This will also be my first post here on the chronic fatigue syndrome board. I usually post on the chronic pain board (I have chronic severe eye pain secondary to a nasty injury I suffered years ago), but I haven't even been posting there lately, because I have barely even had the energy to turn on my computer, let alone read, write, and reply to posts. This is a big effort for me, but I'm desperate.
Fatigue is nothing new to me, I've been dealing with some form of chronic fatigue for the past 10 yrs or so. However, the older I get, the worse the fatigue has become, and for the past 5 yrs, it has significantly impacted my life.
I am currently in the midst of my worst "episode" of fatigue yet. Things started going down hill in March. I don't know what changed/set me off. I routinely only get 2 - 4 hrs of broken sleep a night. I've had major sleep problems for my entire life, and have worked with a sleep dr, who diagnosed me with some kind of circadian rhythm disorder. In addition, I am a veterinary student, and so I am constantly under enormous amounts of stress from school. But none of this is new.
By May, my fatigue got so bad that I almost had to postpone my exams. I started feeling faint when I would stand up, and had trouble walking from room to room in my house, let alone up a flight of stairs. When I was younger I was a high level athlete, but was forced to stop due to injuries. However, since then, I had still maintained a very active lifestyle. When this began in March, I was in the best physical shape that I had been in in several years.
Even worse than the physical fatigue, is the cognitive manifestation. I am just so exhausted all the time. The only way to describe it is that it feels like my body is "shutting down" and I am powerless to stop it. I feel like a prisoner in my own body.
I have been home for the summer, and am extremely concerned and scared about
returning to school in just under 3 wks. Whenever I am not working, I am in bed. Although I have difficulty sleeping at night, it is a bit easier for me to sleep during the day. I hate doing it, but there isn't much else that I can do. I feel like I have no control over my body. Even if I sleep for 5 hrs during the day, I usually wake up feeling no better than I did before I slept. And if by chance I do feel somewhat better, I'm lucky if it lasts for 30 minutes before I just cannot function again. It's terrifying. I feel like my quality of life right now is a 1 out of 10 at best.
I have had major depression issues for a long time, but my depression was more or less under control when this all started. I do feel like it has gotten worse over the last few months, but I feel like the depression is due to the fatigue/my inability to function, vs the depression being the primary cause of the fatigue.
I swear to God that there is something physiologically wrong with me, but every doctor I have been to, and every test that I have had done has provided no answers or solutions. Likewise, alternative techniques like acupuncture and craniosacral work have only ever been minimally helpful at best. Stimulants do nothing for me -- I've been on numerous different ones, and at high doses, and I get absolutely no benefit from any of them. Likewise, sleep aids do not work for me, and many other medications as well, including pain medications and antidepressants. We do know that I have a genetic liver condition that prevents me from metabolizing many (if not most) drugs. But even those that I can supposedly metabolize yield no response.
I recently saw a new doctor, a fairly well known MD who practices integrate medicine. Like everyone else, he characterized my situation as "extremely challenging," and didn't have any great insights. It was extremely disappointing. Most of what he suggested, I have already tried over the years & it didn't work. He does think that I have "some kind" of chronic fatigue syndrome that modern medicine just can't diagnose (it's probably at the cellular level). I don't fit the standard CFS patient as I understand it, because I do not have any other periodic flu like symptoms, etc. We are going to try IV vitamin infusions (Meyer's cocktail) once a week until I go back to school, beginning this week. However, we're more doing this because we (my mom and I) requested it, versus him suggesting it. He isn't sure that it will help, or that any benefit I derive from it will last longer than a couple of days, but he did agree that it would be worth a try.
Anyways, I'm truly at my wits end. I just feel so horrible, and have no quality of life. I feel like I may as well be 85, not 25, and am very scared that I will have to drop out of school for good because of this extreme, debilitating fatigue. I guess I was just hoping that someone here might have some insight or suggestions of what else I could do to fight this fatigue. That and support, anyway. My only other thought is chronic lyme disease (although my last titer -- several years ago -- was negative, I've had lyme in the past, and live in an area where lyme and other tick borne diseases are rampant), but I know that that is a controversial subject and difficult beast to treat as well...
Post Edited (skeye) : 7/28/2013 10:35:36 PM (GMT-6)