A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it

Advertisement


2019 Camino Guides

Severe joint and muscle pain post Camino Frances

Camino(s) past & future
April 15th 2018
#1
I've now been home from completing my second Camino Frances this year and am extremely unwell.
On the first I left SJPDD on April 15th and arrived in SdC on May 18th.
The second started in SJPDD on August 7th arriving 33 days later on September 8th.

Camino 1 was an absolute joy, no blisters, great weather, fantastic people etc and I felt as if I was walking on air for weeks after my return to the UK. Hence my decision to do it all over again as soon as I could and that opportunity presented itself quite quickly.

Camino 2 was equally great, apart from shin splints on my right leg which resolved itself after rest, ice, elevation and ibuprofen.
A couple of days before O Cebriero I began to notice some swelling and pain in my left wrist, but put this down to, rightly or wrongly, a possible sprain from swinging my backpack on and off several times each day.
Ibuprofen helped with the discomfort and locally bought Radio Salil helped with the swelling.
The 'sprain' then mysteriously spread to my right wrist and I began to suspect that this was a more serious form of inflamation.

Since returning home to the UK the swelling has not abated, neither has the pain, and Ibuprofen no longer works.
My left knee is now swollen and this is spreading to the upper calf.
Both sides of my neck ache and I have developed a 'frozen' right shoulder.

Quite frankly I'm now hobbling around in a lot of pain, unable to perform the simplest of tasks that require any form of wrist action, am fatigued and the polar opposite of how I felt after Camino 1.

My doctor ordered blood tests and the CRP is considerably elevated; indicating that my body is fighting 'something'.
Lyme Disease was suspected but the blood work was negative.
So here we are today, wrists still swollen almost one month later - with no sign of letting up and no clue as to what is ailing me.

I am otherwise a fit 65 year old, one who cycles regularly (although have no chance of doing that right now), eats well, doesn't smoke and drinks red wine in relative moderation, and never goes running off to the doctor without a very good reason.

It seems clear that I 'contracted' sometime between August 7th and the end of that month.
Was I bitten ?
We live in a global village, and the Camino brings people together from across the globe.
So was I infected by another pilgrim ?

My fear now, understandably, is that this might well spread further and that it might take weeks for my doctor to come up with the correct diagnosis and prescribe a course of treatment.

If any of my symptoms sounds familiar, please respond soonest - I feel genuinely debilitated and unwell.

Many thanks.
Mike
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances planned for October 3-mid November (2018)
#2
I'm so sorry. This is quite scary I am sure. My first thought was Lyme Disease as well...it needs to be ruled out that it is not a chronic case. Although they have ruled this out as an acute infection, I think a course of doxycycline pending a consult with an Infectious Disease Specialist/MD is in order. Buena Suerte, pilgrim. Prayers are with you.
 
Camino(s) past & future
April 15th 2018
#3
Thank you so much for your reply.
My original thought was, perhaps, Rheumatoid Arthritis, however two things speak against this.
1. Specific blood tests were negative.
2. RA rarely seems to attack with such ferocity completely out of the blue.

No, this came out of nowhere and is, I suspect, some form of nasty pathogen, bacteriologic infection or parasite.

The problem is which ???
 

ksam

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese '08, Frances '11, del Norte '14, Invierno '16, Ingles '17, Primitivo October 2018
#4
A prayer for you that it isn't Lyme Disease! I didn't realize that it had spread to the other side of the Atlantic! Wishing you well. Karin
 
Camino(s) past & future
Roncesvalles-SdC Apr-Jun 2015
Roncesvalles-Sarria Sep-Oct 2017
(2019: Planning to return!)
#7
I've now been home from completing my second Camino Frances this year and am extremely unwell.
On the first I left SJPDD on April 15th and arrived in SdC on May 18th.
The second started in SJPDD on August 7th arriving 33 days later on September 8th.

Camino 1 was an absolute joy, no blisters, great weather, fantastic people etc and I felt as if I was walking on air for weeks after my return to the UK. Hence my decision to do it all over again as soon as I could and that opportunity presented itself quite quickly.

Camino 2 was equally great, apart from shin splints on my right leg which resolved itself after rest, ice, elevation and ibuprofen.
A couple of days before O Cebriero I began to notice some swelling and pain in my left wrist, but put this down to, rightly or wrongly, a possible sprain from swinging my backpack on and off several times each day.
Ibuprofen helped with the discomfort and locally bought Radio Salil helped with the swelling.
The 'sprain' then mysteriously spread to my right wrist and I began to suspect that this was a more serious form of inflamation.

Since returning home to the UK the swelling has not abated, neither has the pain, and Ibuprofen no longer works.
My left knee is now swollen and this is spreading to the upper calf.
Both sides of my neck ache and I have developed a 'frozen' right shoulder.

Quite frankly I'm now hobbling around in a lot of pain, unable to perform the simplest of tasks that require any form of wrist action, am fatigued and the polar opposite of how I felt after Camino 1.

My doctor ordered blood tests and the CRP is considerably elevated; indicating that my body is fighting 'something'.
Lyme Disease was suspected but the blood work was negative.
So here we are today, wrists still swollen almost one month later - with no sign of letting up and no clue as to what is ailing me.

I am otherwise a fit 65 year old, one who cycles regularly (although have no chance of doing that right now), eats well, doesn't smoke and drinks red wine in relative moderation, and never goes running off to the doctor without a very good reason.

It seems clear that I 'contracted' sometime between August 7th and the end of that month.
Was I bitten ?
We live in a global village, and the Camino brings people together from across the globe.
So was I infected by another pilgrim ?

My fear now, understandably, is that this might well spread further and that it might take weeks for my doctor to come up with the correct diagnosis and prescribe a course of treatment.

If any of my symptoms sounds familiar, please respond soonest - I feel genuinely debilitated and unwell.

Many thanks.
Mike
Did you have any sort of stomach upset while in Spain? I ask because my mother was hit with food poisoning in Sarria and just as she started feeling better her joints started doing just what you describe. It was a type of reactive arthritis which can occur following an infection. In her case probably salmonella. Her GP back home said it's more common than people realise. That's despite much of what you find on the web only mentioning a few rare conditions associated with it. She was lucky and it slowly settled down after a few wks but some stiffness persisted for a few months. It can take a while. That may not be what you have but symptoms sound similar. I don't think there's a test for it or much that can be done except wait for it to subside, but talk to your doctor.

Good luck!
 
Camino(s) past & future
April 15th 2018
#8
Curiously I was hit with food poisoning on Camino 1 at O Cebriero but it was only a 24 hour thing and, crucially, back in early May.
I don't think the two are related.
Over the last few years I have learned to listen to my body as I suffer from both heart disease and cancer.
This is something completely different.
Completely different from anything I have ever experienced in my life....
Ever....
 
Last edited:

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata.
#9
Sounds like some kind of auto-immune reaction. Has the doctor talked to you about steroids?
 
Camino(s) past & future
April 15th 2018
#10
Hi Kanga
After much insistence with my GP I now have an appointment with a specialist rheumatologist on Thursday.
Hopefully that will result in some form of diagnosis and treatment.
I guess all options, including steroids, are on the table at this point.
Just as long as I get some relief from the pain and discomfort...
Was thinking this morning that if you want to immobilise an otherwise fit and active individual - just whack them in the left knee, right shoulder, both wrists and either side of the neck.
Because whatever it is that's invaded my system has been very clever and done exactly that !!!
 

marie nola

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
st francis
#11
I've now been home from completing my second Camino Frances this year and am extremely unwell.
On the first I left SJPDD on April 15th and arrived in SdC on May 18th.
The second started in SJPDD on August 7th arriving 33 days later on September 8th.

Camino 1 was an absolute joy, no blisters, great weather, fantastic people etc and I felt as if I was walking on air for weeks after my return to the UK. Hence my decision to do it all over again as soon as I could and that opportunity presented itself quite quickly.

Camino 2 was equally great, apart from shin splints on my right leg which resolved itself after rest, ice, elevation and ibuprofen.
A couple of days before O Cebriero I began to notice some swelling and pain in my left wrist, but put this down to, rightly or wrongly, a possible sprain from swinging my backpack on and off several times each day.
Ibuprofen helped with the discomfort and locally bought Radio Salil helped with the swelling.
The 'sprain' then mysteriously spread to my right wrist and I began to suspect that this was a more serious form of inflamation.

Since returning home to the UK the swelling has not abated, neither has the pain, and Ibuprofen no longer works.
My left knee is now swollen and this is spreading to the upper calf.
Both sides of my neck ache and I have developed a 'frozen' right shoulder.

Quite frankly I'm now hobbling around in a lot of pain, unable to perform the simplest of tasks that require any form of wrist action, am fatigued and the polar opposite of how I felt after Camino 1.

My doctor ordered blood tests and the CRP is considerably elevated; indicating that my body is fighting 'something'.
Lyme Disease was suspected but the blood work was negative.
So here we are today, wrists still swollen almost one month later - with no sign of letting up and no clue as to what is ailing me.

I am otherwise a fit 65 year old, one who cycles regularly (although have no chance of doing that right now), eats well, doesn't smoke and drinks red wine in relative moderation, and never goes running off to the doctor without a very good reason.

It seems clear that I 'contracted' sometime between August 7th and the end of that month.
Was I bitten ?
We live in a global village, and the Camino brings people together from across the globe.
So was I infected by another pilgrim ?

My fear now, understandably, is that this might well spread further and that it might take weeks for my doctor to come up with the correct diagnosis and prescribe a course of treatment.

If any of my symptoms sounds familiar, please respond soonest - I feel genuinely debilitated and unwell.

Many thanks.
Mike
Have u though to check for rheumatoid arthritis?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances sept-oct 2018
#13
I was going to urge you to see a rheumatologist, good to read that you were already on to that and have an appt booked. The elevated CRP level might point to an auto-immune condition (?maybe lupus?) And that is the rheumatologist's field. My best wishes for some answers and some relief - soon!
 

Joodle

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances May 10th through June 21st 2016 Yahooo!!
#14
I've now been home from completing my second Camino Frances this year and am extremely unwell.
On the first I left SJPDD on April 15th and arrived in SdC on May 18th.
The second started in SJPDD on August 7th arriving 33 days later on September 8th.

Camino 1 was an absolute joy, no blisters, great weather, fantastic people etc and I felt as if I was walking on air for weeks after my return to the UK. Hence my decision to do it all over again as soon as I could and that opportunity presented itself quite quickly.

Camino 2 was equally great, apart from shin splints on my right leg which resolved itself after rest, ice, elevation and ibuprofen.
A couple of days before O Cebriero I began to notice some swelling and pain in my left wrist, but put this down to, rightly or wrongly, a possible sprain from swinging my backpack on and off several times each day.
Ibuprofen helped with the discomfort and locally bought Radio Salil helped with the swelling.
The 'sprain' then mysteriously spread to my right wrist and I began to suspect that this was a more serious form of inflamation.

Since returning home to the UK the swelling has not abated, neither has the pain, and Ibuprofen no longer works.
My left knee is now swollen and this is spreading to the upper calf.
Both sides of my neck ache and I have developed a 'frozen' right shoulder.

Quite frankly I'm now hobbling around in a lot of pain, unable to perform the simplest of tasks that require any form of wrist action, am fatigued and the polar opposite of how I felt after Camino 1.

My doctor ordered blood tests and the CRP is considerably elevated; indicating that my body is fighting 'something'.
Lyme Disease was suspected but the blood work was negative.
So here we are today, wrists still swollen almost one month later - with no sign of letting up and no clue as to what is ailing me.

I am otherwise a fit 65 year old, one who cycles regularly (although have no chance of doing that right now), eats well, doesn't smoke and drinks red wine in relative moderation, and never goes running off to the doctor without a very good reason.

It seems clear that I 'contracted' sometime between August 7th and the end of that month.
Was I bitten ?
We live in a global village, and the Camino brings people together from across the globe.
So was I infected by another pilgrim ?

My fear now, understandably, is that this might well spread further and that it might take weeks for my doctor to come up with the correct diagnosis and prescribe a course of treatment.

If any of my symptoms sounds familiar, please respond soonest - I feel genuinely debilitated and unwell.

Many thanks.
Mike
Have your Doctor check you for Polymyalgia Rheumatica. It’s an autoimmune disease that can come on quite rapidly and leave you almost bed bound. Prednisone can be like a miracle drug in the treatment of Polymyalgia Rheumatica. Google it and see if this sounds like what you’re experiencing. Just a thought.
 
Camino(s) past & future
April 15th 2018
#16
Thank you SO much @GettingThere !!
I got food poisoning in A Coruña and later, at home, had nasty joint and back pains more severe than the usual and which were not helped by usual anti-Inflams. This may be the reason!!
As mentioned above, I did get food poisoning on the way down from O Cebreiro at the albergue in Fonfria.
It was not pretty; projectile vomiting (and I very, very rarely ever throw up) and diarrhea most of that night.
But that was back on May 10th and lasted less than 24 hours - took it very easy the next day, walking only to Triacastella (9km) - but was completely recovered the day after when I continued to Barbadelo (26.5km).

Could that be the root cause of something that manifested itself about 15 weeks later ?

By that time I was three weeks into my second Camino Frances and was walking well - had done three 50km days for example - and feeling super fit, energised and having a great time.

Coincidently it was the day before the ascent of O Cebriero that I first started to notice the swelling in my left wrist, but, as stated, put this down to the repetitive nature of swinging my backpack on and off several times a day.

Of course I was wrong, and it just got worse and worse....
 

Glamgrrl

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Travel318
#17
Did you have any sort of stomach upset while in Spain? I ask because my mother was hit with food poisoning in Sarria and just as she started feeling better her joints started doing just what you describe. It was a type of reactive arthritis which can occur following an infection. In her case probably salmonella. Her GP back home said it's more common than people realise. That's despite much of what you find on the web only mentioning a few rare conditions associated with it. She was lucky and it slowly settled down after a few wks but some stiffness persisted for a few months. It can take a while. That may not be what you have but symptoms sound similar. I don't think there's a test for it or much that can be done except wait for it to subside, but talk to your doctor.

Good luck!
Thanks so much for posting. I’ve been experiencing exactly this and did have food poisoning.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Roncesvalles-SdC Apr-Jun 2015
Roncesvalles-Sarria Sep-Oct 2017
(2019: Planning to return!)
#19
Could that be the root cause of something that manifested itself about 15 weeks later ?
Unlikely I would think. I just raised the question in case you had experienced anything like this just before your symptoms started. As far as I know it would occur within a short time. It sounds like your symptoms are due to something else, so it's great to hear you'll be seeing a rheumatologist. All the best!
 
Camino(s) past & future
April 15th 2018
#20
Unlikely I would think. I just raised the question in case you had experienced anything like this just before your symptoms started. As far as I know it would occur within a short time. It sounds like your symptoms are due to something else, so it's great to hear you'll be seeing a rheumatologist. All the best!
I don't know if this is relevant but 6/7 days after the first onset of my symptoms I started to feel less energised (unusual for me) and took a rest day at the wonderful Alb. Casa Domingo in Casanova.
The stiffness, swelling and general tiredness continued through to the end of my Camino in SdC.
A great shame as I had been looking forward to continuing on to Finistere.
Sadly just no longer had the energy....
 
Camino(s) past & future
St. Francis Route 2017
#21
I contracted food poisoning in Bayonne a couple of days before starting the Camino. I experienced all the effects, particularly, loss of appetite. It took a few days to "normalize," but no lingering impact.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Roncesvalles-SdC Apr-Jun 2015
Roncesvalles-Sarria Sep-Oct 2017
(2019: Planning to return!)
#22
I don't know if this is relevant but 6/7 days after the first onset of my symptoms I started to feel less energised (unusual for me) and took a rest day at the wonderful Alb. Casa Domingo in Casanova.
The stiffness, swelling and general tiredness continued through to the end of my Camino in SdC.
A great shame as I had been looking forward to continuing on to Finistere.
Sadly just no longer had the energy....
I think it's amazing you managed to finish at all! Your symptoms sound awful, I really hope the specialist you see can identify the cause and offer some effective treatment. Will be thinking of you on Thursday.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Walked in "2016"
#24
I presume you may have done or intend to do the following:

a. A complete blood count (CBC) test
b. Consult a hematologist
b. See a bone and joint specialist (aside from a specialist in Arthritis)

Some above have suggested drugs such as prednisone. Prednisone is a prescription medicine and should be taken only after the recommendation of your doctor. It may be a temporary fix that won't solve the underlying causes of your symptoms. Also prednisone could have serious side effects and could also lead to bone loss.
 

Susu60

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, La via plata, Aragon,
#25
I've now been home from completing my second Camino Frances this year and am extremely unwell.
On the first I left SJPDD on April 15th and arrived in SdC on May 18th.
The second started in SJPDD on August 7th arriving 33 days later on September 8th.

Camino 1 was an absolute joy, no blisters, great weather, fantastic people etc and I felt as if I was walking on air for weeks after my return to the UK. Hence my decision to do it all over again as soon as I could and that opportunity presented itself quite quickly.

Camino 2 was equally great, apart from shin splints on my right leg which resolved itself after rest, ice, elevation and ibuprofen.
A couple of days before O Cebriero I began to notice some swelling and pain in my left wrist, but put this down to, rightly or wrongly, a possible sprain from swinging my backpack on and off several times each day.
Ibuprofen helped with the discomfort and locally bought Radio Salil helped with the swelling.
The 'sprain' then mysteriously spread to my right wrist and I began to suspect that this was a more serious form of inflamation.

Since returning home to the UK the swelling has not abated, neither has the pain, and Ibuprofen no longer works.
My left knee is now swollen and this is spreading to the upper calf.
Both sides of my neck ache and I have developed a 'frozen' right shoulder.

Quite frankly I'm now hobbling around in a lot of pain, unable to perform the simplest of tasks that require any form of wrist action, am fatigued and the polar opposite of how I felt after Camino 1.

My doctor ordered blood tests and the CRP is considerably elevated; indicating that my body is fighting 'something'.
Lyme Disease was suspected but the blood work was negative.
So here we are today, wrists still swollen almost one month later - with no sign of letting up and no clue as to what is ailing me.

I am otherwise a fit 65 year old, one who cycles regularly (although have no chance of doing that right now), eats well, doesn't smoke and drinks red wine in relative moderation, and never goes running off to the doctor without a very good reason.

It seems clear that I 'contracted' sometime between August 7th and the end of that month.
Was I bitten ?
We live in a global village, and the Camino brings people together from across the globe.
So was I infected by another pilgrim ?

My fear now, understandably, is that this might well spread further and that it might take weeks for my doctor to come up with the correct diagnosis and prescribe a course of treatment.

If any of my symptoms sounds familiar, please respond soonest - I feel genuinely debilitated and unwell.

Many thanks.
Mike
Perhaps an infection disease specialist?
 
Camino(s) past & future
St. Francis Route 2017
#26
I've now been home from completing my second Camino Frances this year and am extremely unwell.
On the first I left SJPDD on April 15th and arrived in SdC on May 18th.
The second started in SJPDD on August 7th arriving 33 days later on September 8th.

Camino 1 was an absolute joy, no blisters, great weather, fantastic people etc and I felt as if I was walking on air for weeks after my return to the UK. Hence my decision to do it all over again as soon as I could and that opportunity presented itself quite quickly.

Camino 2 was equally great, apart from shin splints on my right leg which resolved itself after rest, ice, elevation and ibuprofen.
A couple of days before O Cebriero I began to notice some swelling and pain in my left wrist, but put this down to, rightly or wrongly, a possible sprain from swinging my backpack on and off several times each day.
Ibuprofen helped with the discomfort and locally bought Radio Salil helped with the swelling.
The 'sprain' then mysteriously spread to my right wrist and I began to suspect that this was a more serious form of inflamation.

Since returning home to the UK the swelling has not abated, neither has the pain, and Ibuprofen no longer works.
My left knee is now swollen and this is spreading to the upper calf.
Both sides of my neck ache and I have developed a 'frozen' right shoulder.

Quite frankly I'm now hobbling around in a lot of pain, unable to perform the simplest of tasks that require any form of wrist action, am fatigued and the polar opposite of how I felt after Camino 1.

My doctor ordered blood tests and the CRP is considerably elevated; indicating that my body is fighting 'something'.
Lyme Disease was suspected but the blood work was negative.
So here we are today, wrists still swollen almost one month later - with no sign of letting up and no clue as to what is ailing me.

I am otherwise a fit 65 year old, one who cycles regularly (although have no chance of doing that right now), eats well, doesn't smoke and drinks red wine in relative moderation, and never goes running off to the doctor without a very good reason.

It seems clear that I 'contracted' sometime between August 7th and the end of that month.
Was I bitten ?
We live in a global village, and the Camino brings people together from across the globe.
So was I infected by another pilgrim ?

My fear now, understandably, is that this might well spread further and that it might take weeks for my doctor to come up with the correct diagnosis and prescribe a course of treatment.

If any of my symptoms sounds familiar, please respond soonest - I feel genuinely debilitated and unwell.

Many thanks.
Mike
Mike, is there a tendancy toward Gout in your family?
 
Camino(s) past & future
St. Francis Route 2017
#28
I ask only to keep pulling on strings that will lead to discovery. I read your original post three times looking for clues. My family on my father's side does have a history of gout, and in the past I have experienced what you are experiencing, including wrists and knees. Uric acid loves to settle in these, and other areas. Sounds like we can eliminate—in your case—gout as a culprit.
 
Camino(s) past & future
April 15th 2018
#29
I ask only to keep pulling on strings that will lead to discovery. I read your original post three times looking for clues. My family on my father's side does have a history of gout, and in the past I have experienced what you are experiencing, including wrists and knees. Uric acid loves to settle in these, and other areas. Sounds like we can eliminate—in your case—gout as a culprit.
Please do not misunderstand me John, it is my understanding that my symptoms are not typical for gout.
I am most grateful for your input and shall certainly bring this possibility up with the specialist on Thursday.
 

Shades of Narnia

Sandi, Shades of Narnia
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis, 2014
Camino Portuguese 2015
Camino Francis, 2016 & Hospitalera in Viana Spain
Etc.
#30
I've now been home from completing my second Camino Frances this year and am extremely unwell.
On the first I left SJPDD on April 15th and arrived in SdC on May 18th.
The second started in SJPDD on August 7th arriving 33 days later on September 8th.

Camino 1 was an absolute joy, no blisters, great weather, fantastic people etc and I felt as if I was walking on air for weeks after my return to the UK. Hence my decision to do it all over again as soon as I could and that opportunity presented itself quite quickly.

Camino 2 was equally great, apart from shin splints on my right leg which resolved itself after rest, ice, elevation and ibuprofen.
A couple of days before O Cebriero I began to notice some swelling and pain in my left wrist, but put this down to, rightly or wrongly, a possible sprain from swinging my backpack on and off several times each day.
Ibuprofen helped with the discomfort and locally bought Radio Salil helped with the swelling.
The 'sprain' then mysteriously spread to my right wrist and I began to suspect that this was a more serious form of inflamation.

Since returning home to the UK the swelling has not abated, neither has the pain, and Ibuprofen no longer works.
My left knee is now swollen and this is spreading to the upper calf.
Both sides of my neck ache and I have developed a 'frozen' right shoulder.

Quite frankly I'm now hobbling around in a lot of pain, unable to perform the simplest of tasks that require any form of wrist action, am fatigued and the polar opposite of how I felt after Camino 1.

My doctor ordered blood tests and the CRP is considerably elevated; indicating that my body is fighting 'something'.
Lyme Disease was suspected but the blood work was negative.
So here we are today, wrists still swollen almost one month later - with no sign of letting up and no clue as to what is ailing me.

I am otherwise a fit 65 year old, one who cycles regularly (although have no chance of doing that right now), eats well, doesn't smoke and drinks red wine in relative moderation, and never goes running off to the doctor without a very good reason.

It seems clear that I 'contracted' sometime between August 7th and the end of that month.
Was I bitten ?
We live in a global village, and the Camino brings people together from across the globe.
So was I infected by another pilgrim ?

My fear now, understandably, is that this might well spread further and that it might take weeks for my doctor to come up with the correct diagnosis and prescribe a course of treatment.

If any of my symptoms sounds familiar, please respond soonest - I feel genuinely debilitated and unwell.

Many thanks.
Mike
O my goodness, Mike, you could be speaking about me right now! I walked Camino Francis 30 days, May June this year. Just before departure my thigh muscles were feeling tight especially when I tried to stretch in bed and I had about 5 inch strip across my back that felt sensitive. Nothing unusual about my (4th) Camino except I had a really sore knee...put it down to too much deep bending with pack on my back intentionally picking up garbage.Got home (Vancouver Canada) end of June and then 2 by two , groups of muscles began to follow the first, upon stretching and sensitive back strip started to get wider. My wrists went right into carpal tunnel distress.
It's October 2nd and now probably all my muscles are affected, painful, I can not turn or bend at wrists and am wearing splints through the nights. Last week my daughter told me my voice is changing and I can no longer make fists.
Luckily through hospital emergency I was referred to a Neurologist who checked me fully and ordered MRI's of my spine, for this Saturday. I also through him got referred to a Critical Response Rheumatoligist Clinic who I am to hear from by tomorrow.
My situation is looking like my immune system attacking my muscles and nerves, a situation which needs quick diagnosis before more losses occur. . Let's you and I keep in touch and share further developments. I highly recommend you get your doctor to start calling in Specialists. Fondly sandi
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
#31
Crikey, you must feel rather frightened by this, i would be!
Lyme's doesnt always show up in the first blood test and it is normal to get another a few weeks later.
Your specialists will find out but what it sounds like is your immune system trying to carry on fighting something that may be long gone.
I was tic bit on Camino a while back, recognised what it was and had the course of double dose antibiotics then a later blood test to see if clear. Which it was, but for a long while now have been suffering from post Lyme's, horrid and blood tests on other sufferers show no positive, so it is believed it just may be the immune system carrying on attacking something that is no longer there, so was wondering if yours may be a similar thing.

Mind you, if it turns out that you were bitten by a spider will you let us know if you develop any super powers???

Seriously, I wish you well and hope you get this sorted.

By the way. Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by inflammation due to the immune system overreacting.
 

Shades of Narnia

Sandi, Shades of Narnia
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis, 2014
Camino Portuguese 2015
Camino Francis, 2016 & Hospitalera in Viana Spain
Etc.
#32
Crikey, you must feel rather frightened by this, i would be!
Lyme's doesnt always show up in the first blood test and it is normal to get another a few weeks later.
Your specialists will find out but what it sounds like is your immune system trying to carry on fighting something that may be long gone.
I was tic bit on Camino a while back, recognised what it was and had the course of double dose antibiotics then a later blood test to see if clear. Which it was, but for a long while now have been suffering from post Lyme's, horrid and blood tests on other sufferers show no positive, so it is believed it just may be the immune system carrying on attacking something that is no longer there, so was wondering if yours may be a similar thing.

Mind you, if it turns out that you were bitten by a spider will you let us know if you develop any super powers???

Seriously, I wish you well and hope you get this sorted.

By the way. Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by inflammation due to the immune system overreacting.
And I now understand, wrists exhibiting carpal tunnel challenge can be caused by repetitive motions stress( I knew that) or simply a sign of presence of disease (I did not know that!)
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2, El Norte incompleto
#33
O my goodness, Mike, you could be speaking about me right now! I walked Camino Francis 30 days, May June this year. Just before departure my thigh muscles were feeling tight especially when I tried to stretch in bed and I had about 5 inch strip across my back that felt sensitive. Nothing unusual about my (4th) Camino except I had a really sore knee...put it down to too much deep bending with pack on my back intentionally picking up garbage.Got home (Vancouver Canada) end of June and then 2 by two , groups of muscles began to follow the first, upon stretching and sensitive back strip started to get wider. My wrists went right into carpal tunnel distress.
It's October 2nd and now probably all my muscles are affected, painful, I can not turn or bend at wrists and am wearing splints through the nights. Last week my daughter told me my voice is changing and I can no longer make fists.
Luckily through hospital emergency I was referred to a Neurologist who checked me fully and ordered MRI's of my spine, for this Saturday. I also through him got referred to a Critical Response Rheumatoligist Clinic who I am to hear from by tomorrow.
My situation is looking like my immune system attacking my muscles and nerves, a situation which needs quick diagnosis before more losses occur. My email is XXXXXXX.Com. Let's you and I keep in touch and share further developments. I highly recommend you get your doctor to start calling in Specialists. Fondly sandi
I suggest that you edit your post and remove your email address. On a public forum it's an invitation to spammers and scammers. Members can contact you via private message.
 

Walking Lover

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CdS from Leon to Santiago, June 16, 2016 to June 30, 2016.
#34
I've now been home from completing my second Camino Frances this year and am extremely unwell.
On the first I left SJPDD on April 15th and arrived in SdC on May 18th.
The second started in SJPDD on August 7th arriving 33 days later on September 8th.

Camino 1 was an absolute joy, no blisters, great weather, fantastic people etc and I felt as if I was walking on air for weeks after my return to the UK. Hence my decision to do it all over again as soon as I could and that opportunity presented itself quite quickly.

Camino 2 was equally great, apart from shin splints on my right leg which resolved itself after rest, ice, elevation and ibuprofen.
A couple of days before O Cebriero I began to notice some swelling and pain in my left wrist, but put this down to, rightly or wrongly, a possible sprain from swinging my backpack on and off several times each day.
Ibuprofen helped with the discomfort and locally bought Radio Salil helped with the swelling.
The 'sprain' then mysteriously spread to my right wrist and I began to suspect that this was a more serious form of inflamation.

Since returning home to the UK the swelling has not abated, neither has the pain, and Ibuprofen no longer works.
My left knee is now swollen and this is spreading to the upper calf.
Both sides of my neck ache and I have developed a 'frozen' right shoulder.

Quite frankly I'm now hobbling around in a lot of pain, unable to perform the simplest of tasks that require any form of wrist action, am fatigued and the polar opposite of how I felt after Camino 1.

My doctor ordered blood tests and the CRP is considerably elevated; indicating that my body is fighting 'something'.
Lyme Disease was suspected but the blood work was negative.
So here we are today, wrists still swollen almost one month later - with no sign of letting up and no clue as to what is ailing me.

I am otherwise a fit 65 year old, one who cycles regularly (although have no chance of doing that right now), eats well, doesn't smoke and drinks red wine in relative moderation, and never goes running off to the doctor without a very good reason.

It seems clear that I 'contracted' sometime between August 7th and the end of that month.
Was I bitten ?
We live in a global village, and the Camino brings people together from across the globe.
So was I infected by another pilgrim ?

My fear now, understandably, is that this might well spread further and that it might take weeks for my doctor to come up with the correct diagnosis and prescribe a course of treatment.

If any of my symptoms sounds familiar, please respond soonest - I feel genuinely debilitated and unwell.

Many thanks.
Mike
Please don't discount Lyme because of a negative test. The test is very flawed. I have had Lyme since 2012 and have tested + only once, 3 years into treatment.
 
Camino(s) past & future
April 15th 2018
#35
Please don't discount Lyme because of a negative test. The test is very flawed. I have had Lyme since 2012 and have tested + only once, 3 years into treatment.
Did you have the characteristic bullseye (target) pattern around the bite itself ?
How come your doctor treated you for Lyme absent a positive blood test ?
Am most curious.....
 

robproct

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Lisbon
#36
I've now been home from completing my second Camino Frances this year and am extremely unwell.
On the first I left SJPDD on April 15th and arrived in SdC on May 18th.
The second started in SJPDD on August 7th arriving 33 days later on September 8th.

Camino 1 was an absolute joy, no blisters, great weather, fantastic people etc and I felt as if I was walking on air for weeks after my return to the UK. Hence my decision to do it all over again as soon as I could and that opportunity presented itself quite quickly.

Camino 2 was equally great, apart from shin splints on my right leg which resolved itself after rest, ice, elevation and ibuprofen.
A couple of days before O Cebriero I began to notice some swelling and pain in my left wrist, but put this down to, rightly or wrongly, a possible sprain from swinging my backpack on and off several times each day.
Ibuprofen helped with the discomfort and locally bought Radio Salil helped with the swelling.
The 'sprain' then mysteriously spread to my right wrist and I began to suspect that this was a more serious form of inflamation.

Since returning home to the UK the swelling has not abated, neither has the pain, and Ibuprofen no longer works.
My left knee is now swollen and this is spreading to the upper calf.
Both sides of my neck ache and I have developed a 'frozen' right shoulder.

Quite frankly I'm now hobbling around in a lot of pain, unable to perform the simplest of tasks that require any form of wrist action, am fatigued and the polar opposite of how I felt after Camino 1.

My doctor ordered blood tests and the CRP is considerably elevated; indicating that my body is fighting 'something'.
Lyme Disease was suspected but the blood work was negative.
So here we are today, wrists still swollen almost one month later - with no sign of letting up and no clue as to what is ailing me.

I am otherwise a fit 65 year old, one who cycles regularly (although have no chance of doing that right now), eats well, doesn't smoke and drinks red wine in relative moderation, and never goes running off to the doctor without a very good reason.

It seems clear that I 'contracted' sometime between August 7th and the end of that month.
Was I bitten ?
We live in a global village, and the Camino brings people together from across the globe.
So was I infected by another pilgrim ?

My fear now, understandably, is that this might well spread further and that it might take weeks for my doctor to come up with the correct diagnosis and prescribe a course of treatment.

If any of my symptoms sounds familiar, please respond soonest - I feel genuinely debilitated and unwell.

Many thanks.
Mike
It seems that you pushed it a fair bit and I wonder if you have developed “Overtraining Syndrome”. It’s a well described condition with lots of info on the internet. I have had to learn the hard way and listen to my body having developed some of the well described symptoms that I had not previously known about.
 
Camino(s) past & future
St. Francis Route 2017
#40
Please do not misunderstand me John, it is my understanding that my symptoms are not typical for gout.
I am most grateful for your input and shall certainly bring this possibility up with the specialist on Thursday.
Thanks, Mike. If you are comfortable sharing the results of your Thursday exam, that could be helpful to others and would be appreciated. We may not be doctors, but some of the members of this forum have had inexplicable ailments of which many doctors are unable to properly diagnose. Enter 'the wisdom of crowds': your adoptive Camino family that is obviously concerned for your health. John
 
Camino(s) past & future
April 15th 2018
#41
Thank you John. My motivation for starting this thread was really to find out if there were others with similar symptoms, others perhaps who were further along the road to becoming well again than I am.
Equally there could well be others who are no nearer to finding a diagnosis than me, and therefore to let them know that they are not alone and that possibly by sharing our collective experiences we could all benefit from one another.
This thing started about three weeks into my recent Camino and whilst entirely possible that the walk was merely the trigger for something that had otherwise lain dormant in my system for a while, my instinct tells me that something, hitherto unexplained, happened on the Camino and was more likely the cause.
That something could be an insect or spider bite.
It could be a parasite hiding in food.
It could be a bacteriological or viral infection.
Or it could be something else entirely...
Whatever it is I am happy to share on this thread the results of any diagnostic tests as and when I get them.
It is comforting to know that my adoptive Camino family is out there and I am grateful.
 

Shades of Narnia

Sandi, Shades of Narnia
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis, 2014
Camino Portuguese 2015
Camino Francis, 2016 & Hospitalera in Viana Spain
Etc.
#42
Thank you John. My motivation for starting this thread was really to find out if there were others with similar symptoms, others perhaps who were further along the road to becoming well again than I am.
Equally there could well be others who are no nearer to finding a diagnosis than me, and therefore to let them know that they are not alone and that possibly by sharing our collective experiences we could all benefit from one another.
This thing started about three weeks into my recent Camino and whilst entirely possible that the walk was merely the trigger for something that had otherwise lain dormant in my system for a while, my instinct tells me that something, hitherto unexplained, happened on the Camino and was more likely the cause.
That something could be an insect or spider bite.
It could be a parasite hiding in food.
It could be a bacteriological or viral infection.
Or it could be something else entirely...
Whatever it is I am happy to share on this thread the results of any diagnostic tests as and when I get them.
It is comforting to know that my adoptive Camino family is out there and I am grateful.

And I too, really appreciate this thread of caring, thank you 'Camino friends', as I watch for further conversations. As a praying person, Mike I pray you may be given growing clarity and specific direction, good health care experiences and, of course, hope for an unencumbered future quality of life improvement. Loving kindness, sandi
 
Camino(s) past & future
April 15th 2018
#43
Sandi. Thank you so much for your prayers and good wishes.
It seems we are both in similar boats and the rapid spread of muscle pain must be very distressing for you.
I hope that you get an appointment with a rheumatologist very, very soon as it seems they are the specialists in this field...
My appointment is at 9am UK time tomorrow - I'll post an update just as soon as I get home.
 

Shades of Narnia

Sandi, Shades of Narnia
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis, 2014
Camino Portuguese 2015
Camino Francis, 2016 & Hospitalera in Viana Spain
Etc.
#44
Sandi. Thank you so much for your prayers and good wishes.
It seems we are both in similar boats and the rapid spread of muscle pain must be very distressing for you.
I hope that you get an appointment with a rheumatologist very, very soon as it seems they are the specialists in this field...
My appointment is at 9am UK time tomorrow - I'll post an update just as soon as I get home.
Perfect, my (Rapid Response) Rheumatologist appointment is next Thursday.
 
Camino(s) past & future
St. Francis Route 2017
#45
O my goodness, Mike, you could be speaking about me right now! I walked Camino Francis 30 days, May June this year. Just before departure my thigh muscles were feeling tight especially when I tried to stretch in bed and I had about 5 inch strip across my back that felt sensitive. Nothing unusual about my (4th) Camino except I had a really sore knee...put it down to too much deep bending with pack on my back intentionally picking up garbage.Got home (Vancouver Canada) end of June and then 2 by two , groups of muscles began to follow the first, upon stretching and sensitive back strip started to get wider. My wrists went right into carpal tunnel distress.
It's October 2nd and now probably all my muscles are affected, painful, I can not turn or bend at wrists and am wearing splints through the nights. Last week my daughter told me my voice is changing and I can no longer make fists.
Luckily through hospital emergency I was referred to a Neurologist who checked me fully and ordered MRI's of my spine, for this Saturday. I also through him got referred to a Critical Response Rheumatoligist Clinic who I am to hear from by tomorrow.
My situation is looking like my immune system attacking my muscles and nerves, a situation which needs quick diagnosis before more losses occur. . Let's you and I keep in touch and share further developments. I highly recommend you get your doctor to start calling in Specialists. Fondly sandi
Hi Sandi. I'm just down the road from you in Anacortes. I'm not a doctor, but I suppose I am at an age when I see friends experiencing health conditions that were foreign to us in our youth. When I saw your comment, "My situation is looking like my immune system is attacking my muscles and nerves..." I immediately thought of one of my hiking group friends who suffered through Guillain-Barre Syndrome which does what you are describing. I'm attaching a link to a website that might be helpful. https://healthprep.com/immune-syste...ent=52926561810&utm_term=what is gbs syndrome . My friend is okay now, but it took a year for her to regain all the movement she had before she was hit. Just pulling on a string, Sandi. Best wishes, John
 
Camino(s) past & future
St. Francis Route 2017
#46
Sandi. Thank you so much for your prayers and good wishes.
It seems we are both in similar boats and the rapid spread of muscle pain must be very distressing for you.
I hope that you get an appointment with a rheumatologist very, very soon as it seems they are the specialists in this field...
My appointment is at 9am UK time tomorrow - I'll post an update just as soon as I get home.
You'll be in my thoughts, Mike. Best, John
 

Shades of Narnia

Sandi, Shades of Narnia
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis, 2014
Camino Portuguese 2015
Camino Francis, 2016 & Hospitalera in Viana Spain
Etc.
#47
Hi Sandi. I'm just down the road from you in Anacortes. I'm not a doctor, but I suppose I am at an age when I see friends experiencing health conditions that were foreign to us in our youth. When I saw your comment, "My situation is looking like my immune system is attacking my muscles and nerves..." I immediately thought of one of my hiking group friends who suffered through Guillain-Barre Syndrome which does what you are describing. I'm attaching a link to a website that might be helpful. https://healthprep.com/immune-syste...ent=52926561810&utm_term=what is gbs syndrome . My friend is okay now, but it took a year for her to regain all the movement she had before she was hit. Just pulling on a string, Sandi. Best wishes, John
Hi Anacortes John ☺ We join 4-5 other families each year camping at Deception Pass Stare Park. I love your neck of the woods, including all the great 'locals'.
Many thanks for sharing this info. I am adding it to my growing 'health ' file. None of this group of diseases are great but diagnosis is vital, I understand. Like Mike, I hope to share my journey of discovery as I go. With thanks again. Loving-kindness sandi
 
Camino(s) past & future
St. Francis Route 2017
#48
You're welcome, Sandi.
At sunset, in your and Mike's directions, I will raise a glass of Rioja with the thought a speedy identification will be made of your physiological puzzle(s), and that a fast track back to good health follows.
Deception Pass is just 20 minutes from our home (we live on Rosario Strait). During the summer months our hikes go deep into the Cascades, but with the fall and winter snows coming we'll spend the next several months hiking locally here on Fidalgo Island or on Whidbey Island where we do different hikes in and around Deception Pass. I'm pleased we made this connection. Best for now, John
 
Camino(s) past & future
April 15th 2018
#49
My appointment with the specialist Rheumatologist this morning was extremely thorough.
Unlike recent conveyor belt, rapid turnover experiences with my local GP surgery, he took his time, appeared genuinely concerned, asked probing questions and seemed careful not to jump to conclusions.
For example the recent spread of swelling from my knee to calf - I now have to return early tomorrow morning for a DVT scan - after the 55 minute consultation I was sent for further blood tests, filling nine separate vials for immediate analysis - evidence enough, I think, that he's being very cautious.
The acute pain in my right shoulder is, he believes, Bursitis and not Adhesive Capsulitis (frozen shoulder).
And this is linked to the symptom cluster that includes the pain and swelling in my wrists and knee.
His diagnosis ?
Reactive Arthritis: The question of what, precisely, triggered the reaction will hopefully become clearer once the blood work results are in.
Meanwhile he has put me on a one month course of Steroids (yuck) 4 x 5mg of Prednisolone each morning for one week, the dosage to be reduced by one tab/day (3 x 5mg) the following week, etc.
That, he hopes, will knock it squarely on the head - the main worry thereafter will be if the thing returns as longterm steroid treatment is not without risk of serious side effects.
So was this Camino related ?
Possibly - only the blood tests will be able to conclusively answer that.
But he thinks not - merely that it began whilst on the Camino - essentially saying that it could have happened at any time.
Should this deter anyone from walking the Camino ?
In my view, absolutely not !
 
Last edited:

Glamgrrl

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Travel318
#50
I recently had a thorough deep tissue massage and have felt a bit better since then. I too have concluded that I’m suffering from reactive arthritis. Some of the symptoms are baffling. I am tired of feeling tired.
 
Camino(s) past & future
April 15th 2018
#51
UPDATE....

Got a call around 3pm from the hospital.
They were concerned about a test result - my potassium was off the charts.
Asked if I could pack a toothbrush and return - said they'd retake the test, but if the figure was confirmed I'd be admitted immediately.
Not good news - but the fact that they were on the ball certainly was.
The second test was normal - potassium nicely within limits.
So it was a false positive (or is that negative ?)
Anyway, they kept me there a while just to be sure, then gave me a preparatory blood thinning injection in my tummy for tomorrow's DVT scan and sent me home.
Phew !
What a relief.
And you know what ? - and I hope that I'm not imagining things - but I think that the dreaded steroids are kicking in because the swelling is going down - and the pain is receding.

I don't know where you are in the world @Glamgrrl but if you have access to good medical care, and you think you might have reactive arthritis, go see a specialist.

I'm so very glad, and blessed, that I did. Good luck !
 

Glamgrrl

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Travel318
#53
UPDATE....

Got a call around 3pm from the hospital.
They were concerned about a test result - my potassium was off the charts.
Asked if I could pack a toothbrush and return - said they'd retake the test, but if the figure was confirmed I'd be admitted immediately.
Not good news - but the fact that they were on the ball certainly was.
The second test was normal - potassium nicely within limits.
So it was a false positive (or is that negative ?)
Anyway, they kept me there a while just to be sure, then gave me a preparatory blood thinning injection in my tummy for tomorrow's DVT scan and sent me home.
Phew !
What a relief.
And you know what ? - and I hope that I'm not imagining things - but I think that the dreaded steroids are kicking in because the swelling is going down - and the pain is receding.

I don't know where you are in the world @Glamgrrl but if you have access to good medical care, and you think you might have reactive arthritis, go see a specialist.

I'm so very glad, and blessed, that I did. Good luck !
Great news @tigermike steroids are amazing. I do have fantastic health care. I’ll try to go in next week but I am feeling much better too. I’m going to schedule another massage.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Roncesvalles-SdC Apr-Jun 2015
Roncesvalles-Sarria Sep-Oct 2017
(2019: Planning to return!)
#54
UPDATE....

Got a call around 3pm from the hospital.
They were concerned about a test result - my potassium was off the charts.
Asked if I could pack a toothbrush and return - said they'd retake the test, but if the figure was confirmed I'd be admitted immediately.
Not good news - but the fact that they were on the ball certainly was.
The second test was normal - potassium nicely within limits.
So it was a false positive (or is that negative ?)
Anyway, they kept me there a while just to be sure, then gave me a preparatory blood thinning injection in my tummy for tomorrow's DVT scan and sent me home.
Phew !
What a relief.
And you know what ? - and I hope that I'm not imagining things - but I think that the dreaded steroids are kicking in because the swelling is going down - and the pain is receding.

I don't know where you are in the world @Glamgrrl but if you have access to good medical care, and you think you might have reactive arthritis, go see a specialist.

I'm so very glad, and blessed, that I did. Good luck !
Glad to hear things seem to be improving, @tigermike - and that you have a diagnosis. Also glad the potassium scare was a false alarm! I hope it's a negative for the DVT, but it will be good to know, and then can be treated if necessary - good luck with the scan. it sounds like you are in good hands.
 

Iriebabel

Iriebabel aka Cyborg Turtle
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances April (2018)
Camino Del Norte for April (2019) possible Primitivo
#57
@tigermike . Amazing, thanks for sharing. Wonderful that you are feeling better,got some relief and you have good health care.
I am hopeful when someone shares their experience and as a result it helps other people . Take care.
 

Shades of Narnia

Sandi, Shades of Narnia
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis, 2014
Camino Portuguese 2015
Camino Francis, 2016 & Hospitalera in Viana Spain
Etc.
#59
Thanks @Iriebabel this is my hope too.
I thought I was 'following' but apparently not. So glad to have double checked today and found all these updates. What good news, Mike! From my husband's experience steriods (Prednesone) is a game-changer for some specific conditions. Wishing you continued recovery on this curve in your camino. loving kindness sandi
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugues March 2019
#60
I've now been home from completing my second Camino Frances this year and am extremely unwell.
On the first I left SJPDD on April 15th and arrived in SdC on May 18th.
The second started in SJPDD on August 7th arriving 33 days later on September 8th.

Camino 1 was an absolute joy, no blisters, great weather, fantastic people etc and I felt as if I was walking on air for weeks after my return to the UK. Hence my decision to do it all over again as soon as I could and that opportunity presented itself quite quickly.

Camino 2 was equally great, apart from shin splints on my right leg which resolved itself after rest, ice, elevation and ibuprofen.
A couple of days before O Cebriero I began to notice some swelling and pain in my left wrist, but put this down to, rightly or wrongly, a possible sprain from swinging my backpack on and off several times each day.
Ibuprofen helped with the discomfort and locally bought Radio Salil helped with the swelling.
The 'sprain' then mysteriously spread to my right wrist and I began to suspect that this was a more serious form of inflamation.

Since returning home to the UK the swelling has not abated, neither has the pain, and Ibuprofen no longer works.
My left knee is now swollen and this is spreading to the upper calf.
Both sides of my neck ache and I have developed a 'frozen' right shoulder.

Quite frankly I'm now hobbling around in a lot of pain, unable to perform the simplest of tasks that require any form of wrist action, am fatigued and the polar opposite of how I felt after Camino 1.

My doctor ordered blood tests and the CRP is considerably elevated; indicating that my body is fighting 'something'.
Lyme Disease was suspected but the blood work was negative.
So here we are today, wrists still swollen almost one month later - with no sign of letting up and no clue as to what is ailing me.

I am otherwise a fit 65 year old, one who cycles regularly (although have no chance of doing that right now), eats well, doesn't smoke and drinks red wine in relative moderation, and never goes running off to the doctor without a very good reason.

It seems clear that I 'contracted' sometime between August 7th and the end of that month.
Was I bitten ?
We live in a global village, and the Camino brings people together from across the globe.
So was I infected by another pilgrim ?

My fear now, understandably, is that this might well spread further and that it might take weeks for my doctor to come up with the correct diagnosis and prescribe a course of treatment.

If any of my symptoms sounds familiar, please respond soonest - I feel genuinely debilitated and unwell.

Many thanks.
Mike
Mike, 18 months ago I got the same symptoms as you! Your description is textbook for me. I had just returned from a trek in Nepal. With your CRP elevated (and likely sed rate too but not always), you could have what is called Polymyalgia Rheumatica (PMR). The best thing about it is, it is NOT a lifetime sentence! It runs it's course over usually 2-5 years but averages 2-3 usually. I am a retired critical care RN and diagnosed myself. The bad thing is, the rheumatologist has only one thing to offer for the pain and stiffness...steroids. To get a definitive diagnosis, you can do the trial of steroids (per your doctor) for a month and if your symptoms disappear (mine totally did after the first 3 days of the pill), it is considered definitive. I've had it bad for 18 months but I continue to exercise, do yoga, walk a lot and even hike in the mountains once a week and my husband and I will do the camino in Portugal next March come hell or high water. But the symptoms are far worse and most often at rest and are very challenging, especially because the pain and stiffness migrates all over the place at different times and its hard to sleep. But beat it!!!! I chose not to stay on steroids due to the long-term effects (I question if the cure is more harmful than the disease!) but many others can't take the pain. I wish you well and keep a positive attitude. I'd thought my trek triggered it, but it tends to be genetic and runs in Scandanvians and Northern Europeans four-fold, and usually hits people age 45-80 yrs of age. Good luck! I swear it sounds like that's what you have. I hope this helps you out.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugues March 2019
#61
My appointment with the specialist Rheumatologist this morning was extremely thorough.
Unlike recent conveyor belt, rapid turnover experiences with my local GP surgery, he took his time, appeared genuinely concerned, asked probing questions and seemed careful not to jump to conclusions.
For example the recent spread of swelling from my knee to calf - I now have to return early tomorrow morning for a DVT scan - after the 55 minute consultation I was sent for further blood tests, filling nine separate vials for immediate analysis - evidence enough, I think, that he's being very cautious.
The acute pain in my right shoulder is, he believes, Bursitis and not Adhesive Capsulitis (frozen shoulder).
And this is linked to the symptom cluster that includes the pain and swelling in my wrists and knee.
His diagnosis ?
Reactive Arthritis: The question of what, precisely, triggered the reaction will hopefully become clearer once the blood work results are in.
Meanwhile he has put me on a one month course of Steroids (yuck) 4 x 5mg of Prednisolone each morning for one week, the dosage to be reduced by one tab/day (3 x 5mg) the following week, etc.
That, he hopes, will knock it squarely on the head - the main worry thereafter will be if the thing returns as longterm steroid treatment is not without risk of serious side effects.
So was this Camino related ?
Possibly - only the blood tests will be able to conclusively answer that.
But he thinks not - merely that it began whilst on the Camino - essentially saying that it could have happened at any time.
Should this deter anyone from walking the Camino ?
In my view, absolutely not !
Tigermike, I just sent you a reply further down because I hadn't read all the other entries you had made since your original one. However, I would sincerely request you ask your rheumatologist if
you could have PMR Polymyalgia Rheumatica! It sounds textbook to me and I have it. Read my entry further down for details. Good luck!
 
Camino(s) past & future
April 15th 2018
#62
Hi @iomura
I did mention this to my specialist on Thursday, as well as one or two other 'possibilities'.
He listened and, as I said in a previous post, was extremely thorough.
And, whilst not ruling anything out at this stage, was not persuaded that PMR was the issue.
Time will tell, of course.
Meanwhile the steroids are doing their work and I'm soooo happy about that.
The specialist has alerted me to the possibility that my symptoms might return after I finish the first course.
But right now I'm thinking positive - and will cross that bridge if/when I come to it :)
 

twh

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances from SJPdP May/June, 2018
#65
Wishing you all the best Tigermike regarding a proper diagnosis and treatment. From personal experience please don't completely rule out Lyme's Disease as others have offered. I was misdiagnosed in 1997 by "one of the best" rheumatologist in a large city in the USA first with Pseudo Gout and then RA. I was treated for RA for 7 years with all the nasty oral drugs along with getting my knees drained monthly and steroids shot directly into my knees after each drainage. I hated needles until I started having swollen knees...then I learned to love the big fat needle that gave me such wonderful relief when the pressure was taken off my joints when inserted. My rheumatologist hated pumping all these drugs in me but there was nothing else to give me the very temporary relief from the draining and injections. He predicted I'd need both knees replaced in less than 20 years from the start of my treatment. In 2004 I got a new rheumatologists after moving to a new town and was worked up as a new patient with all the tests. Lyme's came out positive. I took the large dose of doxycycline for 6 or 8 weeks and I was cured. Never another swollen knee in the last 14 years including my CF this summer. Lyme's testing is better now but still tricky. There are several tests and false negatives continue to happen. The rash or bulls eye looking bruise from the tick bite does not present all the time...I can't remember if it presents in 30% of cases, or it doesn't present in 30% of cases. Over prescribing antibiotics is something we all need to avoid but you may want to consider an 8 week course of doxycycline (just in case) if the other treatments are ineffective. Just don't wait 7 years like I did unless you want to become an expert on crutches.
 
Camino(s) past & future
April 15th 2018
#66
Thanks @twh
So far the steroids seem to be doing the trick.
Swelling on both wrists and knee almost gone - guess the aches and pains will take a bit longer.
Although my CRP was elevated (57) it was not considered within the range to indicate a bacteriological infection; more like viral.
That speaks against Lymes as, of course, did the negative test and the fact that I never had any form of fever.
There was also the absence of the bull's eye (target) rash - but as you said that's not unusual - in about 30% of cases there is no such indicator.
Despite all this I am conscious that it might still be Lymes - they don't call it the 'great imitator' for nothing !

I've recovered some energy and have had good longish walks the last couple of days so I'm quietly optimistic, especially given that this time last week I was essentially immobilised !
Rest assured that I will not take my eye off this particular ball.
The speed with which this thing attacked my system was really scary - and I have no wish to go through all that again !
 
Camino(s) past & future
March/April 2015, Late April 2016, Sept/Oct 2017
#67
I'd get the lyme checked again. Another possibility is anaplasmosis, which is also transmitted by ticks. :( Although, anaplasmosis is usually accompanied by a fever.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Future (October 2018)
#68
I'm so sorry. This is quite scary I am sure. My first thought was Lyme Disease as well...it needs to be ruled out that it is not a chronic case. Although they have ruled this out as an acute infection, I think a course of doxycycline pending a consult with an Infectious Disease Specialist/MD is in order. Buena Suerte, pilgrim. Prayers are with you.
I second this speaking as the mother of a chronic Lyme patient.
 

twh

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances from SJPdP May/June, 2018
#70
tigermike: I don't have any CRP data from my case...it was long ago. I just did some googling on it and the CRP charts I reviewed comparing Healthy patient CRP levels to CRP levels of Lyme patients in different stages of the disease proves only one thing. The CRP test is inconclusive, it is only an indicator...not enough to bet one's health on. See table 2 at this site: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5106611/

I'd suggest going to some Lyme Disease forums to get the anecdotal CRP info you are looking for but I'm not sure how valuable that info is based on my interpretation of table 2.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Future Frances (2016)
#71
I've now been home from completing my second Camino Frances this year and am extremely unwell.
On the first I left SJPDD on April 15th and arrived in SdC on May 18th.
The second started in SJPDD on August 7th arriving 33 days later on September 8th.

Camino 1 was an absolute joy, no blisters, great weather, fantastic people etc and I felt as if I was walking on air for weeks after my return to the UK. Hence my decision to do it all over again as soon as I could and that opportunity presented itself quite quickly.

Camino 2 was equally great, apart from shin splints on my right leg which resolved itself after rest, ice, elevation and ibuprofen.
A couple of days before O Cebriero I began to notice some swelling and pain in my left wrist, but put this down to, rightly or wrongly, a possible sprain from swinging my backpack on and off several times each day.
Ibuprofen helped with the discomfort and locally bought Radio Salil helped with the swelling.
The 'sprain' then mysteriously spread to my right wrist and I began to suspect that this was a more serious form of inflamation.

Since returning home to the UK the swelling has not abated, neither has the pain, and Ibuprofen no longer works.
My left knee is now swollen and this is spreading to the upper calf.
Both sides of my neck ache and I have developed a 'frozen' right shoulder.

Quite frankly I'm now hobbling around in a lot of pain, unable to perform the simplest of tasks that require any form of wrist action, am fatigued and the polar opposite of how I felt after Camino 1.

My doctor ordered blood tests and the CRP is considerably elevated; indicating that my body is fighting 'something'.
Lyme Disease was suspected but the blood work was negative.
So here we are today, wrists still swollen almost one month later - with no sign of letting up and no clue as to what is ailing me.

I am otherwise a fit 65 year old, one who cycles regularly (although have no chance of doing that right now), eats well, doesn't smoke and drinks red wine in relative moderation, and never goes running off to the doctor without a very good reason.

It seems clear that I 'contracted' sometime between August 7th and the end of that month.
Was I bitten ?
We live in a global village, and the Camino brings people together from across the globe.
So was I infected by another pilgrim ?

My fear now, understandably, is that this might well spread further and that it might take weeks for my doctor to come up with the correct diagnosis and prescribe a course of treatment.

If any of my symptoms sounds familiar, please respond soonest - I feel genuinely debilitated and unwell.

Many thanks.
Mike
Mike,
A friend of mine had a similar problem when working in Indonesia and was advised to go to a special Infectious (tropical) diseases clinic in Sydney. I would investigate this avenue as I am sure there would be a few in the UK. I can't remember what he had but he had treatment that worked. I haven't seen him for years but will try and track him down. It could have been a Mozzy or spider bite.

Regards

Rick
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#72
Have your Doctor check you for Polymyalgia Rheumatica. It’s an autoimmune disease that can come on quite rapidly and leave you almost bed bound. Prednisone can be like a miracle drug in the treatment of Polymyalgia Rheumatica. Google it and see if this sounds like what you’re experiencing. Just a thought.
My sister was diagnosed with this 5 years ago. It came on very suddenly, almost overnight and Prednizone drastically reduced her symptoms.
 
Camino(s) past & future
April 15th 2018
#73
Thank you everyone for your kind messages of wisdom and support.
Truth be told I still have a nagging suspicion about Lymes disease despite negative bloodwork etc.
Was in Sweden mid June to mid July; semi-rural area where Lymes and TBE has been steadily on the increase for some years.
It seems that the onset of Lymes, symptoms etc are extremely varied.
It can be as quick as a few days, or as long as a few months - some people have the bullseye rash, others don't, some test positive - alarming too many don't.
It flares up at odd times, seemingly to then disguise itself at others.
Maybe its one of those evolving diseases that is somehow learning to evade detection - and therefore treatment - very scary !
The Prednisolone steroids have helped (now at the end of week one) although still have aching pain running down from from the stem of my little finger, the back of the hand and onto my wrists.
The DVT scan found a submerged hematoma in my left calf muscle (not a clot) that still gives me some discomfort however I am told this will ease and eventually clear up completely in a few weeks.
The ache on both sides of my neck has also eased, but is noticeably still there - as is the bursitis in my right shoulder.
Perhaps I'm being impatient - I really do HATE being unwell - and must give this thing time.
But on the other hand, I'd be devastated to later discover if I am being treated for the wrong illness :( :( :(
 

Davewalk

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
new
#74
I've now been home from completing my second Camino Frances this year and am extremely unwell.
On the first I left SJPDD on April 15th and arrived in SdC on May 18th.
The second started in SJPDD on August 7th arriving 33 days later on September 8th.

Camino 1 was an absolute joy, no blisters, great weather, fantastic people etc and I felt as if I was walking on air for weeks after my return to the UK. Hence my decision to do it all over again as soon as I could and that opportunity presented itself quite quickly.

Camino 2 was equally great, apart from shin splints on my right leg which resolved itself after rest, ice, elevation and ibuprofen.
A couple of days before O Cebriero I began to notice some swelling and pain in my left wrist, but put this down to, rightly or wrongly, a possible sprain from swinging my backpack on and off several times each day.
Ibuprofen helped with the discomfort and locally bought Radio Salil helped with the swelling.
The 'sprain' then mysteriously spread to my right wrist and I began to suspect that this was a more serious form of inflamation.

Since returning home to the UK the swelling has not abated, neither has the pain, and Ibuprofen no longer works.
My left knee is now swollen and this is spreading to the upper calf.
Both sides of my neck ache and I have developed a 'frozen' right shoulder.

Quite frankly I'm now hobbling around in a lot of pain, unable to perform the simplest of tasks that require any form of wrist action, am fatigued and the polar opposite of how I felt after Camino 1.

My doctor ordered blood tests and the CRP is considerably elevated; indicating that my body is fighting 'something'.
Lyme Disease was suspected but the blood work was negative.
So here we are today, wrists still swollen almost one month later - with no sign of letting up and no clue as to what is ailing me.

I am otherwise a fit 65 year old, one who cycles regularly (although have no chance of doing that right now), eats well, doesn't smoke and drinks red wine in relative moderation, and never goes running off to the doctor without a very good reason.

It seems clear that I 'contracted' sometime between August 7th and the end of that month.
Was I bitten ?
We live in a global village, and the Camino brings people together from across the globe.
So was I infected by another pilgrim ?

My fear now, understandably, is that this might well spread further and that it might take weeks for my doctor to come up with the correct diagnosis and prescribe a course of treatment.

If any of my symptoms sounds familiar, please respond soonest - I feel genuinely debilitated and unwell.

Many thanks.
Mike

Hi Mike as an retired chiropractor your starting symptoms are consistent with a twist affecting your neck. The nerves for the shoulder, arm and hand come from the neck. repetitive action e.g. rucsac lifting can cause a small strain to give these symptoms. oddly enough a twisted neck also gives a variety of other symptoms which can be miscellaneous 'fluy' or 'inflammatory' in nature.
find a McTimoney Chiropractor if in the UK and get straightened up
 

Most read today


A few items available from the Camino Forum Store




Advertisement

Booking.com

Latest posts

Most read today

Most downloaded Resources

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store

Casa Ivar Newsletter

Forum Donation

Forum Donation
For those with no forum account, it is possible to donate here as well. Thank you for your support! Ivar

Follow Casa Ivar on Instagram

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 9 1.2%
  • February

    Votes: 4 0.5%
  • March

    Votes: 34 4.5%
  • April

    Votes: 112 14.7%
  • May

    Votes: 187 24.6%
  • June

    Votes: 54 7.1%
  • July

    Votes: 15 2.0%
  • August

    Votes: 11 1.4%
  • September

    Votes: 226 29.7%
  • October

    Votes: 93 12.2%
  • November

    Votes: 11 1.4%
  • December

    Votes: 5 0.7%
Top