I hope it's OK to post here without a definite diagnosis. I'm a 33-year-old woman, and my doctor suspects I have some kind of inflammatory arthritis. I've had a dodgy knee for years, but was fobbed off by a previous doctor, and the pain came and went, so I didn't do anything about it.
But about 6 weeks ago the pain came back, joined by the opposite ankle, aching all over my shoulders and, recently, the remaining knee and ankle. (Oh and, as of yesterday, my fingers and wrists too.) It's very painful to walk (/limp) and stairs are a nightmare. The pain is pretty much constant and often keeps me awake at night.
I've been to the doctor (new doctor) and have had lots of blood tests, the only one of which that's come back abnormal being the plasma viscosity, which I've just found out is elevated. Have also had an x-ray on one knee and ankle, which showed inflammation on my ankle.
I'm going back to the docs on Monday, and they'll hopefully refer me. I'm taking Colchicine pills and topical capsaicin cream, neither of which seem to be doing much. (I can't tolerate ibuprofen pills, and the gel did nothing.)
I guess I'm posting here because I'm pretty scared and freaked out by this all...I mean a few months ago I was fine and, whilst a bit of a couch potato, I enjoyed swimming in the mornings before work. I'd just got a bicycle too, but can't do either of those now as it's just too painful.
But I've also got some specific questions, if anyone can help:
[*] Is there anything I can do about the pain before I get a diagnosis?
[*] How long does a referral take (I'm in Bristol if that helps)?
[*] Should I avoid exercise/excessive movement or try and push myself even though it hurts?
[*] Does yoga etc. help?
[*] How do I get comfortable in bed??
[*] Any other advice for a scared young-ish person, who's used to being very independent?
Thanks to anyone who read this far! This seems like a great community and reading your posts has given me more hope than I've had in a few weeks (although what some of you go through freaks me out too!).