I have tried various doctors over the years with no diagnosis. One of the positive tests I had in the past was for scleroderma but then it wasn't positive the next test so my primary care physician said it was probably a fluke. This past weekend I had what I will call a flare up. These flare ups are increasing in number and this recent one scared me so I thought I would post here to see if someone may be able to point me in the right direction. I'm 38 and in good shape physically.
I tanned on Wednesday and Friday (needed for work...not something I do for personal asthetics) of this past week and felt particularly tired Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and need a nap after work each day. Friday night I felt very weak and went to bed early. Saturday morning I was very fatigued, even more weak and with pain throughout my body but had to drive my son to his driver's ed class. I got back and went to bed. When I woke up around noon I was in intense pain from my head to my toes. My joints, bones and skin hurt. My skin felt like someone was cutting me with razor blades. Every joint in my body felt like someone had pounded on each one with a hammer.
I have experienced this in the past, including a month or so ago, but I always thought it was an intense flu because I may have had a minor cold or got one after the flare up. This time there were no cold or flu symptoms so it got me worried. No over-the-counter medication affected the pain, even at double doses. The pain didn't start to subside until Sunday night. Today is Monday and while my joints are still painful, my overall pain is nowhere near what it was. As for triggers, besides the tanning, I had one alcoholic beverage (an extreme rarity for me), I had worked out on Friday and I am under a fairly decent amount of stress that I try to control/reduce as best I can.
Even though I am quite strong (I am a former powerlifting champion and try to stay in decent shape), I have overall fatigue and have days where I can barely climb a set of stairs. Over the years, my blood work has been all over the place. I'll be high one test then back to normal the next. I've had frequently high liver enzymes and BUN - BUN/Creatinine levels, shown positive for HEP C antibodies, positive for scleroderma, had high B vitamin levels and high iron levels indicating hemochromatosis. I don't take a multivitamin normally because they affect my sleep so the high numbers aren't from supplements. I've had diarrhea my whole life, particularly after foods with fructose. My hands and feet are always cold. I don't do anything other than shower without having at a minimum of socks on my feet. Overall, I am very sensitive to cold and get extreme shaking when others are comfortable. I used to work in an office and had to wear a jacket and have a heater at my feet. I've had a distended belly my whole life and sore internal organs upon palpation. I don't seem to have any telltale signs of scleroderma or lupus - no rashes or tight skin. I do seem to be getting more and more small white spots over my entire body, about the size of freckles, that seem waxy or hard in nature but is that from getting older? I don't know.
I am a single father who doesn't have insurance. I have to be there for my son since we have no family within 800 miles. This episode this weekend scared me and really made me realize I need to figure this out, once and for all, so that I can figure out what I need to do to prevent flare ups and increase my overall energy so that I can work more and be there for my son. If anyone has any thoughts or resources, I am all ears. I'm thinking of trying to get charity care and seeing a rheumatologist but I don't know if that is the right doctor for my issues. Again, any direction you may have is definitely appreciated. I've seen many doctors in the past who throw up their hands and say they don't have a clue. I get frustrated and stop seeing doctors until I'm feeling super rundown and then try all over again with the same results. The only specialists I've seen in the past were gastroenterologists. A huge thank you to everyone for your input.