tolerate it probably but right now I really hate it.
I could not wait for my stitches to dissolve, either, so I totally understand! It's like you want to yell, "FREEDOM!" LOL! It will take time for the scars to heal. Once they are completely closed up, you might want to ask your doctor if you can use something like Mederma or Bio-Oil (not sure if they have it in Sweden) which helps scars heal. Applying lotion can sometimes help. I have some stretch marks on my belly due to my PCOS (it's a common symptom of the disorder) and they started out ugly and red/purple but now the old ones are a very light white color. It'll probably take some getting used to, but give yourself time to heal.
12-28-2017, 10:44 PM   #13387
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Tylenol Arthritis seems to be helping more than regular Tylenol because it is time-released and higher dose. I did buy some tart cherry juice (real juice, not sugar filled stuff) at Target to try - I figured it couldn't hurt. I knew turmeric didn't work because I tried it a couple months ago and noticed absolutely no difference whatsoever. The facet joints are one area that is affected that we know of but I will get the results of the lower back and pelvic x-rays soon (hopefully, tomorrow) to know if there is any confirmed damage there by the radiologist report.
Injections might really help for facet joint arthritis. If you do have any arthritis in your lumbar spine, then of course it will depend on whether your rheumatologist thinks it is inflammatory or degenerative. If it's osteoarthritis then a series of injections might help.

If it's inflammatory, then obviously you need to treat the disease.

Fwiw, based on the cervical spine x-ray results you posted, it doesn't sound like there are any signs of AS. You would see different damage if there were. But of course, the pelvic x-rays will tell you more and really an MRI would be best to rule out SpA altogether.
12-28-2017, 10:52 PM   #13388
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Injections might really help for facet joint arthritis. If you do have any arthritis in your lumbar spine, then of course it will depend on whether your rheumatologist thinks it is inflammatory or degenerative. If it's osteoarthritis then a series of injections might help.

If it's inflammatory, then obviously you need to treat the disease.

Fwiw, based on the cervical spine x-ray results you posted, it doesn't sound like there are any signs of AS. You would see different damage if there were. But of course, the pelvic x-rays will tell you more and really an MRI would be best to rule out SpA altogether.
Yeah, it sounds like plain osteoarthritis to me, too. Of course, since RA runs in my family, I will get the lab work just to be sure, but I'm hoping for non-autoimmune arthritis. I know OA is degenerative, but my research has shown that it progresses slower so I hope that with diet, exercise, physical therapy, and medical treatments, I'll be able to live mostly pain-free. It sucks being 34 and having to deal with chronic pain, but some days are better than others (like today, for instance) and so I live for those days.

I'm working on changing my diet so I'm eating less inflammatory foods (I'm looking into the Mediterranean diet since it has so many helpful benefits; my GI also recommended the South Beach protocol but the Mediterranean diet sounds more sustainable instead of yo-yo-ing up and down). My first endeavor is getting off of soda. So far, it's going well!
12-28-2017, 11:08 PM   #13389
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RA tends not to affect the lower back and SI joints...it's very rarely found there. So I wouldn't really worry about that. SpA is what affects the lumbar spine and SI joints and it sounds like you have no family history of SpA. RA and SpA are entirely different diseases, although both are types of inflammatory arthritis.

Osteoarthritis is painful but easier to deal with my husband has found. Like you said, things like physical therapy and diet and weight loss can make a really big difference. A pain management specialist could also help if all that does not - they are usually the ones who do injections into the facet joints.

There is some new research that suggests that certain antidepressants like Cymbalta or anticonvulsants like Lyrica may help with osteoarthritis pain. They are both approved for fibromyalgia pain too.

My daughter takes Gabapentin to help with chronic pain.
12-29-2017, 11:19 AM   #13390
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Ugh, another day of burning and lump in throat feeling.

I've noticed that my family and loved ones no longer really have any empathy towards me and seem to be thinking I'm exaggerating or that it's "all in my head". To them, I've had surgery and should be all better. If I mention having a bad day or symptoms at all, I get eye rolls in response. It makes me a bit sad.

Trying to be patient as I am still healing. Had coffee today which according to my surgeon I'm allowed to have but it does NOT work - I get heartburn immediately - so that's a no-go. I think caffeine in general is a huge trigger for me that I should avoid permanently.

What are your New Years plans?

I'm planning on just staying home by myself in my apartment and just taking it easy. I'm in no mood for more holiday parties. I'm going to really enjoy the time to myself.
12-29-2017, 02:26 PM   #13391
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Izzie, I think itís really hard for those who have never experienced severe chronic pain to understand its effects. Iíve had daily migraines for almost 20 years, beginning with the birth of my third child and when my older two were 20 months and 3 1/2 years old. My husband never understood what that was like (one of the reasons we are separated even though we remain good friends). He just couldnít see why I went to bed early or slept when the kids were napping. I think he thought they felt like a regular headache: uncomfortable and annoying. But chronic pain is way more than annoying.

Most people have heartburn that gets better with food or simple medication. They have no idea how it could hurt youóand depress youóso much. I write this not to excuse them, just to tell you I understand and that your family may never understand unless they experience what you are going through.

As for my New Yearís plans, Iíll probably cook something special and have a quiet night.
12-29-2017, 02:49 PM   #13392
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deleted for inaccurate post

Last edited by MissLeopard83; 12-29-2017 at 06:45 PM.
12-29-2017, 04:56 PM   #13393
Izzie
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Izzie, I think itís really hard for those who have never experienced severe chronic pain to understand its effects. Iíve had daily migraines for almost 20 years, beginning with the birth of my third child and when my older two were 20 months and 3 1/2 years old. My husband never understood what that was like (one of the reasons we are separated even though we remain good friends). He just couldnít see why I went to bed early or slept when the kids were napping. I think he thought they felt like a regular headache: uncomfortable and annoying. But chronic pain is way more than annoying.

Most people have heartburn that gets better with food or simple medication. They have no idea how it could hurt youóand depress youóso much. I write this not to excuse them, just to tell you I understand and that your family may never understand unless they experience what you are going through.

As for my New Yearís plans, Iíll probably cook something special and have a quiet night.
This is true. It's a fine line because you don't want your pain to consume your entire life and outlook, but sometimes when it's bad that's exactly what it does. I'm still trying to find balance with the mental aspect of chronic disease. Thinking about it too much and comparing your "new normal" with what it was like to be pain-free and healthy is really disheartening and doesn't make anything better I've found. But it's hard not to go down that road. Takes active work. Still something I need to work on.

Sometimes, I'll not even have pain that's that bad, just a twinge, but I'll get stuck in the depressive loop of "normal people don't have to feel this discomfort all the time. Even if it's decent for me healthy people still feel much better than I do now. What if I'm never going to feel good like a normal healthy person ever again." And then you've gone and made yourself clinically depressed
12-29-2017, 06:16 PM   #13394
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This is true. It's a fine line because you don't want your pain to consume your entire life and outlook, but sometimes when it's bad that's exactly what it does. I'm still trying to find balance with the mental aspect of chronic disease. Thinking about it too much and comparing your "new normal" with what it was like to be pain-free and healthy is really disheartening and doesn't make anything better I've found. But it's hard not to go down that road. Takes active work. Still something I need to work on.

Sometimes, I'll not even have pain that's that bad, just a twinge, but I'll get stuck in the depressive loop of "normal people don't have to feel this discomfort all the time. Even if it's decent for me healthy people still feel much better than I do now. What if I'm never going to feel good like a normal healthy person ever again." And then you've gone and made yourself clinically depressed
Never give up on finding health.

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Diagnosed in 1990. On Humira, Imuran, Gabapentin, Colestipol, Synthroid, Lialda. Resection in April of 2010. Allergic to Remicade, Penicillin, Flagyl, Doxycycline. Thyroid issues and psoriasis and neuropathy and mild cerebral palsy. Mild arthritis in my lower back.
12-29-2017, 06:46 PM   #13395
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RA tends not to affect the lower back and SI joints...it's very rarely found there. So I wouldn't really worry about that. SpA is what affects the lumbar spine and SI joints and it sounds like you have no family history of SpA. RA and SpA are entirely different diseases, although both are types of inflammatory arthritis.

Osteoarthritis is painful but easier to deal with my husband has found. Like you said, things like physical therapy and diet and weight loss can make a really big difference. A pain management specialist could also help if all that does not - they are usually the ones who do injections into the facet joints.

There is some new research that suggests that certain antidepressants like Cymbalta or anticonvulsants like Lyrica may help with osteoarthritis pain. They are both approved for fibromyalgia pain too.

My daughter takes Gabapentin to help with chronic pain.
I got the results of my lower back and pelvis x-rays. This is the radiologist's report on the pelvis:

FINDINGS: Intact bony pelvis. Bone mineralization appears normal. No evidence of fracture or dislocation involving the right or left hip. No significant degenerative changes.

IMPRESSION: No evidence of fracture or dislocation.


For the lower back:

FINDINGS: Diminished lumbar spine lordotic curvature. Vertebral body heights maintained. No evidence of fracture or subluxation. Pedicles intact. No bone destruction. Bifid L5 spinous process. Mild degenerative disc disease changes at L3-4, L4-5. Facet joint degenerative changes at L4-5, L5-S1 No spondylolysis. No spondylolisthesis.

IMPRESSION:

Mild degenerative disc changes at L3-4, L4-5.
Facet joint degenerative changes at L4-5, L5-S1.


Not sure what all of it means, but I guess I have facet joint issues. I got a lot of reading to do. This explains a LOT.
12-29-2017, 07:30 PM   #13396
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Finding this post was such a godsend today! I have been really feeling like I am loosing my mind! All of my blood work seems to come back ok or my doctor sends me to be referred and they tell me it's going to be months to get in to see a doctor. I have always had issues with using the bathroom namely up until recently I couldn't go on my own and had to take miralax ect to go. Now I'm having the opposite problem and every time I eat I either vomit or get diarrhea. I am 32 and seemingly healthy if you just look at me, however, if you know me you know there are days when I feel like my body is surrounded by quick sand and everything feels like a struggle! I have finally got a dr who is trying to help but lately my results seem ok. I did just get back a positive ana panel and found out that my pain in my hand is from a negative olnar variance. So I am getting somewhere but it's just hard sometimes to keep positive. Just before the holidays I spent a day at the er only to go home with some pain and nausea meds and told my doctor should set up a scope and scan. I never realized that you had to request so much be done at an er or dr office. But from the advice of others now I know some of what I need to be asking for and hopefully will find something out soon. I have always had trouble loosing weight [I'm normal for my height according to my bmi] but lately my weight is on a nice decline averaging about 10lbs a month since Sept of this year.
12-29-2017, 07:58 PM   #13397
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FINDINGS: Intact bony pelvis. Bone mineralization appears normal. No evidence of fracture or dislocation involving the right or left hip. No significant degenerative changes.

IMPRESSION: No evidence of fracture or dislocation.

For the lower back:

FINDINGS: Diminished lumbar spine lordotic curvature. Vertebral body heights maintained. No evidence of fracture or subluxation. Pedicles intact. No bone destruction. Bifid L5 spinous process. Mild degenerative disc disease changes at L3-4, L4-5. Facet joint degenerative changes at L4-5, L5-S1 No spondylolysis. No spondylolisthesis.

IMPRESSION:

Mild degenerative disc changes at L3-4, L4-5.
Facet joint degenerative changes at L4-5, L5-S1.

Not sure what all of it means, but I guess I have facet joint issues. I got a lot of reading to do. This explains a LOT.
It means you have mild facet joint arthritis in your lumbar spine. Not too bad. No signs of AS. You can't really rule out SpA without an MRI, but if your rheumatologist feels like your symptoms and clinical exam do not point to SpA, then I would believe her.

It looks like mild osteoarthritis in your lumbar spine. Very common. Lower back pain is one of the most common complaints doctors hear. There is a lot of debate about the best way to treat it.

Some doctors use injections - steroid injections directly into the facet joints. There is also radiofrequency ablation, which burns the nerves in that area. That is only done after steroid shots have been successful (if they are successful).

The less invasive treatments that I would try first are PT and NSAIDs. Ice and heat for your back.
12-30-2017, 12:11 PM   #13398
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It means you have mild facet joint arthritis in your lumbar spine. Not too bad. No signs of AS. You can't really rule out SpA without an MRI, but if your rheumatologist feels like your symptoms and clinical exam do not point to SpA, then I would believe her.

It looks like mild osteoarthritis in your lumbar spine. Very common. Lower back pain is one of the most common complaints doctors hear. There is a lot of debate about the best way to treat it.

Some doctors use injections - steroid injections directly into the facet joints. There is also radiofrequency ablation, which burns the nerves in that area. That is only done after steroid shots have been successful (if they are successful).

The less invasive treatments that I would try first are PT and NSAIDs. Ice and heat for your back.
Of course, I'm going to talk to my rheumy to see what she thinks, but I have been looking at doctors who specialize in osteoarthritis of the spine. I found a really great doctor who is covered by my HMO and he receives excellent ratings. The ironic thing is I was just looking at my rheumy's profile again thru the medical group and she is the only rheumy in the group that specializes in osteoarthritis, so I'm hoping she will give some good advice.

Also, I'm wondering if I have the same OA thing going on in my thoracic spine as that is the only portion that hasn't been x-rayed. I don't want so much radiation, though, so I don't know if I should get that done. I know MRIs can pick up changes without creating so much radiation, so that's a possibility. Anyway, I still need to get to the lab but it's difficult to get there. They don't have convenient hours to work around my job schedule.
12-30-2017, 12:21 PM   #13399
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There is no radiation at with MRIs. But they are much more expensive and some insurance companies will require x-rays first.

I don't know how much more an MRI would tell you - it sounds like there is a reason for your pain that the x-rays have already identified. I would only do an MRI if it would change the treatment plan and I think at this stage, it is very unlikely to.
12-30-2017, 12:47 PM   #13400
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There is no radiation at with MRIs. But they are much more expensive and some insurance companies will require x-rays first.

I don't know how much more an MRI would tell you - it sounds like there is a reason for your pain that the x-rays have already identified. I would only do an MRI if it would change the treatment plan and I think at this stage, it is very unlikely to.
I'm not very familiar with protocol so I'll defer to my doctor(s). But, I do appreciate input as some of you have more experience dealing with arthritis and similar conditions than I do. I'm not happy I have OA, but it could be worse, so I'm focusing on that.
12-30-2017, 02:54 PM   #13401
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Yes, I'd just check with your doctors. OA is no fun, but it can be managed.

The other thing I'd ask is if the doctor thinks that the pain you're feeling is coming from the OA. A lot of people have some degree of OA and degenerative disc disease without having any symptoms - it is just part of normal aging. It could be, for example, that you have a combination of fibromyalgia and OA.

Just something else to discuss with your doctor. I'm glad she specializes in OA - that should help. Usually a pain management specialist or physiatrist is also helpful in case you need procedures like joint injections into the spine.
12-30-2017, 11:37 PM   #13402
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Yes, I'd just check with your doctors. OA is no fun, but it can be managed.

The other thing I'd ask is if the doctor thinks that the pain you're feeling is coming from the OA. A lot of people have some degree of OA and degenerative disc disease without having any symptoms - it is just part of normal aging. It could be, for example, that you have a combination of fibromyalgia and OA.

Just something else to discuss with your doctor. I'm glad she specializes in OA - that should help. Usually a pain management specialist or physiatrist is also helpful in case you need procedures like joint injections into the spine.
I read in a few instances that OA and fibromyalgia can often be comorbid conditions, but that OA can cause chronic fatigue if unmanaged or not managed correctly. The spine doctor I hope to see does injections so that is a viable option - just need to see what they recommend.

In other news, my tendonitis in my right arm is flaring again. 2 nights ago, I accidentally hurt my arm by trying to support myself while getting up - my hand slipped out from under me on the carpet. Now, I have a knot near my elbow and it's very sore. It hurts every time I pick something up using that arm. I found my wrist brace and it's helping some, thankfully, by stabilizing my arm. Hopefully, it will get better in the next few days. Gotta stop hurting myself...
01-01-2018, 12:45 PM   #13403
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Right on time: another bad flare.

I get a week here and there in between and then we're off again. Just as bad every time. It's exhausting, when I get a few good weeks I think hey, this time it's probably it and it's not going to happen again. But every time it does.

The only think that helps when it's like this is to stop eating for a few days. Just stop eating and drinking anything but water altogether. And then I feel better, start eating more normally, get a few weeks and then it's back to this. It makes no sense.

I'm tempted to continue tapering off the meds to see if they contribute to this since I've had reactions to PPIs before, but also if it's NOT a reaction but something reflux-like and I stop the meds, I'll get so much worse.

I'm just desperate. Really none of the pain meds I've gotten from the hospital even touches this burning, and I've been to the ER with it twice and got sent home without any help so I'm just not up for going back there. I just have to put up with it until it goes away and it's excruciating.
01-03-2018, 10:33 AM   #13404
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My back has been hurting the last few days - especially today - due to the colder weather. It feels really tight and sore. I tried doing stretches but that just aggravated it further. It's definitely not happy.

Also, my stomach and intestines have been acting up the last few days. My NYR was to be healthier and my first step was getting off diet soda altogether. Ever since weaning off, I've had a LOT of GI symptoms, including nausea, diarrhea, gas, and cramping. Zofran has come to the rescue twice because I think I built up a tolerance to the Donnatal - the 5mL dose doesn't work as well anymore. Zofran, however, slows everything down, so then I'm left to deal with constipation. I don't regret getting off diet soda and artificial sweeteners but it sucks dealing with the consequences. I switched to tea, instead, since tea has a lot of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory benefits.
01-07-2018, 02:13 AM   #13405
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Well, Vitamin D was 11. Other labs all ok. Does anyone have periods where they have clear to slightly stool stained mucous and lots of gas? I have this every so oftern, I think Iíve had an accident but itís just mucous. No pain but if I remember correctly last time it started off two weeks and a loss of 11 lbs. fun times. Colonoscopy,y is scheduled in about two weeks. And found out heís using a Peds scope on me. Nurse said that means based on clinical records the likelihood is there for issues. My ileum is enlarged per CT this summer when I was sick after allergy to peaches. Shut me down almost completely for about two weeks.
01-09-2018, 12:45 AM   #13406
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Welcome Farmgirl,

I used to have excess mucous and gas with loose bowel movements when flaring. It usually meant something was inflamed. Good luck with everything and be sure to keep us updated.


Best regards,

Chris
01-09-2018, 02:38 AM   #13407
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Thanks Chris. Yes, that seems to be the rule. Abdominal pain, generally very tired, aching joints, then the mucous and or bloody mucously stool or two. Oh and mouth sores. Today was bloody mucousy stool day and abdominal pain day. I appreciate the reply and hope your day was good, thanks!
01-10-2018, 06:49 PM   #13408
Izzie
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Hi everyone!

I hope you're all doing as well as you possibly can. A brief update on my current health: still having pain and burning in the chest/espohagus. Nothing really seems to help other than not eating. It comes and goes, and the good days are pretty good. The bad days really suck. I've also developed an abscessed tooth so I'll be having surgery for that in a month, just what I wanted even more surgery

Been having lower abdominal pain as well, some attacks of terrible cramping. I suspect bowel adhesions from the operation, but I'm just waiting and keeping an eye on it hoping it resolves on its own.

Incision site is healing well, though the whole affair has left me with a really terribly large scar. It's widened significantly as well and the marks from staples remain and are here to stay, I think. I'm starting to make peace with it though, sometimes I even like it. Call it my war wound
01-10-2018, 09:55 PM   #13409
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Hi everyone. I didnít have internet for a couple weeks, so I had a lot of reading to do. Now Iím all caught up on everyoneís posts, but Iím pretty sure I forgot basically everything that was said....

Leslie - Welcome! It sounds like youíre close to getting some answers. I sure hope so! Iím so glad youíve found a doctor who wants to help you. Keep us posted!

MissLeopard - You wrote this a while ago, but itís what stuck out to me.....you mentioned that you were at church and you felt a sudden, intense fatigue/tiredness. That happens to me sometimes! And not only is it uncomfortable and sucky, but I think itís kind of scary too. Iíve been sooo tired lately. Iím always tired, but itís been even worse lately. If I donít get like 9 hours of sleep, I canít function and I have to take a nap. And even when I do get 9+ hours, Iím still so tired! My body has been hurting more too.

Izzie - Itís just one thing after another with you! Iím so sorry. I donít even know what to say. I want to say that I hope things get better for you soon, but sometimes I get annoyed when people say stuff like that to me. So just know Iím thinking of you!

Thereís nothing new to report for me. Doctors suck. Being sick sucks. Just the usual....
01-11-2018, 11:31 AM   #13410
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MissLeopard - You wrote this a while ago, but itís what stuck out to me.....you mentioned that you were at church and you felt a sudden, intense fatigue/tiredness. That happens to me sometimes! And not only is it uncomfortable and sucky, but I think itís kind of scary too. Iíve been sooo tired lately. Iím always tired, but itís been even worse lately. If I donít get like 9 hours of sleep, I canít function and I have to take a nap. And even when I do get 9+ hours, Iím still so tired! My body has been hurting more too.
It is scary! I was just sitting in the pew listening to the priest preach his homily and this overwhelming sense of fatigue hit me HARD. I was serving as communion minister that day, too, and was scared of serving because I was so out of it.

Anyway, my appointment with the rheumatologist is tomorrow and I finally got the blood work done yesterday, so it's not going to be ready by my appointment, unfortunately. I'm not sure if she'll want me to come back in or we can discuss the results over the phone, but I'll find out. I'm going to ask about pain management options for my osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia. I'm also going to ask about a possible skin/mucous membrane biopsy to completely rule out Sjogren's syndrome. During my reading about rheumatoid arthritis, it came up as a possibility and I have quite a few of the symptoms. I think someone here was diagnosed with it? If you're reading this, how did you get your diagnosis? I'm wondering if it's a possibility due to having these symptoms that match:
  • GERD
  • Chronic dry cough
  • Joint/muscle pain
  • Dry eyes
  • Dry nose (bled a lot as a kid/still get nosebleeds)
  • Dry skin (I put lotion on ALL the time and still feel dry
  • Dry mouth (have gotten 2 cavities because of it and have receding gums)
  • Voice hoarseness
  • Fatigue

It also says it can affect the GI tract and cause constipation issues and GERD/acid reflux. I know most of the blood work was done for autoimmune disorders but I read that you can be sero-negative and still have an AI disorder.

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