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I'm sorry for this lengthy post but I've seen a number of doctors now and I'm not sure what to think at this point. If you have a few minutes, here is my story:

(My question is: could my symptoms indicate Lyme disease?)

For the past year (starting in Dec 04) I have been having trouble in my hip Ė basically it hurt especially after activity. At first I thought that it was a result of something I was physically doing at the gym (e.g. the treadmill or elliptical). So I stopped going by end of Dec 04 (and have not returned). Over the next three months it got 95% better because I was taking it easy, however I could still feel a little pain. Then in April 05 I started to walk five miles a day (2.5 to work and 2.5 back from work) and the pain in my hip came back but more sharply this time and I quit walking the 5 miles by the 1st of May. I took it easy but the pain would not go away. I figured that it was bursitis and I swear I hardly did much of anything all summer trying to allow what I believed to be bursitis to heal (I was so unhappy lying around my apartment on absolutely gorgeous weekend days). They say that activity and sitting are not good for bursitis, so I actually stayed in bed on my back for a couple weekends in a row. At work I would slouch in my chair trying to take the pressure off my hip. I swear I did everything humanly possible trying to not aggravate my hip. (Elderly people with canes would pass me on the sidewalk because I was walking so slowly trying to rest it.)

I had in my mind to see a doctor and it seemed like seeing an orthopedist would be a logical choice for the hip problem. But at some point in July I started to notice that other joints were bothering me not just my hip. In fact, both hips and one knee at this point were sore-to-painful. My other joints were randomly hurting me at random times for random intervals. What I mean is this: the pinky on one hand would hurt at, say, 10AM for about a couple hours, making it hard to type, then late in the afternoon the joints in my middle finger on the other hand would hurt for a little while. The next day I might notice that my ankles were sore for a couple hours and later all the knuckles on one hand would be sore. It was "random arthritis" as I called it Ė never will these joints swell up, they are just sore and annoying. I have not been keeping record but I know every joint at one time or another has been hit by "random arthritis". (My hips are in constant soreness-to-pain though.)

So because of this, I decided to see an internal medicine specialist rather than an orthopedist, mainly because there seemed to be a system wide problem rather than just a hip problem. I saw him at the start of September and I told him all that above. He agreed that my hip problem was unlikely to be bursitis because of the duration of time the pain existed, that it was bilateral and given the fact that I had been treating it with plenty of rest and 800mg of ibuprofen three times a day for about 4 weeks before seeing him (Please note: on a reread of this message I want to say that the ibuprofen does, in fact, help me control my hip pain to a large extent and it will also make my "random arthritis" largely disappear. But as soon as I stop taking ibuprofen (because it burns my stomach) everything comes back and my hips become sore-to-painful). So the internal medicine specialist ordered some blood tests, which I have in front of me now. Itís a little hard for me to interpret all of it but here is what is in bold:

ANA Screen = Positive, ABN
Lyme Disease Screen = 1.33, H
Lyme Disease Interpret. = Positive, ABN

Lyme Disease (IgG), WB 41 kd (IgG) band = REACTIVE, ABN
(However, bands 18-39 and 45-93 are Non-Reactive)

I believe H= High and ABN=Abnormal.

So, the internal medicine doctor stated that he was not sure what I had because if I had Lyme many of the other bands would have reactive results.

Last week I went to see a rheumatologist. I'll keep it short: She was nice and listened to my story above. Then she wiggled and twisted my arms, legs fingers and toes.

Also, I had her listen to my heart, which she said sounded fine. But, three times the week before seeing her I had a terrific pain right where my heart is and I had shortness of breath during that time. This lasted for about an hour each time. At one point I thought I was having a heart attack but I figured I wasn't because there was no pain in my arm or anything else.

Her conclusion was that I had bursitis for my hips and that I should _ignore_ my "random arthritis" because it does not fit any patterns. She did not say lupus but she did indicate that my "random arthritis" may be the early stages of something and that it was too early to tell. She said the same thing the internal medicine specialist stated about the Lyme test (if I had Lyme more bands would be reactive). She also stated that Lyme usually affects the knees.

So I'm back to where I started. Hip bursitis with "random arthritis". I was willing to accept that but I started to think: How can I ignore my "random arthritis" which is clearly some form of inflammation and simply isolate it from the inflammation taking place in my hips. Why can't the two be related? As for my knees, they are stiff but don't really hurt; maybe that does not fit the _usual_ profile for Lyme but then again many people donít seem to fit the profile. I just tuned 36 last Saturday and I feel that is a little young for arthritis.

Thanks for letting me bother you with this long story. I'm very keen to listen to what you might have to say. I just want my joint pain to go away.

(Interesting side note: The town next to the one I live in is Lyme, CT the place where Lyme Disease was first characterized. So there definitely is Lyme Disease in the area!)

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