I’ve been ill for 8 months. It all started with numbness in hands and feet and weakness in forearm muscles and calves. Then joint pain in thumbs and toes and then knees. Lots of Crepitus and tendon pops. After a couple months the numbness went away. But the joints remain sore and “crunchy” to this day and maybe they’re getting a litle worse. Joint pain comes and goes. The skin around my eyes and forehead feels tight and there is a bumpy texture to the skin in this area. Heart palpitations come and go. Always have irritation in the chest with a dry cough. I’ve had pretty thourough blood work. All negative accept elevated Ana on the first two tests 6 weeks into my ordeal. 640 and 160 speckeled and diffuse. Then 3 subsequent tests have been negative. I’ve read everything there is to say about rheumatic disease. I don’t fit any particular disease, and I have fear that it could be early diffuse scleroderma, even though I would not be typical at all. I purchased a microscope at radio shack, and decided to take a look at my nailfold capillaries. Well of course I’m no expert but there are some very large capillaries mixed in with mostly thin ones. Also there are some tortuous ones too. Since my symptoms have not gone away for 8 months, I really think I have a CTD. My local rheumatologist looked at the capillaries with a otoscope and said…”yeah they’re dilated but nothing significant.” I’ve learned that many mistakes are made and to get a second opinion. Where can I go to get a thourough capillary exam, by an expert. Judging the results appears to be for experts only. And any comments on my saga are always welcome!!
You might request a consultation at a center that sees a lot of scleroderma. Dr. Wigley or Dr. Hummers at Hopkins are my obvious choices. But the scleroderma centers at UCLA or University of Pittsburgh are also also excellent places.