Monday, May 12, 2014

Anxiety and Chronic Fatigue Adventures #11: Mysteries

After experiencing some initial success taking Venlafaxine, I have reverted back to some of my old symptoms (especially fatigue) without relief. I let it go on for 3 weeks, until I have finally relented and called the doc to see if she will increase my dose to the more normally scripted 150 mg. to see if that is any better. I suspect that my initial excitement was a little bit actual success and a lot positive energy and hope. The fatigue, especially has crashed back in, re-affirming that something more is going on. Only it may not be related to my anxiety.

So what's wrong? I'm still having a very hard time with some basic social anxiety symptoms. Although I have noticed some improvement, I still struggle with making phone calls, handling stress without mini-panic attacks (where I can breath, but not deep enough) and other things that are relatively minor, but still enough that I want help. Luckily, my almost daily headaches have become less common, and I haven't felt dizzy in months. Those are HUGE improvements, and make me feel very happy.

For anyone who is still following along, I'll try to update this again soon and comment on whether a larger dose makes a difference or not. My second son's graduation is coming up, along with all the other end-of-school stresses and multiple doctor, dentist and orthodontist appointments and bills, which are exhausting. We'll see if I get through it with less anxiety than normal. 

In other health news, I did see a Rheumatologist, as recommended by my primary doc. She didn't find anything concerning in a new set of blood tests or an examination, so she suggested I might want to see an immunologist, though there is nothing in my bloodwork to indicate that they would be able to help my fatigue, either. She said it sounds like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (um, yeah. I had that diagnosis before and have tried to pretend I didn't have it for ages now) and told me about this doctor in Salt Lake who focuses only on CFS and Fibromyalgia, but she is VERY difficult to get in with. I have paperwork to fill out to even try and see her. 

The Rheumatologist also said that I have Trochanteric Bursitis, though, which explains the pain in my hips, especially after sleeping or sitting for a long time. My husband jokes that I'm getting old and my "Bursitis is acting up..." ha ha. It's not severe and should be relatively easy to manage, with some stretching and anti-inflammatory meds. 

I've continually been prompted to go to an ENT and see if they recommend taking out my tonsils, because that might just take care of everything-- the fatigue, the mystery strep ASO Titer in my blood, but I'm so so so terrified of having a tonsillectomy that I keep ignoring that feeling. I've had that feeling for YEARS now. And now I'm 41, so it's just going to be worse than it would have been 8 years ago. But I'm going. We'll see what they recommend. There are new procedures, most notably one called "Coblation", which might make it less horrific than the old-fashioned laser or scalpel methods. And maybe the ENT will tell me not to have them out-- that it won't make any difference... maybe...

So wish me luck as my journey with CFS and Anxiety continues. Oh, and I'm trying to cut way back on my sugar intake. I'm an addict, I admit it. That might help the CFS as well. 


Chris said...

Why do I feel guilty for not having your tonsils removed? Sorry you're going through all this, Steph. Hope they find something they can treat that will work. Even if it means removing something from your throat. (We'll bring you ice cream if it comes to that.)

Steph said...

You don't need to feel guilty, Dad, doctors kind of stopped taking them out for a few years. Jen had hers out as an adult, too. If it comes to having mine removed, I'll gladly take you up on the offer of ice cream, though. :)