I am seriously thinking about getting a wheelchair to use outside the house. I'm sick of being housebound 4 or more days out of 7, and not being able to go shopping or to the bank.
On the basis that there are 4 or 5 illnesses with a similar list of symptoms, I've written out a complete list of my symptoms for the doctor:
Symptoms I have had for a long time (more than 5 years, some more than 10 years)
- Trouble sleeping - initial insomnia, delayed sleep phase - unless exhausted.
- Extreme thirst.
- Depression, anxiety, emotional lability.
- Nightmares - frequently about trivial topics which do not seem frightening when awake.
- Pins and needles - in feet, legs and hands.
- Confusion, "brain fog" - difficulty in thinking, as though intelligence has been reduced, trouble with simple calculations. Especially bad when tired or stressed.
- Poor short term memory - go into a room to do or get something and have forgotten what by the time I arrive.
- Severe premenstrual syndrome.
- Weight gain despite eating sensibly. Have gained weight constantly since my late teens and not managed to lose very much even when exercising regularly.
- Recurrent flu-like illnesses: cold or flu every month, lasting a week to 10 days.
- Low libido, and too tired/irritable/uncomfortable to have sex even when desire is present.
- "Clicky" joints and occasional pain in knees, ankles, wrists and elbows, particularly on the left side.
Old symptoms which have recently come back (reappeared in past 3 months or so)
- Tiredness - made worse by physical exertion.
- Non-restorative sleep - still tired when I wake up.
- Need to sleep for more than 12 hours following physical exertion - sometimes need to rest for 2 days following an hour or so's moderate exertion (e.g. shopping).
- Pain in joints - particularly in knees and ankles, but also affecting hips, wrists, elbows and hands. Pain in legs made worse by walking or standing. Much worse in a cold room or cold weather.
- Difficulty in walking or standing for more than 10 minutes on a good day, for more than 2 minutes on a bad day.
- Back pain from sitting up for more than 6 hours at a time, even in a supportive chair.
- Muscle weakness, fatigue and tenderness. Made much worse by any exercise - even just walking from room to room on a bad day.
- Occasional chest pains - intercostal muscles. Much worse in cold weather.
- Dizziness and lightheadedness, particularly when tired.
- Ringing or whooshing noises in head when tired.
- Intolerance of bright lights when tired.
Entirely new symptoms (appeared in past year)
- Headaches - forehead feels hot, with mental confusion and lightheadedness. Made worse by mental or physical exertion.
- Abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, intestinal gas - irritable bowel syndrome.
- Worsening of existing nasal allergies - e.g. dust mite and smoke - perennial rhinitis.
- Entirely new allergies with violent asthmatic reaction - e.g. shoe polish, some newspaper print, artificial perfumes, air fresheners.
- Itchy rash on arms, back and head - possibly allergy-related, but unlike allergic rashes I have had before.
- Very dry skin on hands, face, arms, breasts, back and around ankles - possibly eczema.
- Night sweats - wake up in the middle of the night with bed and pyjamas drenched.
- Clumsiness - spill water over myself when I drink it, walk into door frames etc.
- Strange sensations of skin and muscles: it feels like a large insect crawling over skin or that a muscle is trembling, but this is misreported information from nerves.
- Disrupted menstrual period - instead of the regular 28/29 day cycle I am used to, irregularity in alternate months: maybe 25 days followed by 35 days.
- Cold hands and feet, often accompanied by rest of body and forehead feeling hot. Yet if fever is present, it is too mild to show up on a forehead thermometer.
- Dry eyes as well as dry mouth and thirst.
- Almost constant flu-like illness from December until now, with sore throat when bad.
If there's anything you've heard me complain about that isn't on the list, let me know so I can add it.
I should probably go back to bed now - I've written this in three chunks with breaks in between, but even then I'm starting to fall asleep over the keyboard.