10 years ago I had breast cancer?
10 years ago I had breast cancer. The chemotherapy caused phlebitis very badly, particularly in my right arm; I had cording and collapsed veins too – again, mostly my right arm. Although all clear now, during the intervening years I have had a couple of bouts of phlebitis in my right wrist where it has been obvious – red, inflamed and painful. Both times have been treated with antibiotics on the first visit to the GP. I had a severe bodily infection too c2009 when I was hospitalised. I needed constant intravenous treatment but again, my veins were too painful, even the flush would be agony and they had to find alternatives. That is the history – now the complaint…
Approximately 6 weeks ago, I was gesticulating in a normal manner during a conversation when on flexing my right hand back, I felt a pop in my wrist, within hours it was painful (4/10) in a sore way. There was a small lump – clearly a vein (possible at a valve) on the inside of my wrist. My wrist continued to hurt for a few days – sometimes an ache, other times like a prolonged hot poker was touching my skin. The GP (in less than 3 mins) suggested it was phlebitis and prescribed ibuprofen gel. It did not improve, so three weeks later the aching and pain had increased in area from inside my wrist to my thumb joint. A another GP suggested that the pop was the release of an adhesion caused by my vein issues from chemotherapy and prescribed heparinoid cream and organised an ultrasound.
The ultrasound found nothing.
The pain is not all the time now, however, it is a lot worse when it does occur (8-10/10). This is usually on exercising my wrist such as picking up the grandchildren, cycling, or similar but, not always on exercising – it sometime wakes me at night. I have tried wearing a support and not wearing a support – there doesn’t appear to be much difference.
On see (yet another) GP as a follow up of the ultrasound, the GP said she had no idea what to do next but if it still hurt in 2 weeks, we could try physio.
But it hurts so badly now, albeit intermittently, let alone for another 2 weeks! The surface of the wrist (upper and lower) has signs of swelling and the veins are swollen near the surface and there is a significant break in the vein structure at the sight of the pain.
Other factors to be aware of – I am diabetic T2 on metformin, 55 year old female, and have had stomach ulcers so can’t take NSAIDs.
I am very tempted to go to A&E as I don’t have confidence in the 1st or 3rd GP’s advice, and when I am in pain, it is excruciating. I can’t see how physio can do anything for this type of condition..
I have the utmost respect for my GP surgery and, before now, they have all been brilliant.
Age: 55 Female
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