I'm a 28-year-old female graduate student (in public health) who, until January, would have been classified as having "excellent health." I have a BMI of 20, eat healthily, and exercise regularly.
Around New Year's, I felt like I was getting a cold and decided to rest for a few days to shorten the duration of illness. Instead, I ended up staying home for two weeks due to fatigue and tiredness. When I finally tried to go back to work, I walked the 5 minutes to the bus stop. By the time I got off the bus and started walking around, I was lightheaded, so I went to Student Health instead and made an appointment for the next day. By the time I got home, my muscles were sore all over. I was told I was probably dehydrated, but to come back if my symptoms did not improve.
I went back a week and a half later because I was still tired, though the cold-like symptoms had subsided. After the first two days of class (just sitting there, with the exception of the short walk to the bus stop), I ended up sleeping for 14 hours that Saturday -- and I usually only need about 7 hours of sleep a night on average. When awakening, I still felt tired. At my next appointment, the NP noticed that my pulse rate jumped more than 30 beats per minute upon standing (from 72 to 104, no significant change in BP). She decided it was dehydration, but took some blood. Thyroid, kidney, and liver functions were normal. White count slightly elevated (possible viral infection), but no fever. ANA of 1:80.
Last week, I ended up having to skip a class because I was too tired when the alarm went off. I ended up sleeping 11 hours instead of my planned 8.5. The stuffy nose returned (though the weather's turned cold). I also felt like the sides of my neck (under my jawbone) were sore and tender to the touch. I went back to the doctor, and my pulse rate still jumped on standing, though only by 20 bpm (from 63 to 83). The doctor did an EKG, which was normal, and drew more blood. She said my lymph nodes weren't swollen, and I had no real signs of inflammation. Also no sinus pain or pressure. Still no fever. I'm awaiting the bloodwork.
Tonight, I felt intense pain in my right neck (lymph node?). It subsided to a dull throb after about 20 minutes, but the area is tender to the touch. It's not swollen.
I do have a family history of autoimmune disease (RA, Sjogren's, Hajimodo's thyroiditis -- just in the immediate family). My symptoms seem to come and go -- the lightheadedness is sometimes after I've been walking around a while, but sometimes when I'm sitting down. It seems to come and go in waves. The tiredness also seems to just catch up to me and overwhelm me. I've had problems concentrating in school and remembering things from lectures. At my exercise class, I tired easily and would get lightheaded after a few minutes. I did almost black out once walking up a flight of stairs. I've had to cut back my class schedule just to keep up with school.
Right now, the doctor is trying to determine whether it's a "viral infection" or an autoimmune disease. Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions on what else should be tested? I just want to get better, the sooner the better. Thanks for any help.