Well this is my first post and I thought it might be best to introduce myself.
My name is John Mitchell and I come from the UK I am currently 34 years old, I have just been diagnosed with ME ( Myalgic Encephalomyelitis ) or CFS ( Chronic Fatigue Syndrome ).
I am constantly learning about this illness and I plan to share my views/thoughts and findings on this blog.
How it all started.
6 months ago I contracted a ‘flu type’ virus, this was like nothing I have ever had before. It started with me waking in the middle of the night with a strange panic type feeling and really bad dizziness and nausea, I would wake sweating jump out of bed and crash into the bathroom where I would try to vomit, I never did.
Then came the aching stomach, migraines, aching legs, light intolerance, tinnitus, blurred vision, weakness and cold sweats.
Naturally after a couple of days I phoned my local Dr. who agreed to see me, she gave me a check over and asked me to hop on the scales, I had lost 21 pounds ( 1.5 stone ) in the space of 10 days ! She decided to send me for an emergency endoscopy and spoke about the possibility of stomach cancer, this sent me into a anxious mess. See the thing is I was 33 years old, going to the gym 5 days a week, fit and very active I ate like a horse and in no time I had become this weak, frail man who felt about 90.
What seemed like the longest 2 weeks passed and I was finally laid on the hospital bed getting what felt like a hose pipe shoved down my neck, the endoscopy. This experience is something I never want to undergo EVER again, it was horrendous! The Dr. finished and I looked to him for an answer, he didn’t have one. He told me that there was nothing wrong with my stomach and that he had taken a biopsy to rule out infection, this eventually also came back negative. A relief that I didn’t have cancer but I still needed to know what was making me feel so ill, I literally thought I was dying and my sanity at this time was very questionable. I would constantly cry and felt like such a burden to my partner and our kids.
I went back to the Dr, several blood, urine and stool tests where taken over the course of the following months but one by one I was told that there was nothing to report, this was extremely frustrating and words like hypochondria and health anxiety where being used.
I knew that there was something wrong and in a desperate plea for help I succumbed to the Dr’s recommendation of anti-depressants, Prozac to be precise. I was told that depression and anxiety was making me have all these symptoms and after everything I had been through I was willing to try ANYTHING and who was I to argue with a Dr!
I started to accept that I must be anxious on a sub-concious level and I even enrolled into ‘The Charles Lyndon Project’ to try to rid me of this illness. I must add it did help to a certain degree but I was still not getting better.
I self researched and eventually came across ME/CFS and discussed this with my Dr, she agreed that my symptoms where more like ME and has now referred me to the ME specialist in my area.
I am still taking the anti-depressants but I am due to speak to the Dr about coming off them safely.
My Symptoms ( Up to now ! )
- Brain fog – This is like when you first wake up and your not quite awake and your concentration is terrible and your clumsy, but it lasts all day and is quite debilitating.
- Aching Legs – I feel like I have ran a marathon in my sleep not only do they ache but they wobble and shake, especially when I am coming down the stairs.
- Fatigue – Not like a ‘normal’ tiredness this is like when you have been on a really really long drive and your brain starts to switch off so you have to pull over and rest, again this fatigue lasts for most of the day, I’ve found that napping can help, I express ‘can’.
- Vision Problems – I have a visual snow going on, like when you don’t tune a TV in, some days its worse than others but its always there. I also have this strange pressure feeling in my right eye, it feels like someone is pushing the side of my eyeball, very strange and hard to ignore.
- Shaking/internal tremors – Its like adrenalin is flowing through my body and it makes you feel almost panicky. Also my hands shake all the time.
- Nausea – Almost like I have eaten something that doesn’t agree with me.
- IBS – Aching right side, it feels like a dull toothache type pain and fluctuates in severity, I find that going to the toilet can relieve this sometimes.
- Headaches/Migraines – These are not constant thankfully but they can be really intense and going to bed in a dark room is the only option for me.
- Anxiety/Depression – This is expected and coping with not being yourself is the hardest symptom of all in my opinion, I am a father, a partner, a carer, a son, a grandson, a friend, a brother and an uncle and with all this comes responsibility. Not being able to do what I love, helping my family and friends, has been a real struggle for me, I was always the one people could come to for help and now I have to say no to these people, trust me when I say this has been the hardest symptom to live with!
There is more symptoms, many more and as I update this blog I will include them but as I am typing the keys are becoming blurred and the fatigue is kicking in. I hope you have enjoyed reading my first post and by all means please leave a comment.
Love John x