On November 3rd, 2010, I'll be diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. This, of course, is not the correct diagnosis, but my doctors have tried.
This all started in January of this year.
I had a "special" piercing down there (silly 18 yr old boy stuff, I'm now 20) that even after careful handling, it became infected (not nearly as bad as it sounds, but it ain't no walk in the park).
My primary care physician at the time gave me a quick urinalysis, saw that there was excess protein, and gave me a 5 day regiment of Ciprofloxacin.
Well, for 3 days, I'd say it completely cleared up and it was back to normal.
But on the 4th day, the pain returned. "Eh, great". Called my PCP, and he again gave me an addition 5 day regiment. The pain subsided.
1 day later, I experienced a pain unlike no other, right in the flank area of my lower back. The doctor suspected it was a kidney infection that traveled up my urethra, and I was put on the antibiotic Avelox.
The avelox felt like pure ***l to me, I just couldn't understand why I was having such severe side effects from it. I sucked it up, and took the full 7 day course (Costing 129.99, no insurance at that time =-/).
After that infection, everything was back to normal.
To be honest, I can't tell you exactly when it happened, but I speculate it was the end of January, approximately a week off of Avelox.
One day, I woke up with a headache, maybe a 3 on a scale of 1-10. From that day on, there was not ONE second that I did not have a headache. It slowly got progressively worse, and I'd say it maintained at about a 7 at all times.
At about this time, I began to become dizzy at all times. Dizzy as in I spun myself around a baseball bat about 10 times, and tried to take off. It got to the point where If I wanted to walk, If I wasn't looking at my feet, I would violently crash into the floor. Every door way was difficult to get through, and I'd smash into the sides of door ways about 5 times a day. Things wouldn't stop spinning...
At the time, I am a 5' 11" male, 19, weighing about 200-205. I always participated in sports, and I was never sick in my life. Of course, you get the things that other kids had, but my health was superb. I was working full time at a job I enjoy (still work for this company) and was planning on joining the Navy, with hopes of making it into Intelligence!
I consult with my primary care, and do you know what his diagnosis was? (Mind you, this was told to my mother, and not me).
"It's all in his head".
You see, my father died of Stage IV Melanoma skin cancer at the age of 45, after fighting it for 7 YEARS at stage IV. He was a great man, very strong (An IFBB pro body builder, with 23 inch arms) and caring.
This doctor simply thought that I was exaggerating, and recommended that I get counseling.
I found it harder every day to get out of bed. Around the beginning of February, I started experiencing abdominal pain. I mean get stabbed in the stomach by a pitchfork. In addition to this, I began having watery diarrhea. 10-15 times a day. Maybe more, but at this point, after not being able to eat anything without SEVERE abdominal pain (much less throwing it up from being dizzy), it really takes affect of your body, and my brain really shows those days not as memories, but almost as an old motion picture.
Just for the heck of it, my body also decides it wants to be extremely weak, achy, and fatigued at all times. Doc said you must be depressed :(.
In April, as I am forcing myself to go to work as usual (I was really sick, but I was never one to complain), I start to feel tingling in my outer extremities. I didn't realize this, but for the last few months my heart rate had maintained itself at about 120+, and my blood pressure was maintained at about 150/110. Of course, my doctor "forgot" to mention these things to me, or even think about them at all.
As I am about to leave, my mom sees the condition I am in, and I am stopped at the door. I am told to call my boss and tell him to get a replacement that night, for she was bringing me to the emergency room.
At this point, I won't even fight that idea anymore. By the time we got to the car, my body was tingling all over, and it was actually kind of nice.
The second we got to the emergency room, the increasing tingling had become violent, and I was SCREAMING at the top of my lungs, with my eyes shut, as this sensation went through my body. I thought, well at least I made it to the hospital. Maybe they'll stop me from dying.
I was sedated, and tests were run. It seems I had a large increase in my WBC, and some other defining factor of illness, but since my primary thought I was apparently joking, he hadn't ordered any blood tests or anything. He actually refused to.
I was released from the E.R. that night about 3 hours later (total cost: 6000+?) and had to go on a leave of absence from my job.
I also had been taking my temperature during all of this. I maintain a temperature from 101.5 to 104 degrees constantly for 4 months.
I'd like to mention something. While I was sick, my mother recommended that I do a colon cleanse, similar to preparation for a colonoscopy, and see what that did. IT COMPLETELY TOOK AWAY EVERY SINGLE SYMPTOM I HAD. 3 days later, a complete relapse occurred, but those 3 wonderful days were the last time I've felt OK, normal, fine...I just thought that was an interesting fact.
In May, after losing 55 pounds from not being able to eat, having a walking shuffle similar to Parkinson's (I wouldn't move faster than 1 mile an hour), continuing cognitive decline, constant severe headache, the strength of a new born kitten, 20 bowel movements a day at the time, a heart rate of 125 constantly, severe abdominal pain, and dangerously high blood pressure, my mother threatened to KILL my primary care doc if he did not immediately admit me to a hospital and find out what was wrong with me. She did end up smacking him in the face after he said it's not real and it's all in my head, and he got the message apparently.
For 3 days, I was subjected to CT scans, barium, blood tests around the clock, liquid diets, etc etc etc...
Then, as my family members had just left, I was told they knew what was wrong.
"You have a clostridium difficile infection, and you need to be isolated immediately."
Called up my family members (most of which are 55 and older) and told them they needed to shower throughly immediately and use extra cautious hygiene.
To make things worse, my great grandfather is on the floor on top of me, dying of an acute onset of bone, bladder, and brain cancer. I am not allowed to see him.
My doctor never even apologized for literally writing on my chart "Munchausen syndrome".
I did make it just in time to hope hospice though, to give my grandfather a special cross he and his wonderful wife gave to me, that had been blessed by the last 2 popes we've had. He died that night.
Well, after the diagnosis, I felt AMAZING!!! I was so happy to be back to normal, and immediately began eating healthy, removing all junk, bad habits, etc. from my life.
I worked my **s off, and made it to MEPS for my Navy career. I scored high enough to get into nuclear, but I wanted intelligence.
One problem: I am temporarily disqualified for having tachycardia (129 BPM).
2 days later, the beginning of June, I wake up to feel a slight stiffness in my lower back.
Over the next 2 weeks, the pain becomes worse and worse, and my lower spine can no longer hold my weight up after only a week without me screaming out in pain. I begin walking with cane.
My legs begin experiencing paresthesia in my extremities, severe weakness and fatigue, I begin to drop things because my grip is so weak, my body feels so heavy it's impossible for me to move faster than 1 mile an hour again, my cognitive abilities diminish at an incredibly fast rate, I no longer have any short term memory, and speaking becomes nearly impossible. I cant think of the right words. ***l, I can't think of any.
Fast forward to now. I am still 150 pounds, and my symptoms had noticeably improved in about a month. Unfortunately, that's as far as they healed. I still experience all of them, except to a lesser degree. Doctor's guess? Post infectious Guillain Barre Syndrome (I thought you only got that after VIRUSES, but who knows...)
I really feel for you people out there that are dealing with these doctors. At this point in my life, I've had plenty of time to just reflect on how valuable health, family, friends, and life is. I will begin classes at a local state college this January, and am going to push myself as hard as I can to excel in all classes necessary to get into medical school. I will not let this happen to someone else. I want to become a hospitalist. I also want to sub-specialize in oncology as well. I want to teach doctors HOW to become doctors. I just want to help.
If you have any ideas or speculations as to whats wrong with me, I have a thread in "Need a diagnosis" section. It called "Is Anyone Psychic? Even if your not, please help me?". I pray that all of you out there with these mysterious illnesses find health and comfort one day. I also hope that I'll be able to assist in the future as well. Thank you for reading my story.