Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

red spot on face -> wrist aches -> purple armpits and nausea

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 10 Replies
  • Posted By: tdholter
  • June 24, 2007
  • 03:16 PM

I am posting to this forum to try to help my father (age 59) in Ohio who has been through 7 doctors, 8 blood tests, 2 biopsies, colonoscopy, endoscope, x-rays of wrists and back, cat scan of stomach, bowel, etc. – and still no diagnosis!

His symptoms started in November 2005 when he had a red spot appear on his face with a lump under the skin. He was treated with antibiotics which made the lump go away, but the spot remained and he was generally feeling unwell. 6 months later he started experiencing pain in his wrists which continues to get worse and the pain radiates down into his thumbs, fingers and up into his arms (described the feeling as a toothache in the wrists). The doctors took biopsies from the spot on his face, which showed nothing. Six months ago (JAN 2007) his armpits turned from red to purple and he suffered extreme nausea for several days with stomach ache and loose bowel, and this continues to recur approximately every 7 weeks. He had also experienced a burning sensation (like a bad sunburn) on the left side of his head six months ago, and now his left jaw, ear and left side of head feels tingly and numb. To date, the tests have showed nothing. He continues to feel unwell and lacking energy in combination with the symptoms above. I am desperate to help him find a diagnosis and treatment. Any ideas? Or can anyone assist me with finding a doctor who might be able to help? Any assistance is would be greatly appreciated!

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10 Replies:

  • Has he been bitten by a tick or spider (maybe in his sleep)?
    Monsterlove 2,921 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi,I found this info:http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=61266The bite of a brown recluse spider leads to a mild stinging, followed by local redness and severe pain that usually develops within eight hours but may occur later. Some reports of brown recluse bites describe a blue or purple area around the bite, surrounded by a whitish ring and large red outer ring in a "bull’s eye" pattern. A fluid-filled blister forms at the site and then sloughs off to reveal a deep ulcer that may turn black. Generalized symptoms of bites from black widow and brown recluse spiders may include fever, nausea, vomiting , headache, abdominal pain, joint pain or stiffness, overall feelings of malaise, rash, and muscle cramping or tension. While black widow spider bites are hardly ever fatal, rare deaths have occurred from brown recluse spider bites and are more common in children than in adults.
    Monsterlove 2,921 Replies Flag this Response
  • I believe that the red mark came on more gradually, and as the symptoms have persisted for 18months now and continue to get worse, i do not think it could be a spider bite - but of course I will ask my father and not rule anything out. From my readings so far, I am beginning to suspect an autoimmune disease as all his symptoms seem to be caused by inflammation affecting various systems in his body. Thank you so much for your help and replying to my posting!
    tdholter 2 Replies Flag this Response
  • I think if left untreated, it could cause a continuation of the problems. Remember, many times, people are bitten during the night and don't know what happened.
    Monsterlove 2,921 Replies Flag this Response
  • Some kind of flea-borne, or tick-borne, or spider etc. illness? Has he had Streptomycin? Even though I don't think he has bubonic plague, does he have pet prairie dogs? Has he been in the southwest of US? Cat-scratch fever, tularemia? Has he seen a epidemiologist?
    rad-skw 1,605 Replies Flag this Response
  • It could also be Lyme's disease. It can present it's self like that. But once you have had antibiotic's the tests almost always come up negativecindy
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I have just heard back from my father, and as I was discussing what i had found in my readings and with all of your assistance... I learned that he found a tick on his scalp around the same time he began feeling unwell. He said he has been tested for Lyme, but the test showed negative - he had taken both antibiotic and steriod treatments before the blood tests, so likely a false negative. I now feel quite strongly that he is suffering from Lyme disease. Can anyone recommend a doctor with experience in diagnosing and treating Lyme? My father lives in southeastern Ohio, but is willing to travel anywhere to feel better. Thank you all for your help, I would never have thought of Lyme as I was not familiar with this disease.
    tdholter 2 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hello, there is a site called www.lymenet.org that can help you alot. This site has lots of info and hopefully can provide some good drs. Your dad needs to find a lyme literate dr, the folks at lymenet should be able to point you in the right direction.. An LLMD is less likely to misdiagnois or believe false negative test results, like a gp. He will need the western blot test and also to be tested for Co-infections. There is info on them at the site above. I had it for 20 yrs and was only dx'd last yr after a second tick bite that I knew of. Good luck, Hope he can feel better soon....Dee
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Case Western in Cleveland has a good reputation.
    rad-skw 1,605 Replies Flag this Response
  • It could also be Lyme's disease. It can present it's self like that. But once you have had antibiotic's the tests almost always come up negativecindyit defiently sounds like lyme disease , I hope he's feeling better. Sandy in the South
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
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