I'm a single, full-time father to three teenaged sons, a successful, work-from-home freelance writer. My life is grand, full of love and happiness.
However, about eight months ago, it was like the lights were just turned off on me -- massive fatigue set in, a significant loss in my ability to focus and concentrate, body aches, an occasionally racing heart. I'd never had any problems like this before.
I went to a doctor, who ran a series of blood tests, which revealed an elevated hematocrit -- not severely elevated, but well above normal. That yielded the diagnosis of polycythemia which, if you know anything about, is a condition almost always caused by something else. (A JAK2 test revealed that my polycythemia is NOT Vera). A CT scan of my abdomen revealed a 3-cm gallstone, a 2.7-cm hemangioma on my liver, but everything else looked good. My EKG was good. Everything else was normal. I'm set to do a sleep study in a couple of weeks to rule out sleep apnea, a condition I am doubtful that I have.
But I feel terrible almost all the time -- severe fatigue, tremendous difficulty concentrating and focusing (and, of course, getting my work done), body aches (especially in the left shoulder), etc. My doctor last week prescribed Vyvanse to help boost energy levels and focus, and that seems to help a little bit, but only a little bit. I'm doing my very best to keep it all together for my sons, who have no idea I'm feeling this way.
In 1992, I had a congenital blockage removed from my right kidney, resulting in function of about 15% on that side. In 2010, I was diagnosed with Chrone’s Disease, but have had no problems – and taken no related medications – since that initial illness. I have suffered for several years with erectile dysfunction, which is treated, usually effectively, with Viagra. I am on no other medications, have never had any troubles with depression or anxiety.
I am absolutely determined to feel better. I have far too much I want and need to do in this, not least of all raise three good men. By the by, I'm a 43-year old male, in good shape, practice yoga regularly (or did, until the last couple months). I would DEEPLY appreciate any thoughts or comments on what the heck might be happening here. Thank you so much.
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