Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Joint Pain/Stiffness with Pressure in Head and Heavy Period--After Tetanus Vacc.

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 1 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • May 22, 2010
  • 04:42 AM

I am a very healthy 25 year old young woman. Healthy weight(5'8" and 155lbs), normal in most ways other than minor exercise induced asthma, and some previous anxiety issues(which does run in the family), as well as tension headaches and minor migraines. Not currently on any medications.

About a month ago got bit by a friend's dog, went to the doctor a week after that and they recommended a tetanus vaccine since I hadn't had one for over 10 years(for the record I also had a major UTI which I was perscribed Cipro for). Had typical muscle soreness and weakness for about 5 days. Then was normal for 2-3 days. After that I had one day of armpit soreness/tingling. The next morning I woke up with pain and extreme stiffness(which sort of came across as weakness at times) in my right elbow(same arm as vacc. was administered) there is slight swelling involved in the elbow. It had normal range of motion, except when bending my elbow so that my hand would touch my shoulder. The joint loosened up throughout the day, but if I were to overexert it I had a radiating pain. This lasted for approx. 3 days. Then had two normal days where the pain and stiffness was barely there...then woke up with a slight pain and stiffness in the left elbow, which loosened up to normal by the end of the day. The next day woke up with pain/stiffness(same perceived weakness and slight swelling) identical to that of the first day of my right elbow, as well as minor pain in my wrists, left knee, and neck. Neck stiffness/pain seem to persist to now.

We've come up to this week, three days ago I started my period early and it is VERY unusually heavy (for the record I have a very consistent period...5 days, medium flow, and always exactly 25 days from last day to first this one was 3 days early and RIDICULOUSLY heavy) and two days ago about midday (when I was eating lunch) quite suddenly I began to feel pressure near my ears/jaw joint and cheekbones, like I was taking off in a plane. It quickly became almost like my jaw was tight and stiff....has been this way for the last 3 days, and tonight I have developed a headache which seems concentrated in my neck, temple/ear and nose areas, and my jaw is throbbing as well. It is less pain/pressure in the mornings, and gets worse as the day goes on...especially bad between 3 and 9pm. The amount of pain/pressure changes if I am reclining or sitting up(but not to any extreme as to be able to tell if it is better or worse (ie pressure seems better sitting up, but pain seems better laying down). I also noticed today I have a couple unexplainable bruises. Also just in case it makes a difference, I have had a major change in my vision within the last year (ie from 20/20 vision to over about 2months not being able to read anything further than 20 feet away, blurry faces at a distance, and hard time seeing at twilight and night). And at one point tonight I felt very muscle sore, almost like I had exercised heavily, but obviously that hasn't exactly been an option the last few weeks.

I have also recently experienced some major anxiety, as well as some minor depression.

Help me do some thinking on this? I've come up with the possibility of lupus but I don't believe I've had any fever or rashes...(but it is hard to tell with me about rashes because I am very pale and have freckles)....any other ideas??


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  • The joint problems sound like a reaction to the vaccine, or a coincidental viral infection. Lymph nodes are located under your arms and in your neck-ear-jaw area, so the pain there is likely them swelling to fight off infection. The pressure changes also fit in with this. Are you on birth control? Vision changes like that are common with some of them as are menstrual irregularities, but your heavy flow is probably because of the UTI. Anxiety and depression can also throw your cycle off. Lupus is pretty rare, and pretty much the only symptom of it you have is the joint pain. While not everybody will get the characteristic rash or all of the symptoms, I wouldn't worry about it.
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