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Proxy Wolf

PR, Back Pain, Anemia...is it all tied?

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I have Palindromic Rheumatism...which means inflammation in a joint (or joints) comes and goes randomly. I consider myself lucky in the sense that PR supposedly doesn't cause damage to the joints. It is very painful most times when it occurs.

For a long time it only seemed to affect my fingers once or twice a year and it was very mild stiffness and pain. It slowly began to happen more often and became more painful. Now it seems to happen every other month or up to three times in one month. It will start most often with a finger on either hand. I will feel it begin to ache and that's my warning to take any jewelry off before I'm not able to! The finger will begin to redden and swell and sometimes it spreads down into my hand and wrist. The swelling and pain become so severe that it literally feels like my finger bone is being crushed by it's own tissue. Once one begins to subside, sometimes the other hand or wrist begins!

I was diagnosed with PR because there isn't any evidence of damage to my joints and I have only shown abnormal blood results a couple of times throughout my history. Although my last (and fairly recent) ANA titer was 140 with a homogenous pattern. This has been the first positive for about eight years. I've also had a boderline abnormal Scleroderma 70 result...but it was just barely abnormal. I think the normal range was up to 0.9 and my result was 1.0 so it was of no real concern.

Last week I noticed pain in the bend of my foot when I was trying to get comfortable to sleep. I didn't think too much of it until it happened again a couple days later. I took a closer look and it had similar tender redness to when it first began in my fingers. This is so disheartening to think that it's going to start happening in my feet.

For almost a week now I've been having stiffness and pain originating from between my shoulderblades up into my neck. I've also become increasingly fatigued and tired. Some of the tiredness I can relate to not sleeping well. I keep waking up in the night with my arm(s) asleep and numb no matter what position I was in, side or back. Saturday was the last day I exercised because I figured I should give my back some time to calm down and because my energy level while exercising was so limited.

I just spoke to my Rheumy on Friday and got some blood taken. The office called me today and told me I'm anemic. I didn't really pay any mind to this but now that I think of it, I'm curious of exactly how anemic I am. She asked if I was on my period during my appt. "No." and then asked if I noticed blood in my stool or if I've been vomiting blood..."Not that I've noticed. No." I didn't think about it much at the time since I woke up from my nap to answer the phone. My Rheumy wanted me to follow up with my GP about this (probably because the Arthritis clinic is about an hour from me.) That would answer my question as to why I've been so tired...but if she is asking these questions does this mean it's not just iron deficient anemia? Could it be tied in with my back pain and emerging foot flare? I've also been having more headaches, dizziness, and nausea lately. I think all of this, added to my "brain" issues lately is seriously beginning to depress me. I feel like I'm slowly becoming defeated and just want to sleep the rest of the week, or month!

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