Hi. I'm a 44-year old female in the UK, having problems and not finding real help. Have had medical problems on and off since being 14/15, when I had a period of about 6 months when I was v. poorly with extreme fatigue, muscle weakness, mild swelling, etc. No real diagnosis made but doctors assumed glandular fever. These symptoms recurred for about 3 years on an off - very debilitating. Was then mostly okay, re these sorts of symptoms, for quite a while. Suffered badly with depression twice, one of which was post-natal, but otherwise okay - was dancer, and was physically fit. Then ended up with 3 gynae ops: firstly, removal of a burst ovarian cyst and half left ovary at age 31; at age 32, hysterectomy for constant bleeding/pain; age 33, removal of ovaries and into acute menopause. It feels like since then I've been going crazy and although my doctors will treat (some) of the symptoms on an ad-hoc basis, it seems like nobody has yet put 2 and 2 together and come up with 4! Obviously, at first I had quite severe menopausal symptoms until I got my HRT sorted out and, for the most part, these have settled. However, about 9 years ago I ended up with a diagnosis of CFS as the multiple symptoms I was experiencing could not be put down to anything else by my GP. Yup, severe fatigue, depression, muscle weakness/pain - but there were others that were written off as part and parcel. I was off work for 2 years. Forward to 4 years ago: a new GP found that I had a cholesterol level of 14.8 (it's true, I swear!), and a blood pressure reading of 195/115. I've been diagnosed via an endocrinologist as having familial hypercholesterolaemia - now know that my father also has this problem - I'm now on atorvastatin for this. He also explained that the tests revealed mayhem in my body chemicals generally and he started me on long-term treatment with an SSRI, escitalopram. Okay that's deal with that but the other symptoms persist, i.e. intermittent swelling, particularly of face and abdomen, and seemingly related to stress. Two years ago I visited Australia and, whilst there, had to undergo emergency dental treatment. The anaesthetist told me to ask my endocrine guy to test for phaeochromocytoma (a tumor on the adrenal glands) as my blood pressure had been almost uncontrollable under anaesthesia. Once home, my endo happily tested for this as he thought it was a valid test - but it came back negative. Swelling, depression, and other odd symptoms persisted.
Developed a form of psoriasis on my hands - tiny, tiny transparent/red dots that then burst open and the skin peels away - ever present but flares badly now and then.
Have had food intolerance tests but these are negative.
Now I have developed severe pains/swelling in fingers, wrists, knees, ankles, heels, bridge of foot and toes - on both sides of body. Profile (i.e. shape) of hands/wrists and feet has changed and swelling is permanent though alters by degrees, especially dependent on use, etc. Have been tested for RA, though no factor present; ESR and CRP raised, though not v. high; ANA/ANCA within range.
I am now at my wits end - I am sick and tired of feeling like this: it is affecting me more and more - I can't dance, my job is being affected by the pain in my hands/wrists, I am so tired and bad tempered and I just want somebody to look further than their nose! By the way, I'm now being told there is no CFS diagnosis!
If anyone recognises this motley collection and can possibly help, I'd be more than happy to hear from you. I feel like my GPs no longer want to bother and I can't afford to go private.