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Undiagnosed and frustrated
I’m a 29 year old woman, and I’m a marathon runner/triathlete (when I feel up to it, lately...) My symptoms started about 8 or so years ago. It began with severe fatigue, unexplained fevers, an aching pain in some of my joints (especially my low back, hips, and hands) and a recurring rash that mostly centered around my torso: red, slightly raised blotches anywhere from pinpoint sized to pencil eraser sized that do not itch. It happens sometimes as frequently as every month, or sometimes I’ll go for a few months without it.
Over time I have noticed the addition of other symptoms including hair thinning and dry, itchy skin with dry eyes, swelling in my legs/ankles/feet, easily pulling muscles (like from sneezing), occasional vertigo, and I’m always cold. The joint pain has gotten worse, and my knuckles literally sound crunchy 😖 I can almost guarantee every time I move more than slightly there will be a snap, crackle, or pop. The rash has continued to show up, and has now appeared a few times on my face, mostly on my nose and cheeks.
Most recently this year, two new symptoms have popped up. I started getting a new type of rash first on one elbow, then it spread to the other. It starts as a bunch of small, itchy raised bumps that get larger and form into one big raised patch that itches like a giant mosquito bite. No redness at all. It eventually goes away, but leaves the skin underneath slightly lighter after it does, like a scar.
The other is a recent onset of night sweats. I literally wake up in soaked sheets every night in the middle of the night, and I’m freezing from being wet. It’s seriously interrupting my sleep and I’m still working, which is making me so exhausted I’m falling asleep at work.
So far, all blood tests from multiple doctors have been normal, and it’s hard to get taken seriously when I’m a fairly young, healthy athlete. I honestly gave up trying to find answers for a bit, but lately I’m sleeping 12-15 hours when the night sweats aren’t interrupting and still waking up tired, and my elbows are flaring up bad, so I’m trying to find answers again. But it’s been a nightmare.