Saturday, July 23, 2011

A Life Turned Upside Down

 Welcome to my blog!

My name is Rhonda and in January 2011 I went from being a happy and healthy woman to having my whole world turned upside down. I woke one day in mid January feeling like perhaps I was coming down with the flu. I hurt from head to toe, was nauseated  and was oh so very tired. In the days that followed the pain became increasingly worse. I didn't think it was possible but I was wrong! Over the next three weeks I would develop symptoms that included: extreme muscle weakness, chronic fatigue, joint pain (at which point I learned just how many joints we have in our bodies...and how many I did not know existed),hip and back pain, numbness and tingling in all extremities, strange sensations on my skin, tingling on my face and head, balance issues, memory issues, brain fog and every once in a while my right leg would refuse to move (this can last anywhere from 20 minutes to 36 hours)! I was lucky enough to have the owner of the company I work for suggest that I work from home with flex hours!! Thank God for small favours! My Dr. was baffled.

He sent me to a Rheumatologist who ruled out Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus via one blood test. He suggested that I head to a Neurologist to rule out MS. I have had more tests than you can imagine: blood tests, MRI's (x3), CT Scans (x2), Nerve Conduction Study, Evoked Potential Testing, Ultrasounds, Thyroid Uptake Scans and X-Rays just to name a few. Thank goodness I live in Canada where we have access to all of these Dr's and tests without cost.

After all of that we have learned that I have 2 auto-immune diseases: Hashimoto's Disease and Graves Disease (which together are called Hashitoxicosis). My family Dr. thinks this is a side issue and not responsible for all of the issues I have. The Neurologist does feel that while I have MS symptoms it is not MS as the presentation was all wrong. I am still scheduled to see the MS Clinic (it was a 6month wait) in August. In the meantime the Hashitoxicosis has put Lupus back on the table (30% higher occurrence in people with Hashimoto's) and my Family Dr. reviewed my tests and said that it could not be ruled out by one blood test done at the very on-set of my symptoms. I head to a new Rheumatologist next week, he specializes in Lupus. It has been a very LONG 7 months and we still aren't sure what is going on with me!

We are having one of the hottest summers in memory and the heat exacerbates my symptoms. Everything is worse. Less than 5 minutes in the heat and humidity result in: my legs feel like I am walking in mud up to my thighs, I become nauseated, exhaustion sets in, poor balance and once I am back inside (where the central air conditioning is humming madly away) it can take hours to go back to how I was before I went outside.

The hardest part other than the constant pain and tiredness is watching the impact that this has on my family. Not being able to participate in my children's lives the way always have. The way I long to. Often landing in bed at night before even they have gone to bed (the youngest ones are only 8 and 9). I am blessed to have such a wonderfully supportive husband. While I know I have no control over what is happening I still feel guilty at how our lives have changed. No end in sight....ugh

I spend a lot of time in bed. Either sleeping or just stretching out to take the pressure off my back and hips. I have read and written up a storm, it keeps me sane! I am hopeful that this blog will allow me to become a better writer, inspire me to finish a novel I am working on and of course allow me to manage my stress in a positive manner by writing it out, rather than the endless thoughts swirling in my head.

Make it a great day!

© 2011 Rhonda

No comments:

Post a Comment