- CASE FILE
Chronic Pain, Fatigue, and Weakness with flare ups
ABOUT THIS CASE FILE
Since February 2015 I have had progressively worsening issues. I have issues with numbness and tingling in my hands and feet. This is often brought on without warning or obvious explanation. I have sharp stabbing pains that come and go. The duration of the stabbing pains varies from a few seconds to 6-7 minutes. The pain can strike anywhere and comes without warning. Less frequently, I have electric shocking pain in my legs. Physical exertion and heat are triggers that cause flare ups. Flare ups usually consist of difficulty walking (balance and stability issues), the sharp stabbing pains flare more frequently and more intensely, fatigue that hits like a wave that makes moving difficult, and cognitive issues where it is very difficult to focus. Some flare ups are predictable, if I spend too much time working in the yard or on a project around the house, I can feel the flare up starting. Other flare ups come without warning.
I was an Army Captain on Active Duty when I first started noticing symptoms. I had just returned from Kuwait and I was in very good shape physically, I had been able to run an Army 10 mile shadow run. Since the initial onset of the symptoms, I have been diagnosed with Chronic Exertional Compartment Syndrome, Degenerative Disc Disease, Fibromyalgia, IBS, and Diverticulitis. I went to the emergency room during a recent flare up where I couldn’t walk and was stuck in bed for 2 days. The ER checked my bloodwork and did an MRI of the brain. They ruled out dehydration and MS and I was sent home without answers. I have been told the flare up is not consistent with Fibromyalgia as the pains are sharp stabbing pains and the balance and stability are not generally related to Fibromyalgia. I met with my Rheumatologist after the ER visit. My last few blood tests have had high hemoglobin levels, and he suggested that polycythemia may be likely. He also suggested that some of my issues may be related to carpal tunnel and Joint Hypermobility Syndrome. I would like to find answers to what is causing the constant pain. I would like to find out if I can prevent or minimize the flare ups. I am a father to 4 beautiful children and it is hard to constantly be limited in what I can do because I don’t want to cause a flare up or because I am in to much pain and discomfort. Little things like a trip to the zoo, take a toll on me that make it very difficult to be fully involved in my children’s activities.