I have been feeling quite a spark of hopefulness lately. The other day I had a followup with my new doctor, who is a fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue specialist. He went over the loads of blood, urine and saliva test results and my MRI. It turns out the disc bulge I assumed was gone five years ago is still there! The good news is, this is treatable without surgery and perhaps I will notice a marked difference when it is taken care of.
There were also so many things that showed in my results that I simultaneously felt completely overwhelmed and grateful for a doctor who could finally sit down and pick all of it apart. I have had so much bloodwork done in the past, but probably never a doctor who was willing to go this in depth with the results. I think a lot of doctors are fine to dismiss something as not a problem as long as you fall within the “normal” range for something. However, my current doctor will point out to me when something is in the normal range, but on the high or low end, and how that could be a problem. Or, not necessarily a problem, but something that could be better, that we can work on.
How cool is that?
At my previous visit with him, I had learned about the possibility of Epstein-Barr causing chronic problems. I had absolutely no idea. I did have a rather vicious run in with mono about ten years ago. I never thought the virus could still be inside me and actively causing problems. The blood test results proved that indeed it is. I have read there is a link between Epstein-Barr and chronic fatigue syndrome. No wonder.
He also told me tonsils can retain all kinds of nastiness and luckily he has a plan to reduce the issues I may be having with my problematic tonsils. I bet they also play a part in my sleep apnea (of course they do)! Ever since the mono attack, my tonsils have been content to flare up at any sign of illness. Even though I had multiple instances of tonsilitis, no one would remove them. When I had mono, my tonsils were so severely swollen that they were touching each other, covered in blisters/pus pockets and so painful I was unable to eat for about a month while the illness lasted at its worst. My liver and spleen also were engorged with blood. Which leads me to my next statement…
It appears my liver and kidneys are having trouble functioning. It also appears the parasites I was fighting last year are still in my system, when a previous doctor had come to the conclusion that they were gone. My eosinophils are still very high, and my doctor says that is a sign of the parasites being in my tissues and/or organs, causing potentially large amounts of havoc. So instead of the natural items I was using before to battle them, I will be using prescriptions, which I am picking up tonight from the pharmacy. I’m a little worried, especially with how sick I got when I was fighting them last year, but he has given me some supplements to aid my detox so I can hopefully get all the toxins from the die off out, even though my liver and kidneys aren’t so great at their job.
My lymph system apparently could also use some help, and my immune system is struggling. No surprise there, as I just spent three months battling a very bad illness that actually required me to get a note from a doctor to get five days off work. Five days weren’t enough but it was the best I could do.
Also, my blood test results led my doctor to point out to me that my issues are *almost* as severe as many of his patients who are on disability! I pride myself on my ability to get my work done and done well, but it is VERY hard most days!
My thyroid, while functioning quite well, is apparently putting out more of the stuff that makes me want to sleep and put on weight; hibernate, basically, and not enough of the good energy I need. So I am now on a thyroid pill to help balance that.
My cortisol levels crash in the evening. I’m on another pill for that.
My estrogen levels are that of a healthy 60 year old woman. For a 29 year old, not so much! I am glad I made the decision to come off depo provera. I have been on it for 10 years, I want to start with a clean slate and get my hormones balanced.
Last but not least, he has plans to work on my stellate ganglion. He had to explain to me what this is. My anxiety is probably due to the fact that my childhood experience left my body in a fairly permanent “fight or flight” mode. This is possibly also the cause of my Raynaud’s syndrome. He has a plan to help with this as well, plus I am in therapy.
So. Those were all the answers I received. It left me reeling and feeling very unusual as mentioned. I have been incredibly moody as well, likely due to coming off of depo.
I noticed something funny because of this. Friends who have never really understood what I am going through suddenly have something click into place when they hear I have been diagnosed with a problem that someone they know and love has been diagnosed with. Usually a parent. This happened when I got my diagnosis for fibromyalgia, and again when I was diagnosed with the active Epstein-Barr virus. It has served to remind me that not all people are capable of understanding just by what I say. I think a lot of people, not all, but some, tend to assume I am exaggerating or just not taking proper dosage of vitamins or whatever. Maybe they don’t realize how much of my “free time” goes to appointments. Maybe they don’t realize how much of my money gets funneled into my healthcare. I truly am trying to better myself because I can’t imagine living like this forever.
I am an incredibly sensitive and empathetic individual and I have to remember not everyone is capable of understanding these things as easily as it comes to me. I don’t want that to sound egotistical, because I don’t mean it that way. It’s simply a difference that I need to come to understand and not be hurt by.
I was *so* grateful I had a therapy appointment scheduled in the afternoon after my follow up at the doc. I could have used another hour though!
Here’s to answers, friends who understand, and moving forward…progress!