Good health has been impossible to find for the past several weeks, it seems. Although, to be fair, it really seems like good health has been sporadic since early this year – it’s not just a recent thing. I had my potassium drop in 7 hours (I kept almost losing unconsciousness and really scared my husband!) at the beginning of the year. I got a viral cold in March. I threw my neck out with that and am still having issues (I’m seeing a chiropractor and a massage therapist still). I was having daily allergies (headache and congestion) that allergy meds seemed to quit helping after a while. I kept having trouble sleeping so would feel terrible and then not sleep well because I felt so bad. And then a few weeks ago my daily headaches got drastically worse and I developed light sensitivity and eye pain and found out I had pitted corneas and probably sinusitis (for which I just finished treatment).
Then, last week I went to the ER for chest/back/stomach pains – pain so bad I was having trouble breathing and talking, and then pain that got worse (I started crying) while I was sitting on the bed being stared at by two pharmacy patients, a doctor, and the nurse. They diagnosed my with low potassium levels and hypothyroidism, gave me a couple potassium pills and a prescription for thyroid medicine, and sent me home. The chest pains had actually started the day before, but I’d thought they’d been getting better (until I tried to drink anything too fast or eat anything). They continued on until the next day, when they finally got better in the evening. And my legs started hurting.
I was only panicking a little that day and especially that night. And by little I mean I called a nurse helpline offered through my husband’s insurance three times and resisted calling a fourth time immediately after the third time as my leg pain subsided for a numbish-tingly feeling in my feet and ankles when I was sitting or laying down.
I went into work the next day (Friday) but left early to see a nurse practitioner. I wasn’t thinking clearly however and went to the wrong location. I ended up being twelve minutes late to my appointment – and they reschedule if you’re ten late. I stood there wondering if I was going to faint, trying to not cry (I had in the car when I realized I wasn’t going to make it – I was still a mess), and with the pressure in my ears building into a strong headache. Apparently crying and holding your head in pain is a good way to make nurses take pity on you however, because when I did both after they told me I’d just have to reschedule, they let me stay and the Nurse Practitioner fit me in quickly into her streamlined schedule.
Apparently what the ER hadn’t told me was that the chest pains were probably due to anxiety. I mentioned to the NP that I’d been having low levels of anxiety and tension everyday for a long time, as well, and she prescribed an anxiety med, gave me allergy meds for the headache and sinuses, and sent me home. My feet still felt numb and tingly that night, however.
Saturday, I got a painfully sharp sore throat, and then proceeded to lose more and more of my voice as the evening wore on and my throat felt more and more constricted by a large lump – I was apparently having a reaction to something, I decided. But whether it was to a medication or the lip gloss I’d used shortly before the sore throat acted up I wasn’t certain.
It got better, however, and I had an appointment scheduled for Monday anyway. Over the weekend I’d just keep an eye on it and go to the ER if it happened again or got worse. My throat didn’t get worse. My legs and feet did. They start feeling numbish and tingly all the time Sunday evening.
Monday I noticed the faint red marks I’d noticed on my arms were worse. My husband at first feared he had somehow transferred poisen ivy to me after his walk outside, but it didn’t look like that and wasn’t itchy. I just had small red marks all over the insides of my arms, my chest, and my upper back. The Nurse Practitioner focused mainly on my suspected allergic reaction, taking me off one of the meds to see if it was from that or not. She suspected the feet tingling was from a med as well, and I didn’t speak up enough about the fact that that symptom had started the night before I took any of the new meds aside from the thyroid medication – for which tingly extremities is not a known side-effect.
Well, the tingling got worse Tuesday while the non-itchy rash kept getting better. But as it was getting better on Monday too, I doubted the reaction was to a med after all.
Today, the tingling felt better when I woke up. And then the aches and pains started. Not just in my feet but my ankles, my calves and shins, my knees, and even in my thighs at times. Not constant, not consistent, they would fade out somewhat at time and then come back. And the tingly numbish feeling persisted lowly in the background. I called the nurse helpline again (or was that last night? My memory isn’t good still). She said they normally send people to the ER for persistent tingling, but since I’d already talked to my primary care provider (PCP) about it, if I wanted to do that again I could. So I called my NP. And today was her day off. So I talked to a nurse and she said much the same thing, and left the message for my NP.
I also had another appointment with the ophthalmologist I’d been seeing about my eyes this morning. She mentioned something I’d been holding in reserve as a possibility if the thyroid medication and nothing else helped my symptoms – Lyme Disease. A relative had also been kind enough to inform me that my great-grandmother’s side of the family has a lot of autoimmune diseases as well as Fuchs Corneal Dystrophy. My mother-in-law was also telling my husband that they knew a guy with similar symptoms as me who couldn’t get a diagnoses until he went to a herb shop and they quickly realized he had a certain type of parasite. So, I have lots of options for if the health issues continue. None good, none easy, but all options.
However, I’d still prefer for my body to decide I’ve struggled enough and give me that trophy of elusive good health already. Preferably today, but anytime this week would be okay. (I’d even take it as a participation or consolation reward!) In the meantime, I’ll try to not panic – and will probably fail to some degree.
And I’ll probably go to the ER yet again – but, today, hopefully after work actually ends.