The past few weeks, I have been suffering from horrible swelling/inflammation - worse than usual, I should say. It is mostly in my forearms, wrists, hands/fingers, ankles, and feet. The muscle spasms and pain in my neck also get worse when the swelling happens. The left hand/arm is always worse, which is a bad thing because I am lefty. It is so bad that my shoes feel too tight and my wedding band doesn’t fit when I swell. A couple of times my fingers turned purple from the swelling and losing circulation, so I no longer wear my rings. I take Celebrex for the swelling/inflammation, but lately even that hasn’t been offering relief. My mom always notices when this occurs because she always comments on the swelling when it happens.
I’ve tried almost every variety of ointment, bengay and lidocaine patches, heat and ice, soaking the affected area in warm salt water, wrapping affected area in ACE bandages, and other things I can’t think of right now. As for medication, in addition to Celebrex, I’ve tried Lyrica, Savella, Gabapentin, and I think one or two others in the same family. I had the same problem with all of them - the lower doses didn’t help and the higher doses helped but made my swelling so bad that my body ballooned up and I had to be put on a course of Prednisone, twice. (I know I’m using swelling and inflammation interchangeably here, but I don’t know which problem I have.)
I’ve been tested for arthritis and similar conditions multiple times and all tests come back normal. I also suffer from a horrible burning sensation, mostly in my neck and back, as if my body is on fire. I’m assuming it’s nerve pain. It often, although not always, happens in conjunction with the swelling.
I asked my pain doctor about the swelling and burning and mentioned the aforemetioned ring example. He said I’m probably just allergic to the metal in my ring. This can’t be true because my ring is platinum and I also wear gold, silver, and “fake” rings with the same effect, and it ONLY happens on days I swell. (Which is everyday lately.) He won’t do anything to check out this problem and help me out. Also, it is possible to feel lumps in my arms or like a tenderness in my ankles/feet when the swelling happens (as if they are water-filled), and I wear no jewelry on my ankles and feet, and usually no socks or shoes around the house.
I am at a loss as to what to do at this point. The swelling affects my life in a big way. Some days I can’t even dress. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!