Why My Rheumatologist Misunderstands Relapsing Polychondritis And Bicep Tendonitis?


Why My Rheumatologist Misunderstands Relapsing Polychondritis And Bicep Tendonitis?

I do not know why or how my Rheumatologist misunderstands the relationship between my Relapsing Polychondritis and Bicep Tendonitis.

For the past couple years I have told doctor after doctor that my upper arm, especially my right bicep feels like it is burning, tender and inflamed.

Two weeks ago my Rheumatologist tells me there was no way the tenderness in my right upper arm is related my Relapsing Polychondritis.

With sarcasm, my Rheumatologist told me my latest Relapsing Polychondritis in my neck; ears do not connect to the pain in my upper arm.

My medical specialist went on to tell me that it was my Fibromyalgia.

He elaborated that to believe the Relapsing Polychondritis in my arm similar to believing Relapsing Polychondritis causes a hanging toenail.

I felt my Rheumatologist’s statement was incorrect.

I am frustrated, but I have been through four Rheumatologist.

Two Rheumatologist would have killed me by insisting I go off all steroids.

Even when I remind the Rheumatologists that I have hypopituitary it does not seem to click that I need steroids to survive.

I feel like I am stuck, I need a Rheumatologist.

The past week the pain in my upper arm continues to grow to where the pain is acute.

Friday evening the pain in my right arm is so excruciating that I am not able to move my arm.

Thankfully, Saturday morning, a doctor that works at South County Kidney and Endocrine Center was able to give me several injections to numb the pain. The physician, Dr. Jesus Valadez was quick to note that I had Bicep Tendonitis.

My husband and I tell the doctor he is brilliant.

I am a bit surprised to learn this physician attended Harvard Medical School, completed his residency at U.C.L.A. and is working on a Saturday morning. Score one for my side!

Doctor Jesus Valadez rocks, YES, Dr. Valadez I am giving you a shout out: Thank You!

Hopefully, tomorrow my pain management doctor will be able to see me.

In the interim, I scroll through hundreds of medical articles to learn more about Relapsing Polychondritis.

Here is my overview about Bicep Tendonitis and Relapsing Polychondritis:


What Is Bicep Tendonitis?

Biceps tendinitis is an inflammation or irritation of the upper biceps tendon. Also called the long head of the biceps tendon, this strong, cord-like structure connects the biceps muscle to the bones in the shoulder.

Pain in the front of the shoulder and weakness are common symptoms of biceps tendinitis.

In its early stages of Bicep Tendonitis, the tendon becomes red and swollen. As

As tendonitis develops, the tendon covering can thicken.

The Bicep tendon often thickens or grows larger.

In the late stages of Bicep Tendinitis, the skin may be dark red in color due to the inflammation.

Bicep tendinitis can damage the tendon and may result in a tendon tear.

The Bicep tendon can then deformity of the arm (a “Popeye” bulge in the upper arm).


Relapsing Polychondritis and Bicep Tendonitis


I think I am starting to have a Popeye Bulge. If you look at the photo of my right arm, you can see the Popeye bulge.

Side Note- My daughter’s made me the teddy bear in the picture as a feel better gift yesterday.

The Best Mom Ever Build-A-Bear is a true keepsake!

Thank you, girl. XOXO

Other problems that often accompany biceps tendinitis include:

  • Arthritis of the shoulder joint
  • Chronic shoulder instability (dislocation)
  • Shoulder impingement
  • Other diseases that cause inflammation of the shoulder joint lining

In my case, I believe it is the later.

Inflammation of the shoulder joint lining caused by Relapsing Polychondritis.

Bicep Tendonitis and Relapsing Polychondritis


What Is Relapsing Polychondritis?

A very rare idiopathic disease characterized by recurrent inflammation that may affect some organs.

It is an inflammatory process affecting structures of the cartilage and tissues with a high content of glycosaminoglycans.

Clinical symptoms appear in the areas of the;

  • Pinna of the ear
  • Nose
  • Larynx
  • Upper airways, joints
  • Heart
  • Tissue
  • Blood vessels
  • Inner ear
  • Cornea
  • Sclera

Other features of Relapsing Polychondritis can include:

  • Scleritis
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Iritis
  • Keratitis
  • Aortic regurgitation
  • Glomerulonephritis
  • Other features of systemic vasculitis

The onset of Relapsing Polychondritis is frequently abrupt, with the appearance of 1–2 sites of cartilaginous inflammation.

Relapsing Polychondritis and Bicep Tendonitis My Story

I first noticed the symptoms of Relapsing Polychondritis in 2009. I experienced stabbing rib pain that brought me to ground.

Three years later my ear cartilage broke out with blistering red raised bumps.

A week after my hospitalization I self-diagnosed by typing Red Ears in the Google Search Bar. I love Google.

My primary physician confirmed my Relapsing Polychondritis diagnosis.

I reflect on the number of people who have asked me what type of arm workouts do I do?

I am always a bit surprised, and I usually reply with a small chuckle.

I am not trying to be rude, but my reality is that my exercise is rare.

I wish I would exercise, but I rarely have the energy.

When I do have the additional energy, I like to use the energy to spend time with my children or go for a walk.

My conclusion is my biceps look firm because they are most likely in a chronic state of inflammation.

Oh, how looks can deceive!

I hope you have found this health reference, Why My Rheumatologist Misunderstands Relapsing Polychondritis and Bicep Tendonitis insightful.








You can find additional shortcuts to living with a chronic illness on the HypoGal Website.

Please, Like, HypoGal on Facebook.

Share HypoGal: