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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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I have a past history of collagen vascular disease and leukopenia. Is swollen bulging eye and pain behind the ear a symptom of connective tissue disease and autoimmune thyroid ?

went to doctor with swollen eye and severe pain in March. Found I had an ear infectioni and strep (no symptoms with either)put on antibiotic. Went to eye doctor as pain became so severe...she found my eye bulging and a main nerve swollen behing the eye ball. Ordered MRI and blood work. I had a CT as couldn t afford MRI...and blood work done. Went back to doctor about not feeling better...given steroids, a shot for dangerous infection..another perscription for stronger antibiotic. CT scan showed some issues that pointed toward possible thyroid issue. Recommended thyroid workup and if not, more testing. Had thyroid test...normal. RA high. Went to another doctor...he said I was having a collegen attack...as I was having numbness around my mouth on same side as swollen puffy eye... sore inside mouth on that same side as the eye...etc. (Twenty years ago I was told I had collegen vascular disease and had steroid shots and prednisone. Have used Celebrex in the past but nothing for about ten years.)He gave me two steroid shots and prednisone. Sent me to RA doctor. RA doctor is flippent and said not a thyroid issue and says go to a ENT doctor said I didn t have lupus nor RA and basicly didn t think I needed to be treated by this field of medicine. I am running out of money and frustrated. Right not I have pain in the opposide side of the head about three inches behind the ear. Stabbing sort of pain... and pain under my right shoulder blade. Sometime it is in my forhead or right side of head where the eye issue is. Most of my head pain is when I get up at night or in the morning when I get up. RA doctor said that is probably from fluid build up in my head when lying down????? Is this all connected? What should I do ?? When I went to the doctor who said I was having a collegen attack my BP was 203/93. Put me on BP meds...they nearly put me under...so lethargic etc. that I couldn t hardly function. I quit after a week...and BP is averaging 129/77 for about the past three weeks....I am female, 64 and otherwise healthy. Most of my treatment has been for achy body.... hurts to be touched a lot of the time. My cat walking across my legs makes me hurt. When someone pats me etc. it hurts. My husband just can t believe it hurts that bad but it does! I have had elevated RA on most work ups for the past twenty years. I had leukopenia in 1994 which started me on the autoimunne treatment. I hurt so bad I had to have padding put on the bed...and even now I have to take a foam pad when we travel as my tissue is so sensitive. A lot of times after my allergic reactions to fragrances I have these flu like symptoms and go to bed with aches pains etc. This flare...was after a fragrance issue in December...I slept 24 hours one day in January as I was feeling so bad.... than the eye issue was next. The tissue was swollen all around it and water just ran and ran from it. There are still days when it waters a lot...and is puffy. It went down after the injections both times but never back to normal. There are still little bumpy feeling spots in my mouth on the same side as the eye issue also. Before the shots they were very painful at times...espically if I took a hot bath...I would have to get out after five minutes as the pain was unbearable. All this is so strange for me and I am sick sick sick of it all. After five doctors...and no answers...what do you recommend. I am at a loss. I really felt that from all my research it was connected to connective tissue disease...and possibly a thyroid autoimmune tied into it. But the RA doctor who did no tests etc. said the thyroid test was negative so that would rule out a connection.. HELP!
Thu, 12 Jan 2012
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ENT Specialist 's  Response
You should rule out:
1. An orbital pseudotumor which may be a part of Tolosa Hunt Syndrome.
2. Polyarteritis Nodosa.
Some more details such as CT images, papilledema, visual disturbances, sudden weight loss will help.
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