So, it's really difficult to sum all this up in an amount of words that people will bother to read, but I'll try!
First off I'm now a 25 year old white male in Oregon, US. I was the pinnacle of health, despite some hay fever and such, for the first 21 years of my life.
Just over four years ago began the following symptoms:
1) First post-nasal drip & brain fog
2) A few months later the headaches started. Usually above my left eye but occasionally it spreads to the rest of my head and ears. Has been known to get REALLY bad when traveling/changing altitude/etc.
3) A little while after that a chronic cough and chest congestion.
4) I had very occasional bouts of heartburn for the first few years, and now it's become much more frequent in the last year (I've quite caffeine as a result).
5) Abnormal bowel movements - soft /w white spots for the last year. Not sure if this is related, but I also had occasional diarrhea for the first few years as well.
Most of these symptoms, especially the brain fog, has been 24/7 for the entire time. It doesn't let up. And the brain fog, by far, is the most crippling. I was able to muddle through the rest of my computer science degree, but I'm left with very little confidence in my abilities. I used to be pretty sharp, and now I've sworn off mental math and have become increasingly anti-social. I've finally realized in the last year that I simply cannot continue with my life as I thought it would be if I can't beat this.
And yep, I've been to doctor's. Just a lot of negative tests and no improvement. I've had numerous clean CT's, sinus surgery on my "deviated septum," multiple courses of antibiotics, anti-fungals, allergy shots and treatment, Nexium for a while for possible GERD/LPR (only made me bloated), multiple blood tests (not sure what they tested for - supposed to be broad), parasite stool screening, endoscopy, probiotics, etc, etc. I even had all 4 wisdom teeth out in vain hope that it would have something to do with it.
Speaking of which, for about a week after the wisdom tooth surgery I developed a pain under my right rib cage, nausea, and loss of appetite that prevented me from eating much of anything. I was taking large doses of ibuprofen which may have brought it on, but I'm not sure. Possibly not related... (it's hard to know!)
The only test that was ever positive was my skin test for allergies, but I've become convinced that allergies aren't my issue. I'm also on the 3rd month of a strict elimination diet to test for food intolerances/etc but I haven't seen any improvement yet.
I'm planning on looking a little closer at LPR and TMJ disorder if I even get health insurance again, but I'm become increasingly dubious that either of those are candidates.
So that's the whirlwind version. I guess what I'm saying is - "help!"