Wednesday, August 31, 2011

In The Beginning...

It was almost 20 years ago when I became increasingly ill.  I felt terrible all the time and I had exhaustion beyond anything I could have imagined.  I was falling asleep at my desk at work I was so tired.  I felt achy and miserable.  My feet hurt, my hands hurt and I had a hard time getting out of bed in the morning.  I went to my doctor and he checked me out and told me "You are getting older now, you have to expect these things."  I was 27 years old!  Can you imagine?  I immediately changed doctors and reported that doctor to the AMA.  The AMA didn't do anything but I did what I could.  I decided at that moment that I have to be in charge of my medical case.  I had to drive that medical bus.  I had to be the person in charge because doctor's are only people and they make mistakes.  I will not suffer anymore because some doctor makes some mistake.

My new doctor ran a bunch of tests and found out that I had zero B12 in my system.  Zero.  Zilch.  Nada.  No wonder I was falling asleep.  A deficiency of Vitamin B12 leads to tingling or numbness in fingers and toes, deformed gait and difficulty walking, rapid and frequent mood changes and depression and temporary memory loss, dementia, disorientation and neurological damage.  Pernicious anemia is a decrease in red blood cells that occurs when the body cannot properly absorb vitamin B12 from the gastrointestinal tract.

That was the first diagnosis.  Next I was sent to get the tingling in my feet tested.  From there I was sent to a rheumatologist.  She is the best rheumotologist for me.  She listens and asks about everything.  I was diagnosed with RA but with a little lupus, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue thrown in.  My primary doctor calls it Adrienne's Disease.

Last year I was having weird blood tests every month.  One month I would be deficient in protein, the next month deficient in calcium and the third month deficient in vitamin D.  My primary kept saying I was not eating well.  I kept saying I was eating well.  We went back and forth until I began getting quite ill with stomach issues.  Then everything was kicked up to high gear with all sorts of major tests being done. CTs, MRIs, CAT scans, xrays, colonoscopy, endoscopy.  After a month and half of tests, it was concluded that I have Crohn's disease.  Another autoimmune disease!  Yippee!

A few months ago, as you may have read I found out I have sjogren's sydrome.  That is the drying of the eyes and mouth.

If you add these diseases to the one's I already have (Raynaud's syndrome, restless legs syndrome, interstitial cystitis disease) I think my body is just not happy with itself.  A huge war is going on inside!

Thank goodness I found out I was sick when I did.  Imagine if I had not and I had gone on with no B12 and RA that was undiagnosed.  I would be in a much worse way.  I am so lucky that I took my own medical situation into my hands. 

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