Rheumatic Fever?? Ongoing Issues
I am an (otherwise healthy) 32 year old who had my 2nd baby on Sept 29 – no complications, felt fine after. At the beginning of Nov I got strep throat. I began treatment with a 10 day round of penicillin, it seemed to clear up after 24 hours & I finished the antibiotic. 3 days after finishing that antibiotic strep came back, so I went back to the dr & she prescribed Keflex. After 1 or 2 days my sore throat was gone but I continued with the 10 day antibiotic. Half way through that round, ALL of my joints became severely inflamed & painful, I could barely move.
Over the next weeks I had of blood work done & saw my dr. several times. I got Rx nsaids which did nothing to help the pain. I got steroid shots, which helped relieve the pain for about 36 hours each time, but it always returned & was always unbearable. During one visit she swabbed me for strep again (I didn’t notice a sore throat) and it was again positive. She gave me twice the dose of my first round of penicillin. As I began to finish that 10 day round, the joint pain finally started to subside without an injection.
At the same time I had an appointment to see the rheumatologist – he prescribed me daily prednisone, at a max of 20 mg a day. I waited a day or 2 to start taking it, because the end of that round of penicillin seemed to knock out the joint pain. A couple days after being done with it, pain was back so I began the pred.
My blood work in Dec when I was severely inflamed showed positive for basically everything. My sed rate was 49. My more recent blood work has shown negative for Lupus, & my sed rate is down to 23 but still showing a positive rheumatoid factor. My Doctor & rheumatologist believe I contracted rheumatic fever from under-treated strep. I have now seen a cardiologist, and had an echo that was clear.
I have maintained a bearable level of joint pain on 5-10 mg of pred daily, until a few days ago. I am sore again, especially my wrists. Since yesterday I have been coughing up thick dark blood. Where do I go from here?