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I'm a 35 year old woman and last year I was diagnosed with Post Streptococcal Reactive Arthritis. I also have ME/CFS which was diagnosed when I was 15 years old.
In July I had sore throat that lasted for 3 weeks and wasn't getting any better so I visited my GP. She thought it was a virus but did a swab anyway. Over the next few days I noticed weakness, pain and swelling in my hands and knees, worse on the right side of my body. The pain got so severe I could not stand or use my hands. I went back to the GP and was told my swab tested positive for strep. I was given a course of penicillin and told to take ibuprofen and co-codamol for the pain. I was also given omeprazole to protect my stomach as I had gastritis a few years ago.
The pain continued for 2 weeks, I had another course of antibiotics but it wasn't helping so I was admitted to hospital where I was diagnosed with Post Streptococcal Reactive Arthritis. I was given stronger antibiotics and painkillers and a steroid injection (kenalog) and discharged. I gradually improved over the next few weeks but then in October I got a chest infection and another throat infection. 3 weeks later the Reactive Arthritis flared up again.
I was referred to a rheumatologist who examined me and said there was nothing wrong with my joints. He did lots of blood tests but they all came back negative except for a borderline strep count. I was discharged back to my GP as the rheumatologist couldn't help me because my arthritis was caused by infections. He said I needed investigations to find out why I was getting so many strep infections. I went to see my GP but she said there is nothing they can do. She said there is nothing wrong with my immune system because my blood tests are normal.
I had another throat infection in January and another in March, both of which lead to reactive arthritis flare ups. I am very fed up of being ill and in pain all the time. The doctors don't seem to be taking me seriously at all and the only treatment I've been given is codeine and paracetamol for the pain.
I would very much appreciate any help or advice. Surely the medical profession can do more than just give me painkillers? Thank you!
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