Hello, and does this sound like arthritis?

tellwilltime Member Posts: 2
edited 28. Nov 2023, 14:04 in Living with arthritis

I will dive right in and if anybody can advise that would be great, thank you.

For perhaps 20 years I have had uncomfortable hands from time to time. It had never been identifiable as pain in the joints specifically, just tiredness and a strange sensation throughout the whole hand, sometimes like having dough under your nails. It can be brought on by doing very repetitive work, or detailed work or waving my hands repeatedly past a hot mug of drink whilst using my mouse. My doctor many years ago gave my a blood test for arthritis which was negative. I also had a neck x-ray to check for problems there, which revealed a few raggedy vertebrae at the top. Earlier this year I was sent to a neurologist who thought it could be nerve damage though he thought it was impossible to diagnose.

Then four weeks ago I developed various joint aches, they pretty much came on over night. Lots of joints in my hands, particularly the thumbs and middle joint of my right finger. Occasionally there has been pain in the topmost joint on a couple of fingers. The pain is mostly a dull tiredness.

I also get pain in my right wrist, both elbows, both shoulders (this pain feels strangely like sunburn on the inside), my upper neck, my lower back, twinges in my hips, both knees particularly when standing still for too long, and my toes. The ball of my second toe is often painful when I stand on it, and others ache from time to time. There is no redness, swelling or warmth. Some of the joints are slightly tender. For example my thumb hurt earlier today when the top section was pushed gently to the side and my elbows can have minor discomfort when I lean on them.

Most of the aches come and go, though my hands are tired all the time now and some work such as brushing my daughters teeth can be difficult. I don't think it is any worse in the morning than any other time.

To add to this are some other symptoms which may be of no relevance:

- I have trouble opening my eyes in the morning. I would not say my eyes are sticky, just they won't open for 10 or 20 minutes. Particularly if I have not slept long enough. If I do make them open the eye will hurt for several days, so I just wait, or can splash them to help them open. This has been going on for several years to some degree.

- I have had a sore throat and a hoarse voice for 18 months. This was initially diagnosed as laryngopharyngeal reflux and now possibly hypersensitivity. I am not convinced though.

- Over the last couple of years I have started to get very cold fingers from time to time, for no apparent reason. This just comes and goes. There is no colour change so I am told it is not Raynaud's.

I went to my doctor who has ordered some blood tests. As I have no swelling, redness and only minor tenderness his opinion is that I probably have arthralgia brought on by a chest infection that was eventually treated with antibiotics. This infection probably cleared up 10 days before the joint aches started. It was preceded by 4 or 5 weeks of cough and then a couple of weeks of fever.

I hope he is right but I have not managed to find anything about this kind of multiple joint pain being caused by a chest infection.

I will go back to him again, but has anybody heard of anything similar or have any ideas?

Thank you.

I am really rather concerned.


  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,635
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi tellwilltime and welcome to our forums.

    That's quite a description of symptoms you have set out. No wonder you are concerned! However, as none of us on the forums are qualified medical professionals we will be unable to provide you with a secure diagnosis of the symptoms you describe.

    It really would be best to wait for the results of the blood tests and to discuss further with your doctor your concerns regarding the multiple joint pains you describe.

    When visiting your doctor, do take along a list of questions you want to ask. It is also good to take with you a "diary" of any changes in your symptoms since your last visit.

    A further help in such visits is to have another person with you who can listen, prompt you about things and also to talk it over with afterwards.

    Do join in across the forums as you find is appropriate.

    All best wishes
  • wazz42
    wazz42 Member Posts: 233
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00

    Just wanted to say my husband had something similar a few years ago. The children had chicken pox or mumps, we were moving house and he came down with arthritis!

    He had symptoms and couldn’t drive as his hands were so bad, it was a real struggle, I remember having to strap the children in the car to get him to work. It did ease off and the symptoms eventually went away, I’d forgotten all about it. But yes it can happen, I hope that’s your case because it will ease up eventually

    For your eyes, have you tried asking the chemist. I have a tiny tube of Vaseline, rocket grade according to my gp :) I use it at bedtime, no you can’t see terribly well afterwards but in the morning my eyes are great, not sore, stuck or anything

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,489
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I use Xailyn (pronounced zaylin) for my dry eyes and it really helps at night it's gunky but it's good :)

    Have you thought about reactive arthritis at all? That can come on after an infection (throat particularly) and usually goes away after a time.

    You sound like a medical mystery to me and Tellwilltime. Time will hopefully tell.

    Best of luck

    Toni xx
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Gosh, I am sorry I have no idea what's up with you as what I have going on is very different. I have a form of auto-immune arthritis which is a sero-negative kind (i.e. rheumatoid factor is not present in my blood). If your GP had your blood tested and read that result, they would no doubt tell you you didn't have an auto-immune arthritis because GPs know very little about the three hundred kinds of auto-immune inflammatory conditions. My eyes are unwilling to open in the morning now but that is due to being glued shut with sleep, if I can't pick it off a warm flannel sorts me out.

    We are not medically qualified to advise on symptoms or medication but I wonder if it may be time for a rheumatology referral as they are the ones who know a lot about a little. I was born with auto-immune nonsense and developed more aged seven so for me the onset of my psoriatic arthritis came as no surprise (although where it began did and fooled the medicos for nine years. :lol: I think you need further, specialised investigation and I hope some answers can be found (if you already have then I apologise but my memory currently is pain-restricted). I too am thinking reactive arthritis but that is an unusual one so often not recognised. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben