Hi Doctor, I have been suffering with undiagnosed pain for 22 years. I have suffered two episodes of Parsonage Turner syndrome (acute brachial plexus neuritis). These episodes have been the most agonizing pain I have ever suffered. Nerve conduction studies have shown very abnormal nerve impulses in all of my extremities, with the brachial plexus being particularly abnormal. After each episode of the acute symptoms, I have been left with varying levels of muscle paralysis in my upper body. The first episode left me unable to sit up in bed for months. The second left me with a shoulder that was so weak, I could not raise my left arm for about a year. The worst part is the persistent wrist, hand, and finger pain which often radiates up to the elbow (I do not do a lot of work with my hands). I have tried every NSAID in existence, as well as Neurontin , Lyrica , and Amatriptoline. I would have lost all hope, but about three years ago, after coming down with an upper respiratory infection, I had a sudden and complete remission of symptoms. It lasted about a month, and then came back worse than ever. Currently, I am treating the symptoms with a narcotic pain reliever. Unfortunately, this only blunts the pain by about half. I suspect that this disease may be autoimmune in nature, however I test negative for the common ones (lupus, RA, MS etc.). I am HLAB27 antigen positive, but show no signs of ankalosying spondylitis . I ve also had one episode of vasculitis back in 2003. It resolved in 2 weeks with prednisone therapy. Anyway, I m 54 years old, don t drink or smoke. I m wondering about treating my symptoms with one of the biologics (humera or enbril) but I m put off by the side effects. Any ideas?
Asked On : Tue, 25 Dec 2012