If you know me very well at all, you know that both of my parents are/were in the medical field and I’m a nurse. This little fact means that our polite dinner time conversation was a little different than most other families. This also means that we didn’t go to the doctor as much as other kids. We were usually actually quite sick (or in need of a school physical or something) when we went to those appointments. No running to the MD for every little sniffle for the kids in my family. Growing up this way paired with my rather high pain tolerance (because we clumsy folks need it or we’d always be hurting) means that I don’t often complain about every ache, pain, or symptom I’m experiencing unless it’s really bothering me.
If you hadn’t met me until very recently, you might think that was a lie. I find myself complaining a lot more recently and I hate it. But, even though I’m a little more complainy than normal, I’m still not complaining about more than half of what’s bothering me and the things I am talking about, well… they’re really bothering me. But I keep hearing things like “But you don’t have the symptoms of that…” from friends and family members and casual acquaintances who haven’t heard three-quarters of the things going on inside my head and body. So, I figured it might be time to put down in writing the list of symptoms I’ve been dealing with for going on a year or more now. Some of these have been around for several years, some only started around the time the giant lymph nodes started popping up, but all of them are there almost all the time almost every day, and I’m getting tired.
- Fatigue, near constant and often rather severe. Doesn’t seem to matter if I get 5 or 15 hours of sleep, it’s always there.
- Cyclical low-grade fevers.
- Near constant muscle aches in areas I’ve never injured.
- Fairly constant and sometimes pretty awful arthritic pain in joints I’ve injured before.
- Nagging aches and stiffness and mild arthritic pain in joints I’ve never injured.
- Weird sores inside my nose from time to time. They don’t usual hurt bad, but they make blowing my nose awkward.
- Worsening eczema and skin conditions.
- Malar rash and redness.
- Unusually sensitive eyes.
- Extremely cold nose, toes, and feet even when the rest of my body is hot.
- Night sweats.
- Unusually hot and sweaty when other people are comfortable or cold.
- Extremely swollen lymph nodes.
- Follicular Hyperplasia.
- Fits of coughing when lying flat in bed.
- Slower healing than usual.
- Cycles of very rapid heat rate.
- Numbness and tingling of hands and feet as well as my lips, teeth, and sometimes cheeks.
- Getting winded easier and easier.
- Inability to get comfortable in any position for more than a few minutes.
- Bruising more easily.
- Difficulty concentrating.
- Bouts of stabbing chest pain not related to angina or infarct.
- Severe insomnia.
- Increased frequency and intensity of nightmares and bizarre dreams.
- Dry mouth, eyes, and lady bits.
- Increased cholesterol despite better diet.
- Frequent headaches.
The list goes on, but thinking about this all makes me want a nap. Poetic, yes?