Medical mahem

Well, I've been a sickly thing most of my life. But the real crap hit the fan in my freshman year of high school (1991). After performing with our dance team, my hip would swell to the size of a canteloupe. It was blown off as a typical sports injury and I had to go to physical therapy (PT) a couple times a week. They used an aqua-sizer (an underwater treadmill), electro-stem shock, ice and heat, as well as exercises. Nothing seemed to help the pain in my back, so I was referred to an orthopedic surgeon which determined I had a flat spot on the ball of my hip and would need a total hip replacement -- at 16!!!

Needless to say, I still have all my original parts, but life still hasn't gotten any easier. My senior year of high school my mom had brain surgery (2 actually, September 1994 & May 1995). I was forced to stop all extracurricular activities due to my back issues after having two steroid shots in my tailbone. I gained weight, of course, another problem that has plagued me in addition to the back issues. I have tried every anti-inflammatory that doesn't have a warning label longer than I am tall. One weird thing I found out is that heat makes things worse. I can get in a hot tub and not be able to function for days because of the pain. I past it off as an inflammation issue and moved on.

In 2002, my eye started turning red. After persistent harassment from co-workers that I was going to give them pink eye, I went to my family doctor which in turn discovered it wasn't pink eye. The opthamologist determined it was episcleritis (inflammation of the white of the eye) which is associated with a number of autoimmune diseases. Considering my background & my new symptom, I found a rheumatologist who started running tests for ankylosing spondylitis. The genetic testing came up negative, I am a woman, and there were no symptoms of fusion (yet), so they called it undefined spondolaprothy (which means there's swelling, but no other signs associated with a specific disease). In 2004, I had another episode of episcleritis and was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in addition to the other crap.

In 2006, we moved to Alabama. As much as I like it down here, I believe this has been the downfall (or final determination) of my medical issues. The episcleritis has shown up more often than every two years; I'm having an episode right now in fact. For two weeks in January, I could not drive my car without vomiting due to being so dizzy. After having my hysterectomy in July, my right arm went numb for two weeks with no explanation. August and September have been brutual causing the depression & suicidal thoughts to return. This could be because my biological mother is a nut or my drugs are off, so I went back to my family doctor who finally got back into business. I've also started going to a holistic chiropractor in an effort to find alternative methods to medicine.

Last week I got pissed off enough I quit taking medication (yes, I weaned myself off of the stuff that would throw me into withdrawal). Then of course, the episcleritis reared its ugly head and I had to take eye drops and anti-inflammatories again to make it go away. The family doctor has determined the heat of the summer has caused some major issues and suggested going to the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), which is a local research hospital, for an MRI to determine if I have lesions on my central nervous system which signifies Multiple Sclerosis (MS -- see for more info). All the symptoms seem to fit. The weird thing is I'm almost relieved there's finally a name to the madness of the past 17 years. I'm not looking forward to the issues of the future, but at least I know what I'm up against. This not knowing crap is driving me CRAZY.

The most difficult issues of all is no matter what he says, I think Bob just doesn't believe there's a true medical issue. He complains I don't feel like being intimate, doing housework, or whatever and I take naps on the weekends. I try to explain it's like being a balloon deflating. Once the fatigue hits, you truly have no choice but to stop what you're doing at the moment and veg. There's claims I'm self-diagnosing due to the internet. It's been a very difficult year.


Anonymous said...

I totally understand where you are coming from my dear. I seemed to have gotten the "crap" end of the stick in my family...concerning medical issues. No one else has or has had any of the thiings that are "wrong" with me.
All you can do, is thank the man upstairs for being alive, and live everyday like there may not be a next. We are only given what we can handle...seems to be a bit much at times, but we pull through. Also, us as woman have more stressers in our lives, so all of us can count that as an issue, all on it's own, LOL
Kiss those kids as much as you can, and love the person you are with the best you can....and things will be ok :) ~Erika~ a.k.a ccquilter ;)

tscrapper said...

Hang in there, girl! I really wish I were closer, so I could help more, but I'm so thankful that I can keep up-to-date more now. You're one tough cookie!

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