COVID vaccine triggered and how to ask for a diagnosis

Jessi Member Posts: 3
edited 28. Nov 2023, 14:07 in Living with arthritis

Hello, I’ve maid a post concerning my symptoms before , but now it has gotten worse. I got the first dose of Covid vaccine on the 24th of December and o experienced joint pains, muscle pains headache and a fever for just a day and I was fine by the next day and my arm wasn’t sore after three days. Approximately a week after this I started getting upper back pains and neck pain which leads to a headache, persistent mild joint ache, muscle pain in arm and thighs even if I just woke up from sleep, I also have a sore hip joint, but no exact pain , I have sore ribs that got really painful one night , it was soo bad that I could breathe properly or lay down and someone on here suggested it was an inflammation and I should just take an anti-inflammatory painkiller and that worked, I can not sit or stand for too long and if not my knee ache gets more painful, I also get finger pains and sometimes I get a tingling feeling like blood isn’t flowing into my fingers again and I have to move them repeatedly to get rid of the feeling, my ankle and shoulders are also sore . There is no visible swelling or redness, but I have sleepless nights and I don’t have an appetite at all. I am just 18 so all the doctors I see rule out arthritis. I have an appointment tomorrow, how do I explain what’s going on to the doctor


  • Rina
    Rina Member Posts: 85

    Hi @Jessi ,

    You poor thing - it sounds like you are in a lot of pain.

    It might help if you could make a list of all your symptoms- when they are worst and how long they last. Then you can use it to jog your memory. Sometimes we can forget what we want to say when we’re sitting in front of a GP.

    Good Luck

  • Arthuritis
    Arthuritis Member Posts: 444

    @Jessi I am so sorry you are in this situation. You are not alone, the same happened to me and a few others who have posted here.

    A major battle is the ignorance of people, they do not know the difference between Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis, the former is due to excessive wear and old age, the latter can happen at any age even toddlers due to an immune dysfunction.

    You will need to be gentle but FIRM, as prompt treatment is key to remission.

    Ask the doc if he can explain the difference to you between Osteoarthritis & Rheumatoid arthritis, this should jog his memory on what he/she learnt decades ago.

    If he cannot clearly flag that Rheumatoid can happen at any age and the need for urgent diagnosis and treatment, then you will have to take the lead and insist you need a blood test, not just the GP vaguely asking you to push/pull at his/her hands, that clinical skill is very specialised and rheumatologists have it, but I have yet to meet a GP who does.

    The minimum blood tests you need are:

    ACCP - Anti-cyclic citrullinated protein (very RA specific, a positive here means no debates, but early on maybe negative)

    Rheumatoid Factor,

    ESR & C-RP - current inflammation level


    LFT (Liver Function Test)

    TSH/Free thyroxine

    And ask that both tests be taken and a referral to a rheumatologist at the local hospital, if nothing else, to give you reassurance on a serious condition where time is of the essence.

    Here is the NICE guidance (should, but never read by GPs)


    (NG100) Recommendations 

    People have the right to be involved in discussions and make informed decisions about their care, as described in  making decisions about your care . 

    1.1  Referral, diagnosis and investigations Referral, diagnosis and investigations

    Referral from primary care 

    1.1.1 Refer for specialist opinion any adult with suspected persistent  synovitis of undetermined cause. 

    Refer urgently (even with a normal acute-phase response, negative anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide [CCP] antibodies or rheumatoid factor) if any of the following apply: 

    •  the small joints of the hands or feet are affected [yours are]

    •  more than one joint is affected [you def have this]

    •  there has been a delay of 3  months or longer between onset of symptoms and seeking medical advice. [Let’s hope not]

    Please let us know how you get on.

  • Jessi
    Jessi Member Posts: 3

    @Arthuritis i will talk about this with my doctor tomorrow, I have my third appointment with a doctor this year tomorrow, I believe they’ll take me more serious this time

  • Arthuritis
    Arthuritis Member Posts: 444

    @Jessi Wish you all the best. Go for it.