- CASE FILE
Fatigue so severe it often takes too much energy to sit up or speak. Laying down helps, but sleep does not.
ABOUT THIS CASE FILE
I have crushing, debilitating fatigue where I often don't have the energy to sit up or even speak. Laying down helps me feel significantly better, but sleep does not improve my condition. When my fatigue escalates my voice becomes raspy, weak and flutters, like a tremor. I have swollen lymph nodes on both sides of my neck that become tender when my fatigue escalates. At that time I will also experience pressure in my ears and will often present with a sinus infection that is not cured by taking antibiotics. I experience frequent (mostly mild) nausea and occasional dizziness. I have constant discomfort in my left shoulder that limits movement and prevents me from sleeping on my left side. I will often wake with a headache. Too much physical activity or stress will exacerbate my fatigue and escalate my associated symptoms and force me to bed for weeks at a time where I only get up to shower, prepare food, use the restroom and perform minimal household chores. I've seen numerous specialists and have had countless blood tests at Mayo Clinic, but no diagnosis. I saw a naturopath that gave me injections twice a week for 6 weeks that helped control my fatigue and voice for a few months, but my symptoms returned, and he was too expensive. I used to be a very energetic, fit person that lifted weights, hiked, biked, swam, did aerobics and jogged, and now I'm mostly bed-ridden. I'm fortunate to be retired otherwise I would not be able to hold down a job. I try to maintain a short workout routine that includes light weights, rubber band and ball exercises and stretching when I'm physically able. Daily, I use vitamins, mindful meditation essential oils in a diffuser, music and relaxing ambient sounds, but nothing really helps. This may have begun when I was trying to break up a cat fight and was bitten 4 years ago by one of my cats that has Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP). I didn't know cat bites were problematic until the next day when my arm swelled; however, after receiving antibiotics the next day I recovered from the infection. Two years later I was bitten by another one of my cats while trying to transport him from my car to the house. Just as I got to the door he escaped, but my husband caught him between his legs. When I picked him up he bit me because he was so terrified. I spent 5 days in the hospital and had 2 debridement procedures before they could get the infection under control. Every once in a while my calcium, sodium and potassium levels with be elevated, but nothing that seems to alarm the doctors, and they return to normal on the next test. I have thyroid nodules that have been biopsied (negative), and my TSH levels are always within the normal level. I never make plans anymore because I don't know when my fatigue will prevent me from participating. I don't host holiday meals for my family any longer because the cooking and cleaning depletes all of my energy and forces me to bed. This illness is life-altering. I wish I could get my life back. I wish I could get me back.