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Was perfectly healthy until the end of eighth grade, then had five idiopathic anaphylactic reactions in the span of two weeks. Never figured out why.
Got pulled out of eighth grade to avoid any further risks at reactions, and was put on 85mg of Prednisone a day, which caused me to gain about 20 pounds (I'm 5'2", so that was quite a bit) then slowly was taken off it after three weeks.
Had been developing hip pain all year, but after the reactions, the pain got worse. By the fall of the next year, I was experiencing chronic and pretty bad neck pain, which has continued to get better and worse in waves, but with an overall worsening trend in pain and functionality. The neck pain could also have been exacerbated by the two cups sizes I gained on my chest while on the Prednisone.
It's been five years, and I now have full-blown arthritis (worst by far in my neck and back, but also bad in my hands). I also have daily muscle pain in my neck and back that feels most similar to fibromyalgia. When I crack my bones (neck, back, hands, wrists, shoulders, etc.) for a little more range of motion, the cracks are great in number and most of the time alarmingly loud. I drink about a gallon of water a day to avoid migraines, I never go outside without sunglasses because I get migraines from the light, and my fingers either redden and swell up to about double their size in the sun/heat, or otherwise show symptoms of Raynaud's in the cold. Fatigue is a part of daily life, and about one day a week in a good week, or seven days a week in a flareup, I'll have to sleep because the physical exhaustion is too much.
I usually use my fingers to see what kind of day it's going to be. When I feel symptoms coming on, it's usually my fingers that react first, and then the whole body follows similarly.
On hot mornings, I'll wake up with swollen fingers and a sort of hot, achy pain -- I also experience this during what I'd call a flareup. These flareups happen randomly, sometimes once every other month, and sometimes I'll go six months with nothing and then get one that completely disables me. These last on average for about a week at a time.
When it's cold, I'll wake up and feel like Pinnochio, and my fingers will be icy to the touch, knobbly, and feel almost brittle. I'll have to crack, flex, and unfold each joint for around five minutes until I'm steady/flexible enough to get out of bed. These days, it is slower to move, but the pain is more creaky rather than hot and inflamed, if that makes any sense to you. Both slow me down and are painful, but the cold is more of a constant, dull and sometimes sharp ache while the heat/flareup pain is more of a swelling, burning pain. I prefer the cold, but optimal temp is like 50-60, where I might get a perfect day in which my fingers stay cold (cold enough not to swell, warm enough not to seize up and lose function) and the pain is manageable. I won't be running a marathon any time soon, but walking and even responsibly using the elliptical can be part of my daily life without too much complication.
About a year after the anaphylactic reactions, I started to notice rheumatological complications every time I got sick. A cold will send randomly render me immobile for six days, and a virus will make one finger redden, become very hot, and remain stiff and completely unbendable for two weeks.
Some months are better than others, and summer is almost always the worst. My face is usually pink if not red, and my cheeks and the sides of my nose will become scaly and flake off if I do not moisturize daily (this doesn't bleed when it flakes off, though -- just becomes rougher and more irritated). Bloody lesions will appear on my face and scalp, but they're not big (no more than pea-sized). The occasional interior nose ulcer has begun to appear as well. Small parts of the skin on my face (I used to think they were acne, but they're not coming from clogged pores) will get hard and scaly and then flake off and bleed, and leave a scab behind.
I've also had other scattered instances of unexplained anaphylaxis since (Two years ago, without eating anything, I fainted, threw up while unconscious, and then woke up. Six months ago, I had a crippling pain in my right upper abdomen, and it was excruciating to move for about six hours -- the next day I woke up fine and with no trace that it had ever happened.) I was also diagnosd with ADHD last month.
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