Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

You are more than welcome to help give me some sort of advice. :)

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 3 Replies
  • Posted By: dangold
  • October 31, 2008
  • 07:14 AM

Prior medical history: Very little. As a youth, I had Osgood Schlatter's condition, which is a swelling within the region of the knee. I also took tetracycline for a slight acne case. (When I was 12 years old.) That is about the only medication that I have ever taken, asides from the odd aspirin/ibuprofen.

I am 23 years old university student, who is working towards becoming a M.D. eventually. Currently I am working on my undergrad degree. I do not drink, I do not smoke, I exercise regularly, and have for the past 10 years. I was overweight as a youth, but then decided to get into shape, as I eventually saw how being overweight had degraded my health.

Now, here is where things get interesting. I included a slight back story, for hopes that these details could lead to some sort of medical conclusion.

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All of my major problems started on July 17th of last year. Although, I was having some other issues three months prior, which lasted only a week. The symptoms, then, were different from what they were now.

Late March, 2007: I went on vacation to hawaii for 10 days. While I was there I surfed a decent amount at Mamala bay, right near the Ala Wai small boat harbour. One day I took a little hit on the head from the nose of a surfboard. I needed a few stitches, but it didn't seem all that bad. I just paddled in after getting struck on the head. I felt fine, although slightly light-headed. I went to the hospital (I had traveller's insurance,) but the line-up was terrible, so I went to the store and picked up some rubbing alcohol/needle/thread. I'll spare you the details, but after a short while, I was all stitched up. Two days later, I was walking by the beach with my parents, and I started to feel a little faint. I told them I had to stop and sit down. After getting some air for a few minutes, I felt much better. I travelled home later that night.

I felt great after I returned home, and I then resumed my normal life.

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Fast forward 3 weeks later:

One day I was out shopping for groceries, and all of the sudden I started to feel faint, my vision started to darken, and overall I felt like I was going to black out. It seemed to me that it could have been some sort of a low blood sugar problem or something of the like. I immediately grabbed something rich in sugar, and ate it. Nothing changed. I felt like this for one week, and in that entire time, I did not physically pass out. It then dissipated, and then I felt perfectly normal again. Actually, after this, I felt great, probably the best that I have in my entire life. I was active, working hard, and living well.

My symptoms at this time were:

Vision - Darkened, at times it seemed as if I was seeing dark spots.

Medical work: I had my blood work done, an ECG, a lower abdominal x-ray (from bmx bike accident a few years back). Everything came back perfect.

*Note: All symptoms cleared up within one week's time. I then felt 100% and if I can say so, almost better than 100%.
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Fast forward 3 months from that point.

I can almost pinpoint it down to the hour when it all started: I was watching a movie with my friend, was slumped down in the theater chair and just enjoying the flick. All of the sudden, my vision started to become somewhat distorted. After the movie was finished, I told my friend I felt really weird and that I had to go home.

The initial things I noticed were:

Vision distortion:

A definite perception shift. Objects seem to be further off in the distance/closer, and when I speak to people, or try and focus on anything, they tend to "pop" out of the rest of my range of vision.
A general blur that was added to everything.
An increased sensitivity to light. Also, lights, especially at night, tend to give off large halos.
Also, something that I can only describe through experience: You know when you look at a bright light for a little while, and then look away to try and read something? It seems as if the background of what you are reading (white page) is hazy, and almost dark, and it makes it very hard to focus on the words themselves? That is exactly how my vision is, 100% of the time.

Also, my prescription had changed numerous times over a short period of time. This was confirmed by my optometrist, and also by their automatic mechanical readout machine. I am currently unable to wear glasses due to the variability of my prescription.

Fatigue:

I slept nearly 16-18 hours per day, for the first week, after the symptoms had set in that one day.
This seemed to wear off slightly. Also, I started to get used to feeling like this.

Mentally:

My memory (short term/long term) has decreased DRAMATICALLY.
My ability to concentrate/focus decreased almost exponentially.

Headaches:

I was receiving headaches constantly, on a daily basis. They felt as if there was a constant pressure near my temples. At times, although very rare, I got ice pick headaches which were like a short violent stabbing pain to the head. Not pleasant.


To be totally honest, my overall feeling could be similar to being stoned, pretty much 24 hours a day. This is not a pleasant feeling, but I have learned to deal.

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After approx. 7-8 months of the symptoms, the headaches seemed to fade, and eventually disappeared completely. Other than that, my symptoms stayed constant for approximately 11-12 months.
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Fast forward approximately one year from the original onset of problems:

Around late July, early August, 2008, I noted an amplification of prior symptoms. I felt much more 'out of it', and there is no explained reasoning as to why this happened, well at least not that I could think of.

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Approximately one month after the increase of symptoms, I noticed a fatigue that seemed to sweep over me. It came very quickly. I would go about my day for about 4-5 hours, with normal energy, and then feel completely wiped. I had to sleep for several more hours, and then could resume my day for a while, and then have to go to bed early, too.

This stayed fairly constant, and then out of nowhere it got dramatically worse. I would be physically exhausted after being up for about 2-3 hours, and basically had to sleep at least 16 hours a day. This lasted for about 5 days, and then seemed to clear up.

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Present time:

My symptoms are still similar, and enhanced in comparison to the originally symptoms that started on July, 2007. The fatigue has gone away, which is nice, because now I can function somewhat normally again, but the horrible 'brain fog' feeling stoned type problem has remained.

I am still maintaining a high average in school, but it is much harder than it was prior to this problem. There was a dramatic shift at the time that it happened, and I noticed my inability to perform normally immediately.


THUS FAR, I HAVE HAD:

EEG, CT scan of the brain, MRI of the brain, numerous blood tests, multiple urine tests, including testing for mercury, and am about to have a Neuropsych evaluation in a few days, to help what areas of the brain are being affected, and to help figure out what might be causing it.
All of my levels have been within range, on every single blood test done. They have tested for my thyroid, b12 levels, diabetes tests, this, that, and just about everything you could think of. I have seen several doctors, including a neurologist, several GPs, several dentists, and so on and so forth.

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3 Replies:

  • Have they checked Lyme disease?
    Felsen 510 Replies
    • October 31, 2008
    • 06:34 PM
    • 0
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  • The problem with any kind of post-concussive event (which is a possibility) is that abnormalities don't always show up on CT or MRI. They can be very subtle and a dx is made based on history (your surfboard experience) & observed behaviors. Try here: http://www.emedicine.com/emerg/TOPIC865.HTM
    aquila 1263 Replies
    • October 31, 2008
    • 07:45 PM
    • 0
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  • And... even tho you say your thyroid levels are ok, you can still have symptoms. I started my hyposymptoms with at TSH of 3 with normal FT3 and FT4. It took 14 months for it to pop out of range at 5, before I was put on meds. I felt awful the whole time. The fatigue was my worse symptom and the same kind you had. It would come out of nowhere. I would rest, feel better, but still have to go to bed early and sleep 12-14 hours every night. Kiera
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • October 31, 2008
    • 07:48 PM
    • 0
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