Hi im Andrew, but everyone just calls me Dux.
I have had declining health for around 10 years now, from being in school at 15 and being a straight A/A* student, and aiming to work as a graphic designer. I then left school with respectable but less impressive B's and C's. I had lost a lot of ability to remember facts, to concentrate, my motivation to do most things had wayned. This was put down depression (family problems all my life, brought up by a clinically depressed mother in divided household).
After school had a small series of jobs as I was pretty unsure what I wanted to do, and often I just 'didn't feel up to working', classic depression I guess. I eventually managed to pull myself together a bit and started an apprenticeship at a VAG garage as a mechanic, quickly moving over to Audi. Things started looking up, and within 3 years I was qualified with Merit/distinction, was working as the senior technician doing all warranty work and was heading for possibly the youngest master technician in the UK.
Then it all started to go downhill.
I had been struggling with my depression a little but coping to some extent. I enjoyed socialising but just found it far too much sometimes, after a couple of days out and about with friends, I would very rarely make it into work on mondays, and often this would last a week, feeling low, tired, fed up etc. Again this was put down to depression.
I used to mountain bike pretty heavy and hard, 45 hours of work a week and around 30 or 40 miles offroad riding. Eventually I had an accident, tried a 4ft drop off and smashed my left wrist up and my left leg. After a week the hospital decided my scaffoid was broken and I was placed in plaster for about 3 months. Aftyer 6 months back at work, it was found out after much nagging that my wrist was still broken. A bone graft from my hip and a pin eventually sorted this.
At this time I was under a lot of stress, my brother was suicidal, I was getting into debt as I could not afford my rent, and I had managed to find a total psycho to start going out with.
I eventually found myself living in Leicester working at Leicester Audi for about 6 months, and by the end of this I was VERY unwell. I had lost alot of weight, I was very depressed, I had developed a reliance on alcohol, I was not eating well, resting much and I struggled to keep my job, until I was off for a month, hardly able to leave my flat. I started to develope some odd symptons. When I was tired, I would feel very abstract, my head cloudy and foggy, Id sometime even have very minor hallucinations, hearing and seeing things. I started to get alot of stomach pains and problems. By the time I moved back to Devon to my mums I could hardly stay awake for more than a few hours at a time, absolute exhaustion took hold.
Back in devon it was a few weeks before I started work again, I built up my health a little, but many problems and symptons remained, which over the next 3 years, untill now have worsened. Each job I have I last at for a shorter and shorter period of time. My latest job I lasted 6 weeks at full time, Ive now managed 3 days in the last 5 weeks, and lost my job this morning :-(
I have been to the docters on and off for years, and they often see anxiety and depression on my notes, and basically ignore anything else I say. I have seen councellors on a few occations, but they talk to me for an hour and say 'Well you seem bright, you dont seem depressed and you seem to know how to think positivly and what action to take'.
I hardly drink these days, I am hardly able to socialise at all. I have started a gluten free diet in the hope this will help with the stomach issues, which over the last 2 years often leave me using the toilet 10-15 times a day, much of my food only seeming half metabolised.
My symptons are as follows, in no real particular order.
Exhaustion and fatigue- I sleep 7-9 hours a night, often disturbed sleep I wake up with pains, often my hands are completely numb. Poor memory and confusion, I dont seem able to hold thoughts in my head properly. I get really confused, I have an IQ of around 140 and yet I spent 2 hours trying to fix a car headlight the other day, it was the indicator...... Over the last few years I have been able to do less and less exercise, to the point a jog up the stairs leaves me flat out.
Eyes - My eye lids often twitch, my right eye doesnt open fully leaving me looking dopey. Eyes are usually bloodshot, dark bags, almost looking like I have a black eye at times. A few years age I was told in an eye test my eye lids dont close properly (before most other symptons started). I was recently told in another eye test, my muscles behind my eyes are weak, I dont follow objects in with my focus. My eyes sting and are teary and always see those little floating squibbles. If im particularly tires, my eyes will actually twitch from side to side on occasion for a period of about 5-10 minutes or sometimes longer.
Hearing - This has only started in last 6 weeks, I hear a 'whooping' like a yawn almost rhythmically when im particularly tired. Sometimes its almost like I can hear an echo of my pulse in my ear, so loud at times it actually hurts.
Neck - My neck is swollen, thyroid (been tested for thyroid issues) is enlarged, and can often see my neck pulsing with my heartbeat. My neck is always stiff, seizes a little.
Arms and back - Despite being very muscular particularly in the shoulders and back, I am weak, unable to maintain strength. When I would work out a few years ago or be lifting gearboxes, I would just collapse under the strain far sooner than I should, like my muscles are all show and no go.
Chest - I have had asthma since I was tiny, but this cleared up in my teens. In the last few years it has returned, but oddly I was told a while ago by a docter its not asthma it must be.... STRESS! lol, I feel tight chested and often wheeze (particularly made worse when resting, and by animal hair)
The embarrassing bits.....- I hate to admit this at my age, but I often cannot sustain an erection, a year ago most of my pubic hair crumbled and fell out although that returned quite quickly (due to personal beleifs, I am NOT sexually active so this isnt any form of STI)
Gut - As I said before, over the last few years my stomach pains have increased consistantly, gurgling, squirting noises are common, horrendous wind (and I know im a guy, but this is ridiculous), 'loose' stools that just form a lump with undigested food contained in it often leavy a greasy slick on surface of water, I have also had problems with heartburn, reflex, mouth ulcers, piles, burning in my anus when I use the loo..... the list is almost endless.
Urinating - Since I was a child I have always had to urinate very frequently, but its at the point now im always dehydrated, what goes in just seems to flow straight out the other end, sometimes it burns a little, even when im not peeing.
Legs and feet - I often get twitching in my thighs, my knees ache often in an almost artheritic manner, since I was about 15 I have started running and running less due to pains up and down my shins, always thought it was shin splints, gets so bad if I play an hour of football I can barely walk. I get sharp stabbing pains in my the side of my legs if ive been fairly busy, that will leave me limping (at end of 8 hours at work).
Skin - I have a little trouble with eczema which has been getting worse on the face and on the eye lids although this is hardly noticable to be honest. Have etheletes foot in between my toes that WILL NOT go no matter how much money I spend on treatments.
Other - Serious egg allergy as baby, could not crack open egg in same room as me. Allergies to animal hair, pollen, dust etc. Appendix ruptured at 13 and removed, hospital took too lng to do this so it actually burst by the time they got in there.
Now I know some of these are nothing, probably most people get them, but it has gotten to the point where its constant on most of these. I have in the last year been tested for diabetes, ceoliacs, thyroid problems, hormone imblances, anemia and all other basic health checks. And I was actually told 'youre too good to be true' by 1 nurse, basically im the healthiest person out there.......
This is destroying my life, im 25 and live with my mum still, my GF is at the point of leaving me because I am never up to doing anything with her. I lost my job this morning, and now need to find a part time job as a welder, mechanic maintanence engineer.... that just wont happen. So im going to have to work part time in a shop on minimum wage. Byebye car, no chance of my own place to live again, marraige.... etc.
I am trying a gluten free diet, little or no caffeine, very little alcohol, no late nights, im basically now the most boring person ever, and Im getting worse. My brother has CFS, and can hardly leave his flat hes so bad, he cant work, cant go on holiday, cant go out much, he is married but hardly ideal situation. Am I going to end up like this?
I recently got a docter to agree that it is probably CFS, with an IBS/food intolerence issue tied in. Any ideas? Please?