thanks for taking the time to read my post. I apologize in advance for the length. I’ve had chronic health issues for the past five years, and I’m just at my wits end. I don’t know where to go from here, and I’m wondering if I may have undiagnosed Addison’s disease.
My symptoms started in 2010 when I got a bad chest cold/cough. A doctor at the immediate care prescribed steroids and cough syrup. The cough went away, but I was left with debilitating fatigue, shortness of breath, and chest pain. At the time, my doctor and I believed these were just complications due to a congenital deformity called pectus excavatum.
In May 2011, I had surgery to correct pectus excavatum. During the week-long hospital stay, I was miserable. I was in a tremendous amount of pain, but the doctors could not medicate me properly because my blood pressure kept dropping too low. Finally I was in so much pain that my heart rate climbed over 200. They finally got everything under control, but I don’t remember much from that week since I was in such a haze from all the meds and stress. When it was finally time for me to get up out of bed, I fainted. I had to work with a physical therapist for a couple days before I could leave the hospital.
I did pretty well after I left the hospital and went through more physical therapy. My shortness of breath was gone, and my fatigue improved (although it never went away). But in June 2012, I started having pain around my chest again. I thought it was due to the surgical bar they put in during surgery, so I went back to the surgeon. He recommended ibuprofen. *rolls eyes* By December 2012, the pain had spread to my entire body and the fatigue was getting bad again, so I went in for a pain injection, which hurt like hell and didn’t do much to relieve the pain.
In 2013, the surgical bar was removed, and that surgery was much less invasive, so I didn’t have the same complications. I had hoped having it out would help relieve some of my pain, but it hasn’t.
Since 2012 I have been dealing with progressively worsening symptoms:
Full body aches/pains
Digestive issues - abdominal pain/cramping, hemorrhoid (sorry TMI!!), fluctuating appetite
PMS and menstrual irregularity
Foul body odor
Weakness in my legs and hips
Tingling in lower legs, feet and fingertips
Daily headaches - occasional migraines
My doctor has diagnosed me with fibromyalgia, and I’m just too stubborn to accept it. We’ve done tons of testing. Most have come back normal (including normal thyroid function), but some numbers caught my attention. My cholesterol is low. My morning cortisol level was low-normal in March, and my blood sodium levels were low, which is why I’m wondering if I could have early Addison’s. I also have psoriasis, so having one autoimmune condition makes me worry I could develop another. I’m on adaptogenic herbs for my adrenals, which have helped bring my blood pressure back up to my normal level, so I haven’t been feeling as dizzy the past week.
My symptoms do seem to be cyclical. Do any of you notice that your symptoms get worse/get better depending on your “time of the month?”
Almost wondering if I should stop taking the adaptogenic herbs so I can get an accurate diagnosis?
How did you approach getting diagnosed? Did you have to be aggressive about it?