Health Update: We Don’t Know Anything Yet

I want to thank everyone who left such supportive, loving comments on the last post I wrote. It is very uplifting to read them when I don’t feel well enough to bother writing.

I was hoping to know something to report by this time, but no, the blood tests have not come back yet. They also did additional blood work on Tuesday, checking me for thyroid dysfunction, (both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism run in my family on both sides) as well as arthritis and other stuff.

The doctor I saw on Tuesday, who is not my regular physician, but the one I could get in to see on short notice in the same practice because I suffered from a really bad day of chronic pain and bone-weariness on Friday, mentioned the possibility of fibromyalgia, which, probably not coincidentally, has been diagnosed in two of my female relatives, both of whom also have thyroid problems. Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain disorder that is related to Epstein-Barr, otherwise known as chronic fatigue syndrome. There are various theories as to what causes it, including some sort of dopamine malfunction in the body–and considering that my sleep disorder and depression have both been successfully treated with medications that either are dopamine reuptake inhibitors or artificial dopamine, I would not be surprised to know that dopamine had something to do with my chronic pain as well.

As for my digestion issues–apparently, irritable bowel syndrome goes along with fibromyalgia, so that may be what is going on, rather than celiac or wheat allergy/intolerance.

So, I am not going to change focus on Tigers & Strawberries quite yet–we will see what is going on before I go running off half-cocked and start changing my diet completely.

Once again–thank you all for your great comments–you are a wonderful bunch of folks.


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  1. I sure hope you can get some definitive answers soon so you can go charging back at life!

    Comment by Cindy — April 30, 2009 #

  2. We look forward to your healthy return!

    Comment by Helen — April 30, 2009 #

  3. Aye, I feel for you. My lover’s got fibro, and it can be a real bear. He keeps it in remission with diet and low-stress lifestyle, but it’s hard. There’s hope, but it’s some hard work sometimes.

    Comment by Aria Stewart — April 30, 2009 #

  4. Gosh, I’m sorry. I hope its as simple as a thyroid problem. My mum takes a pill every day and is right as rain.

    All the other symptoms sound like a by product of inflammation. I wonder if you’ve looked into adjusting your omega 3 consumption versus omega 6?

    Anyway, take care and get lots of hugs from little Kat, hugs make pain a tiny bit better I hope.

    Comment by jennywenny — May 1, 2009 #

  5. Just a note. Epstein Barr (EBV) is not the same thing as chronic fatique syndrome (or chronic fatique immune dysfunction syndrome). Many folks with CFIDS also have positive tests for EBV, but not all. In fact, I tested negative for EBV for many years, despite being ill with CFIDS. My CFIDS is now in remission, but my fibro remains.

    I was diagnosed with CFIDS, fibro, IBS, and a bunch of other possible things. In my case, it was celiac disease/gluten ataxia. Blood test results were inconclusive (due to other factors), but the diet was a success. I developed a severe IgE wheat allergy along the way, so a gluten challenge isn’t possible for me.

    My pain levels are much lower now than they were. They’re at a 4-5 on a daily basis instead of a 7-8. I can live with that. They may drop further, we’ll see. It’s only been four and a half years (GF) and I’ve been ill since 1996. No more IBS or CFIDS or nerve problems, though.

    Comment by Jocelyn — May 1, 2009 #

  6. psst, hey. i know being sick, and having the possibility of having serious life altering illness is something huge, and something that more than likely can get you down like no other. i read this when you first posted it and didn’t have much to say other than, “man, bummer.” but i started thinking about it, and you know, it doesn’t have to be a bummer. whether it’s an allergy or anything else, you (we) live in a country with an advanced health care system, and millions of doctors that can refer you to hundreds of thousands of specialists, and *somebody* can help. and diet & low stress living (like someone else already mentioned) can do wonders for many health problems. you love to cook, and i *think* that it’s something that really connects you to you, so this is really just a great opportunity to learn new recipes and techniques, and take a little longer planning the grocery list.

    best of luck to you.

    Comment by sara — May 3, 2009 #

  7. Barbara,

    One of my best friends has Fibromyalgia. It sucks, but she’s managed to live with it for the last 10 years. If you test positive for it, let me know and I’ll put you in touch with her.

    Comment by FuzzyChef — May 6, 2009 #

  8. hey–I’ve been reading you for years! I’ve had problems a little like that (not the weight-loss… but the itchy/tired/achy-stuff… and, er, the “IBS”…) …

    … it might be partially or mostly a stress thing, especially if your tests all come up negative. Mine flared up during a time of flux (seems like you might be having one of those)…

    … several acres of vegetation+a gratifying workout schedule+a two month moratorium on caffiene did wonders. If it’s something easily fixable, or, at least identifiable… that’s great. But if it’s something like chronic fatigue, or fibromyalgia-as-emergent-effect–don’t worry. Load in the roasted peppers, and the mint tea, and go for a long walk at sunset. These things can be fought, need not be feared.

    Comment by perri — May 10, 2009 #

  9. Fibromyalgia is a tough condition to deal with. On one hand you experience so much pain that is difficult to deal with and at the other end the doctor tells you after all the tests that there seems nothing wrong with your body. The debate continues wheather it is a physiological condition or psychological.

    Comment by Kevin — September 24, 2009 #

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