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I have been reading the stories of reactive arthritis and i thought that i would share mine. It all started 3 1/2 years ago with urethritis and all the classic symptoms that go with an STD after a one night stand. I went in to urgent care 3 different times over many months and was treated with azithromycin (1g oral) and ceftazidime (injections). Each time the tests for GC would be negative and the same symptoms would return within about 2 weeks.
I lived with this for many months until i went to my primary physician. He said that because the tests for STDs were negative that I needed to go to a urologist. So i made an appointment for the urologist. I go to the urologist and tell her my story. She orders many lab tests over many different visits, UA/UC, GC, CBC, ESR, CRP, mycoplasma, lymes, etc. to all of which came back negative.
I was put on Bacterim for a month, that didnt provide any results. I was put on Doxycycline for a month, that did nothing. She insisted that i see a different urologist.
I go to the other urologist and was told that there is nothing wrong with me and that the symptoms are all in my head. He said that if there is something there, there is not a test for it and we cannot treat for it and that throwing different antibiotics at it was not the way to treat me. I was very upset about this becasue i have been getting the 'its all in your head' line from 2 other doctors. But they dont know how it feels.
So now it has been over three years of living with the constant urethrits symptoms (urgency, drainage, constant wet feeling, prickly, uncomfortable) which has made my life aweful. I figure that i will have to live like this for the rest of my life, increasing depression and diminishing thoughts of having a normal social and personal relationships.
About three months ago, i started to develop early morning back pain. I was waking up 2-3 in the am and unable to lay down any longer. I would get up and sleep sitting up on the couch or chair. I got to the point of going to see a chiropracter to se what was going on. It felt like there was a tendon that crossed my spine and needed to be put back where it needed to be. My back has been very tight and tender for a long time.
Chiropracter saw me for 3 sessions and told me that there was no misallignment of my back and that he didnt feel further care would be benificial and that he couldnt help me. He told me to go to the doctor.
So i make an appointment to go see the doctor this was a month ago. The day before I go into the doctor, my knee was aching. The next day it is swollen up a balloon. I have never had anything like this before.
I went to my doctors appointment, just a random doctor, and she takes xrays of my knee and back. She says that these came back normal and that i should see my normal doc for a follow up. In the mean time to ice and elevate my knee. So a week later, i go to my doctor. He orders a bunch of rehmatology tests, crp, esr, lymes, rf, ccp, ana, and also another GC test. Also, a MRI was scheduled for my knee. I am already a known HLA B27 positive.
MRI of knee was negative. all the other tests were negative (crp and esr were slightly elevated). But i was positive for chylamidia. At this point I was excited to finally have a positive for something!!!
Doc puts me on 1g azithromycin and 7 days doxycycline. He says that I have reiters syndrome or reactive arthritis. its been 2 weeks now, and im not sure the antibiotics have worked at all. I still feel like i can feel the urethritis lingering around.
Back to my knee. My left knee has been swollen since that day 1 month now. I had the fluid drained off of it and steroid injected, and it swelled back up the next day. Since then my 3rd toe on the left foot has been swollen up and is very sensitive. Makes it almost unbearable to walk.
I try to keep stretching by legs as much as posible as they have become increasingly stiff, mostly the tendons behind my knee. I have my good days and bad days for sure. This is a very dehabiliitating disease as i am a very active person and i like to keep busy. I have never sat around on the couch as much as i have this past month.
I am trying to stay positive, but it is difficult. I have missed out on many activities that i enjoy doing already, and fear I will miss more throughout the winter. Its hard enough to even go to work.
And now, my other knee is starting to ache.
But that is my story.
It has been one month since my
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