Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Losing my finger? Red, Swollen, Warm to touch, Painful as $#^&!

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 9 Replies
  • Posted By: ScaredCrazy
  • September 26, 2008
  • 05:15 PM

Ok this started on Wednesday, 2 days ago as part of my undiagnosed condition, pain & swelling that migrates from one joint to another (acute onset usually), last a day or two & then everything loosens up, pain & swelling diminish and it moves on for a few days but, not this time! My right index finger was swollen, larger than I have ever experienced, so I went to the Dr, he said something about poly arthritus and moved on. I called him last night at 11:30 pm as finger was getting larger (it is so swollen, it looks like if I poked it with a pin it would burst) he says, go to the hospital if you need to or take 800 mg Ibruprofen, ice, elevate.

OK I have been taking the Ibruprofen every 4 hours, slept about 6.5 Hrs with it elevated (above my head) with a bag a frozen brocoli on it. It is still swollen, painful, warm to touch and red! No trauma, no alcohol use, no insect bites or breaking of the skin noted, just huge, swollen, red, and now of course my skin is extremely shiny! No diabetes, positive for avasular osteo necrosis bilateral hip replacements (only 42), Rheumatoid panel done yesterday, after I insisted! Meds: Ocycodone 5/325mg 1 QID, Claritin 12 prn allergies, cyclobenzeprine TID, Multi Vit, Vit C, Vit E, Calcium 1200mg, Vit A & D combined, & Ibruprofen q 4 hrs. I am afraid I am going to loose this digit without a proper diagnoses & treatment! Any ideas, suggestions would be greatly appreciated, I am terrified (CMA for 20 yrs a little medical knowledge can be scary sometimes!)

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9 Replies:

  • I think you were right to head to the rheumatoid Dx. I thought that when I first started reading your s/s. You said no trauma to the finger, but does this happen anywhere else in your body? Any other joints?
    Mama W 8 Replies
    • September 26, 2008
    • 05:47 PM
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  • Yes, other joints swell, turn red, and are very painful at times. It migrates to different joints, even to my feet. The onset is acute. Then it usually stops in a day or two. This time, it has not, and this is the scariest incidence yet. I called the office this morning and my labs are not back, my Dr leaves early on Fridays (of course) and his receptionist just told me he told me to go to the ER last night, which he did not. I am sick of being sick! Researching further, I am now looking at cellulitus????? IDK. Again, any suggestions help would be appreciated!
    ScaredCrazy 8 Replies
    • September 26, 2008
    • 05:58 PM
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  • Cellulitis also possible, but generally there is a bite, injury or open wound to start that. Hang nail possibly? Do you bite your nails? Recently had your finger crushed?. Without your lab result there is no way to know if you have an elevate WBC. Look into "gouty arthritis" and Rheumatoid arthritis too. I would go to ER if it's worrying you. Is it hot to the touch? Notice any red streaking?Can't hurt to get it checked out.
    Mama W 8 Replies
    • September 26, 2008
    • 08:50 PM
    • 0
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  • Update: Went to the Dr again yesterday, sedrate elevated but not as high as they would expect for a severe arthritus "flare up" WBC high and shifted to the left (indicative of a bacterial infection) Gave me a low purine diet, a huge shot of Rocephine IM, more blood work to add on uric acid levels, and allopurinol (pardon spelling if its wrong, I haven't been able to work as a CMA for a couple years now due to the avasular osteo necrosis) Theories from Dr: exactly as you suggested above "pseudo gout", arthritus, possible cellutis, (not in that order) and I am to go back on Monday for more labs and for him to see me. The catch here, the swelling and pain is a bit better in the finger but now my left wrist and the top of my left hand is aching, red, and swollen! You guys have been incrediably helpful and supportive! Can we keep my "mystery disease" dx going? I feel like with your help, I have been able to guide these Dr's! OK, am I going out on a limb or does this sound like an auto immune disease like Lupus now? And this is going to sound a bit crazy but this all began around the time I had an IUD inserted.Repeating I know, but I do not drink. I have been eating a low "bad" carb diet meaning the only carbs I have been taking in are fruits, veggies, and whole wheat grains. I had laid of my vitamins for about a month due to some bowel issues but started taking them again religiously about two weeks ago. Could my vitamins be the culprits? Diet? IUD? Possible Lyme's disease? I was very active; huge vegatable garden, dogs, cats, and a pygmy goat, along with a little one that loved to pick zinnias out of my huge flower garden, and swim. Of course, I don't remember ever finding a tick on myself and was very alert, checked myself and little one after each day/evening outing into our little farm and yard. This has been going on for 5 years now. Every time I went to the Dr about it (before I was finally diagnosed with my end stage osteo avasular necrosis of hips by an orthopaedic PA in less than 5 minutes) I was lead to believe that this was all in my head or I was drug seeking. I don't want drugs! I want to know what is wrong with me! Funny how the drs gave me the pain meds but never diagnosed this! Oh yeah, fibromayligia was talked about ALOT when I would present all these aches and pains and I felt as if they just threw that DX at me for lack of a better one! I may get alot of negative feedback for this, but, I see fibromyalgia as a catch all for "we don't don't what is wrong with you" Again all suggestions, hypothesis, ideas are appreciated! Do Dr's ever troll these sights?
    ScaredCrazy 8 Replies
    • September 27, 2008
    • 04:28 PM
    • 0
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  • Update: Went to the Dr again yesterday, sedrate elevated but not as high as they would expect for a severe arthritus "flare up" WBC high and shifted to the left (indicative of a bacterial infection) Gave me a low purine diet, a huge shot of Rocephine IM, more blood work to add on uric acid levels, and allopurinol (pardon spelling if its wrong, I haven't been able to work as a CMA for a couple years now due to the avasular osteo necrosis) Theories from Dr: exactly as you suggested above "pseudo gout", arthritus, possible cellutis, (not in that order) and I am to go back on Monday for more labs and for him to see me. The catch here, the swelling and pain is a bit better in the finger but now my left wrist and the top of my left hand is aching, red, and swollen! You guys have been incrediably helpful and supportive! Can we keep my "mystery disease" dx going? I feel like with your help, I have been able to guide these Dr's! OK, am I going out on a limb or does this sound like an auto immune disease like Lupus now? And this is going to sound a bit crazy but this all began around the time I had an IUD inserted.Repeating I know, but I do not drink. I have been eating a low "bad" carb diet meaning the only carbs I have been taking in are fruits, veggies, and whole wheat grains. I had laid of my vitamins for about a month due to some bowel issues but started taking them again religiously about two weeks ago. Could my vitamins be the culprits? Diet? IUD? Possible Lyme's disease? I was very active; huge vegatable garden, dogs, cats, and a pygmy goat, along with a little one that loved to pick zinnias out of my huge flower garden, and swim. Of course, I don't remember ever finding a tick on myself and was very alert, checked myself and little one after each day/evening outing into our little farm and yard.This has been going on for 5 years now. Every time I went to the Dr about it (before I was finally diagnosed with my end stage osteo avasular necrosis of hips by an orthopaedic PA in less than 5 minutes) I was lead to believe that this was all in my head or I was drug seeking. I don't want drugs! I want to know what is wrong with me! Funny how the drs gave me the pain meds but never diagnosed this! Oh yeah, fibromayligia was talked about ALOT when I would present all these aches and pains and I felt as if they just threw that DX at me for lack of a better one! I may get alot of negative feedback for this, but, I see fibromyalgia as a catch all for "we don't don't what is wrong with you"Again all suggestions, hypothesis, ideas are appreciated! Do Dr's ever troll these sights? I almost forgot left hip pain has continued despite birmingham proceedure in 2006, bone scan showed synovial fluid around left hip but was otherwise normal.
    ScaredCrazy 8 Replies
    • September 27, 2008
    • 05:09 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Update: Went to the Dr again yesterday, sedrate elevated but not as high as they would expect for a severe arthritus "flare up" WBC high and shifted to the left (indicative of a bacterial infection) Gave me a low purine diet, a huge shot of Rocephine IM, more blood work to add on uric acid levels, and allopurinol (pardon spelling if its wrong, I haven't been able to work as a CMA for a couple years now due to the avasular osteo necrosis) Theories from Dr: exactly as you suggested above "pseudo gout", arthritus, possible cellutis, (not in that order) and I am to go back on Monday for more labs and for him to see me. The catch here, the swelling and pain is a bit better in the finger but now my left wrist and the top of my left hand is aching, red, and swollen! You guys have been incrediably helpful and supportive! Can we keep my "mystery disease" dx going? I feel like with your help, I have been able to guide these Dr's! OK, am I going out on a limb or does this sound like an auto immune disease like Lupus now? And this is going to sound a bit crazy but this all began around the time I had an IUD inserted.Repeating I know, but I do not drink. I have been eating a low "bad" carb diet meaning the only carbs I have been taking in are fruits, veggies, and whole wheat grains. I had laid of my vitamins for about a month due to some bowel issues but started taking them again religiously about two weeks ago. Could my vitamins be the culprits? Diet? IUD? Possible Lyme's disease? I was very active; huge vegatable garden, dogs, cats, and a pygmy goat, along with a little one that loved to pick zinnias out of my huge flower garden, and swim. Of course, I don't remember ever finding a tick on myself and was very alert, checked myself and little one after each day/evening outing into our little farm and yard. This has been going on for 5 years now. Every time I went to the Dr about it (before I was finally diagnosed with my end stage osteo avasular necrosis of hips by an orthopaedic PA in less than 5 minutes) I was lead to believe that this was all in my head or I was drug seeking. I don't want drugs! I want to know what is wrong with me! Funny how the drs gave me the pain meds but never diagnosed this! Oh yeah, fibromayligia was talked about ALOT when I would present all these aches and pains and I felt as if they just threw that DX at me for lack of a better one! I may get alot of negative feedback for this, but, I see fibromyalgia as a catch all for "we don't don't what is wrong with you" Again all suggestions, hypothesis, ideas are appreciated! Do Dr's ever troll these sights?
    ScaredCrazy 8 Replies
    • September 27, 2008
    • 05:30 PM
    • 0
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  • You said something yourself that is a big clue: you were having bowel problems and stopped your vitamins. The index finger is on the large intestine meridian. I have the same symptoms in both index fingers and it is worse this week than it has been in a long time. I notice it gets worse with certain vitamins, especially things that effect the heart and circulation. I also think it is related to bowel regularity. Im going to go back to a high fiber, low meat diet. Your high protein, low bad card diet may be causing some problems with acid.Good luck and I hope I can find out more here because I dont have insurance or money for all the tests you're having! I may go to acupuncture though and take triphala.Peace, katie
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • February 3, 2010
    • 11:37 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Can you update us on your condition? I currently have a patient who has been diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and it just so happens that it started 3 years ago after she had an IUD inserted. I thought it strange and so I started googling for any links with IUDs and RA. Your posting came up. I'd love to know if you ever made that connection.Thanks!
    tcmpractitioner 1 Replies
    • October 20, 2010
    • 01:40 AM
    • 0
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  • That sounds like Reynaud's syndrome to me. Research it and see what you think. I have it in my toes and after many years of no help have been able to 'control' it somewhat by being hypersensitive to the feeling of the temperature of my toes. As SOON as I feel any of them are getting too warm, I cool them off and vice versa. good luck. Oh! I see this post was a few years old. sorry.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • August 10, 2011
    • 07:24 AM
    • 0
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