Well yes and no. As some of you may have been reading my posts for a while now already know. I haven’t been well for a while.
It’s why posts have been sporadic for the past couple of months at least. I aim to do a little better since for my own peace of mind I have to still be able to do something.
I suffer with Endometriosis, hypertension, depression and have over the past couple of years been through quite a lot. At times it has really got me down and I haven’t always known which way is up.
I am trying. Trying to get through whatever this is but knowing your body and how it behaves is a two edged sword. I have had Endometriosis, a chronic condition since I was seventeen years old but back then I didn’t know. I waited and went through a living hell that only those with a chronic condition will understand for another 18 years before it was finally confirmed.
8 years ago, I had a hysterectomy and thought that finally my life could begin. I’d been given a new lease of life. I was cured!
Well actually no, I wasn’t. Although my health improved significantly for a while, it is an incurable condition aggravated by stress and can present itself in and around other organs causing unimaginable pain.
Fast forward to a few years ago when I started to get awful pain in my bowels and the old familiar dragging pain in my abdomen again. It’s easy to shrug it off thinking that if you don’t have the equipment anymore you shouldn’t have these pains and if you ignore it, it’s sure to go away.
I don’t like taking medicines. I have reacted to so many over the years in the name of testing and some have left with me long lasting effects.
Due to the Endometriosis I also have a high threshold for pain and am stubborn so tend to have an I can get through this mental attitude.
But… Dealing with the pain I have been in over the past few months has been unbearable at times. I can tell you that Painsomnia is a very real thing.
I have on many occasions over the past few months sat in the GP surgery asking, “What on earth is wrong with me?”
I knew deep down that something was pretty wrong and that I needed to get to the bottom of it all. I have been trying to wrack my brains and put my finger on it, times and dates. I keep a diary to jog my memories I do not always put find details in it.
Sods law prevails, there are a few missing pieces in my puzzle.
The GP has been understanding, sent me for lots of tests trying to help me find out the root cause. So many symptoms have been unexplained and put down to stress. Life has been unbelievably stressful in the past year alone, but longer than that. But I suspected that there was more to it than that.
I’m not clutching at straws but sometimes you can join up the dots.
My GP suggested that I may have Fibromyalgia brought on by my circumstances.
It is a condition I had heard of but nothing more I felt I needed to do some research.
That is when I received a lightbulb moment. There are some things which mimic Fibromyalgia symptoms. But suddenly there it was, in black and white in front of me.
The question, Have you been bitten by a tick? You may have Lyme Disease…
Take this online questionnaire and give the answers to your GP.
I did the questionnaire. Almost every answer was yes to what I had been going through lately. Don’t panic I thought. It must be easy to find out surely?
When we were in Scotland it was Springtime. It seems like ages ago. The deer were jumping around the garden, all sorts of wild animals trotting past and came to see us. the cattle were in the field at the back of the house and the grass had just begun to grow for the summer. It went from looking like a lawn to a field in a matter of weeks. Between the sunshine. It rained a lot and grew so fast. There is too much of it for us to mow and too many underground hazards for heavier machinery to get in there. We were walking in pasture on a daily basis and picking ticks of the dog every time he came indoors. Thank for for spot on type treatments to protect him. The drops didn’t stop him getting them but I think it made them drowsy and easier to see. Since the weather was warm outside the dog slept on the bed during the day since it was the only cool place in the house. I felt tired a lot so sat with him on the grass outside in the sunshine.
I picked them off him and disposed of them. But one morning in early May I think it was, I woke up with a massive bite on my back. I didn’t remember being bitten the day before and it definitely wasn’t a midge, could it have been a horsefly I thought. I asked my partner to take a look. It was strange he said. Really red and about the size of a 50p piece and looked like a bullseye. In a couple of days of putting Aloe Vera onto it, the itch died down a bit. I thought no more of it.
I started to feel really tired again and my neck hurt for a few days. Had I slept in a funny position and strained it. I slept without pillows but it didn’t seem to help either way. For no reason and had a colossal headache which lasted for 5 days. All I wanted to do was sleep. I couldn’t get much done, it was a good job that I didn’t have to drive. I just thought that again it was stress. More rest required so I was sleeping roughly ten hours a night and still waking up tired. I felt as though I was getting the flu, I had a temperature for about 48 hours, felt feverish if it didn’t seem to turn into anything.
I thought I had escaped a bug of some sort.
Within a couple of weeks when I suddenly kept getting excruciating pain in my hands and feet I blamed it on the damp. I couldn’t think of any other reason it could hurt so much. It was like cramp and fire at the same time, burning from the inside out. I rubbed my hands each night and day with hand cream hoping to ease the pain. Had I overdone some gardening he asked? No, I hadn’t actually done anything with them.
It was frustrating.
I’ve had this pain before. The year before and last year. It wasn’t as bad as this.
We came back South and saw the doctor who sent me for blood tests checking for arthritis and rheumatism we waited for the results. Full blood work came back with a vitamin D and calcium deficiency but otherwise it was Ok. I already take a supplement daily so started to take two.
In the weeks since then I started to get the shakes, tremors I can sit doing absolutely nothing and feel my whole body shaking. Sometimes you can see them. The fire in my hands and feet has moved to elbows shoulders and knees and ankles. What was happening only sporadically is now a daily occurrence. The pain is constant and I am concerned. I grit my teeth a lot. It stops them chattering uncontrollably my own reaction to shock and pain. My whole body aches. I keep waking up in pain and being really short of breath. Like someone has stolen it away from me unexpectedly as I walk along the road. The dog has become used to my telling him to slow down and wait for me and toddles alongside me.
About three weeks ago she mentioned the possibility of Fibromyalgia and then I found out about Lyme. There were warnings on Facebook in May, a little info but I thought that we were careful and if we got rid of the ones off the dog we would be alright. You could see them on him, so we would be sure to find them on us too. Or so I thought… I read more, a tick can be the size of a poppy seed. So what hope is there if seeing that and removing it in time. Not all ticks carry Lyme, well I’m grateful for small mercies then.
So what do you do to find out?
There is a type of blood test to check, it is called ELISA but these are not conclusive depending on what stage it is at. It can take several weeks to present itself. Meanwhile you feel like death warmed up if this is anything to go by. Not everyone gets a bullseye bite either.
My legs keep going numb. The week before last I collapsed for no reason. I went to sit down and my legs went from under me. I was exhausted I had only just got up, had a breakfast and a shower and needed to sit down again my legs were wobbly. This was worrying.
I got an appointment for Monday last week. I sat with my work coach who told me I looked so ill. She told me I wasn’t fit for work and she doubted I could be through the day let alone an interview. I told her I would see the Dr that afternoon. I asked for the test and told the doctor my concerns. He agreed it sounds like you have Lyme Disease we’ll send you for it. You’ll need time to get better, at least six weeks and you need plenty of rest.
My hands are failing me. I couldn’t do my partner’s shoelaces up for him. My hands just wouldn’t work. I couldn’t get the lid off the open coffee jar the other day. I keep dropping things.
There are days when I can’t remember what I wanted to say, mid sentence I am struggling with the end of it. I have pain in my head it is fuzzy. Not all of every day but it is unlike me. I have had spasms in my head, the electric noise comes and goes and a flicker in my eye.
My joints are all clunky just like the middle of a damp winter they feel inflamed and sore.
Last night the numbness in my right leg travelled all the way up it.
The other night I felt that I might be having a stroke. I lay in bed panicking in fear in case I couldn’t move, slowly things did again and I calmed down.
What would happen if I did? How would my partner cope? What would he do with everything in the loft? He can’t even get in the loft!
I went into the loft the other day for a while, I am trying to start thinning out the huge amount of things we have amassed in readiness for a house move. Going through the boxes I started to make a map of the loft so that thing will be able to be found.
Horrible thoughts and nightmares fill my nights at the moment. It feels like another massive change in my life which is beyond my control.
Is my fate in the hands of another?
If I couldn’t walk how would I get around my current home? Would we ever be able to get back to our home in Scotland, fix it up or live there again? What happens if I become incapacitated suddenly? Or worse still had a stroke leaving me unable to speak or write. There is so much in my head I have to find an outlet for it.
I have read so much about this disease in the past few days and yet barely scratched the surface of it. I have read that if left untreated for any length of time there are things that can be irreversible. There is a threat of seizure, facial paralysis, people are unable to drive.
I must admit that the thought of just any one of these things being temporary let alone permanent scares the wits out of me. At the moment there have only been days when I wouldn’t dream of getting behind the wheel when I can barely stand up. There are other days I have ventured out and have had to Steel my nerves and shakes before getting back in the car, gathering myself and taking pain killers.
In the past few months I have become much more reliant upon others to help me with things where previously I had been fairly independent. But it worries me that if there is no one available to help, because they have their own lives to lead. What happens if there is no food in the fridge and I can’t get out to get it. Or prescriptions that are needed for either of us. What if we cannot walk our boy anymore.
Just how bad can it get?
There are so many unknowns and I am trying not to let my imagination run wild. I am trying to be strong about it. Not needlessly worry my already very stressed partner who will be having more surgery this month. He asked me the same question last night. I don’t know the answers. We were walking the dog it was the wrong place to talk about it. I began to read some of the things that could happen out to him last week, he asked me to stop. He couldn’t cope with knowing so where does that leave me?
At the moment I do not have the results of the tests, as my partner said yesterday this is like the longest wait ever but we are all pretty sure that is what this illness is. If they confirm this on Wednesday then the meds start and let battle commence.
I was thinking over the weekend, I wonder if this has been going on for much longer than since this May. My work coach said it first on Monday that I had been so ill for a long time now. I burst into tears. It was a shock to hear it. I remember a couple of years ago 2015 when we were in Scotland in August that year. I was bitten by something we thought it was a horsefly then. It was an enlarged bite and I reacted really badly to it, was in. We for a few days as I felt so ill. I can’t remember much else about it except that my partner had to drive me to a chemist in the nearby town for anti histamine tablets and hydrocortisone cream which I used for about a fortnight after. It occurred to me that if this was an infected tick bite back then it could (just could) be the cause of some of the last two years of medical problems.
I guess I have no way of knowing for sure we will have to take each day as it comes and just deal with whatever it throws us as usual.
God give us strength.
There didn’t have the results yet I couldn’t wait and asked for antibiotics. I am taking them and feeling still worse. I spent Saturday in bed and I haven’t left the house for two days. I have joined a Lyme discussion group on Facebook to try and find ways to ease the symptoms. So far this illness is scaring me, I am trying daily to rise above my fear.