Hi. I'm at the point where I'm unable to work because of my problems - I'm on disability based on my psychiatrist's diagnosis of ADD and depression, but I'm pretty sure this is not actually a psychological problem, and am DESPERATE to figure out what's really wrong with me.
Symptoms: Exhaustion, fatigue - mental and physical exhaustion. Inability to concentrate - I lose track of something as simple as a kids' cartoon - difficulty putting steps of a process together, trouble remembering things even a second after I've seen them. There are good days and there are bad days, but even on the good days I'm not "well" and on the bad days I'm entirely nonfunctional. There are other issues like dizziness and vertigo, but these are the main components. The problem started slowly, ramped up slowly over a period of about five years, from inconvenient to crippling - and around November, December, ramped up SHARPLY, and has remained bad ever since.
Here's the good part. I have had Graves disease, had my thyroid removed, then radiation treatment, am on Synthroid - and all of this happened around the time that the fatigue/concentration problems first began - and they're CLASSIC thyroid symptoms, yet both my regular endo and the guy I saw for a second opinion swear that my numbers are normal. My regular endo has also done a bunch of blood tests for things like pituitary function, and I don't know numbers but he's said those are fine too. The other thing that happened around the same time was a diagnosis of bipolar syndrome (probably aggravated by the Graves) and going on Depakote to treat it - and seriously, the drug saved my LIFE, but I'm wondering if it's had some long-term effect on me other than the 100 lbs I gained in the first seven months of taking it. I've found some interesting references on Depakote and thyroid disease, but nothing specific to my situation.
The second-opinion endo recommended that I see a neurologist in case I'm suffering from some kind of early dementia - and I will; but add into the mix that I had a head injury some fifteen years ago that caused excruciating headaches and messed with my reading and language skills for about five years without EVER producing any sort of abnormal MRI or test result. I don't know whether this has anything to do with it or not. (Oddly enough, at the moment my reading and language skills are LEAST affected by the concentration/memory problems.) There is no change in medication, no significant event that I've been able to find, that ties in to the sudden escalation of symptoms last winter.
I've also got other stuff going on, like COPD, "pre-diabetes", etc, but again, none of it accounts for the symptoms I'm having or the severity of them. I've been tested for Lyme and a bunch of other fatigue-type stuff by my GP - he said something about my having been exposed to Lyme but not being active, I'm not sure what that means but he wasn't concerned about it - but while I love my GP, he is not any sort of expert in this sort of thing. I have friends with fibro and CFS, and my symptoms don't quite line up with their experiences, though I guess it's not out of the question...
And I'm getting to the point where I not only can't work, I'm beginning to get worried about my ongoing ability to live independently - having trouble keeping up with household stuff, getting groceries, things like remembering whether the stove's on - and there's no one else who can look after me - plus, my disability only provides limited coverage for "psychiatric" illnesses, so if I can't find a doctor who can at least diagnose what's ACTUALLY wrong with me (if not fix it) I could well end up homeless in short order - so the situation is pretty desperate.
So at this point I'm looking for any insight any of you might have as to what might be going on with me, any new information I can pursue - as well as any references you might be able to give me as far as doctors who might be specialized in those things. Specifically, I'm looking for a neurologist with some experience with blunt head trauma (or maybe neuropsychiatry? was also suggested to me?) and/or an endocrinologist with in-depth knowledge of the nuances of thyroid issues like mine, or, I don't even know. I have very little money, and insurance with a large co-pay, so I can't afford to go running around to random doctors out of the phone book - but I would be willing to risk traveling, if I had to, memory problems and all, if it meant consulting the ONE doctor who could help, or at least give me that diagnosis so I can keep a roof over my head as I try to figure out how to maintain an independent life. I'm in Atlanta, if that's helpful.
If posting doctor information on the board is a no-no (I feel like it is, but I can't find the line I thought I read that said so...) please PM with any references you might be able to offer.
Any insight y'all might have, anything at all, would be helpful. Thanks.