April 1, 2013

Medical Madness Monday

I currently do not have a diagnosis. But what I feel is definitely real. Each day is a struggle to get out of bed. I never feel well rested, but wake up each morning feeling every stiff joint and each sore muscle. Most days I sleep through my alarm... for over an hour.

Once I finally drag myself out of bed, I do my morning stretches and can hear what seems like every joint in my body pop and crack. Sometimes I just cry in the shower because it hurts so badly. The hot water feels soothing most days, but I have problems breathing and am dizzy by the end of  the shower. Damn steam. But most likely caused by the fact that I'm running a low-grade fever that day.

I drench myself in lotion because I want to claw my dry skin off half the time. My hands are splitting at the base of my fingers and my skin burns each time I wash my hands.

I have to take a break and sit down because I'm already exhausted.  Didn't I just wake up?  Crap, now I'm running even later.

When styling my hair up, my arms start burning if my hair won't act right and I keep messing with it. I hardly ever wear heels, not only because Bobby is 5'9" (I'm 5'8". I'm so getting in trouble for this), but because my muscles will cramp the next day like I had a strenuous workout (knowing my fatass hasn't been in a gym in years!)

I commute an hour to work and will inevitably fight sleep the whole way there. Didn't I just get 8 hours of sleep? Isn't it the middle of the day? I may have to pull over and take a quick power nap in a parking lot so I don't fall asleep at the wheel. I know all the tricks to staying awake and rolling the window down isn't one of them.

And depending what mood my intestinal track is in, I may get punished all day for something I ate yesterday. Think IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) with bloating, pain diarrhea, or constipation with bouts of nausea and vomiting. It's lovely.

I work, come home, and depending on how much energy I have left (did I have any to begin with?), I try to complete as least one chore a night. Otherwise, my house will become a complete disaster in a few days. If I do too much in one night, I pay for it the next day with sore muscles and extra fatigue.

Rinse. Repeat.

I take five prescriptions to help with my symptoms, but no official diagnosis yet.  It's so frustrating not knowing what's going on with me.  Sometimes I feel like no one takes me seriously because I don't have an answer to give them as to why I'm not feeling well or don't want to do anything. 

Apparently it can take years for an autoimmune disease to show up in bloodwork. My rheumatologist monitors my condition and treats my symptoms. Right now my "condition" resembles fibromyalgia more than anything.

Fibromyalgia - a common chronic musculoskeletal condition characterized by widespread pain and tenderness in the muscles and joints. Other symptoms include:
-Chronic fatigue
-Morning stiffness
-Tingling or numbness in hands and feet
-Headaches, including migraines
-Irritable bowel syndrome
-Sleep disturbances
-Cognitive problems with thinking and memory (sometimes called "fibro fog")

Fibromyalgia affects 5 million Americans with 80-90% being women.

To learn more about fibromyalgia, please click HERE

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