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Chronic Fatigue Message Board

Chronic Fatigue Board Index

Hi everyone,

I'm a 20 year old female (turning 21 in a little over a month!) that has now been sick for over two years. It all started when one day, I woke up feeling nauseous. The nausea progressed, along with a lightheaded type of feeling, and I suddenly developed severe vertigo. The vertigo was uncontrollable even with anti-vertigo meds. I responded slightly to Valium. The continuous vertigo and dizziness lasted NINE full months, and suddenly wound down to dizziness, then slight dizziness, then normalcy. Well, I still have some dizziness and my balance has never been the same, but it's nothing like what I experienced in those nine months.

Afterward, I started developing anxiety (I do have a history of panic attacks, but FULLY recovered using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy). I also started developing severe mood swings, horrendous PMS, and low blood sugar episodes that started getting serious. I had low blood sugar episodes about 4 times a day that sometimes resulted in fainting, even though I was eating frequent, high-protein meals. I've had horrible year-round airborne allergies my entire life, and started noticing that I seemed to have reactive hypoglycemia, along with major irritable bowel symptoms that coincided with certain foods. I did allergy elimination diets, and found the main culprits to be milk (which I was told I was allergic to when I was thirteen but I continued drinking it), wheat (gluten-containing grains, specifically), and soy. I eliminated all three completely and my blood sugar problems disappeared. BUT, I was still dealing with horrible IBS, with constipation. NOTHING would make me "go": Not laxatives, stool softeners, or high fiber. I had terrible acid reflux, too, and this is when I believe I developed intestinal yeast problems: I was taking massive antacids and downing super-sugary drinks in low blood sugar emergencies. I should also mention that I was a pack-a-day smoker at this time, as well.

While all of this was occuring, I was also dealing with major stress in my life with my boyfriend, and it was flu season when I woke up very sick one day. I had a very high fever, and tremedous lung pain that made me almost pass out with pain everytime I took a breath. I was told that I had pleurisy and possibly pneumonia, and was sick for almost two weeks. I've never been that sick in my life, and at this time, I quit smoking, as it was impossible to smoke with the pain I was going through.

Since then, things have gone even further downhill, but in different ways. My food allergies are under control, for the most part, as long as I stay away from gluten and soy. I DO indulge in dairy sometimes, but pay a price for it. I believe that my Candida yeast problem is mostly under control thanks to a strict diet I was on for a long time, and I only somtimes experince low blood sugar. My digestive problems improved amazingly when I started taking plant enzymes about eight months ago and my constipation disappeared COMPLETELY. BUT, now, the fatigue has set in. Despite getting rid of some problems, I haven't been "right" for a long time, and there isn't a day that goes by where I feel well, but my symptoms keep changing. I have the typical CFS symptoms: I ALWAYS have severe fatigue, and I strongly believe I have adrenal problems, as did two naturopaths I once saw when I had health insurance since I have adrenal pain, typical insufficiency symptoms and dilated pupils. I have NO tolerance for stress, extreme post-exertional malaise and fatigue, and now I have muscle and joint pain and weakeness, which I never had before. I also have swollen, painful feet much of the time, headaches, heart arrhythmias, and low blood pressure. I am practically unable to gain weight, and the 5 pounds I do manage to gain I often quickly lose without trying, despite eating almost double the amount of calories a normal adult eats in a day.

I should also mention that I was on HEAVY dosages of antidepressants and tranquilizers from the ages of 13-17 for my panic attacks. I was being medicated with tranquilizers by a twisted psychiatrist beyond the legal limit, and when I got off of the meds, I realized I could conquer my problems on my own. I'm only mentioning this because I've heard that antidepressant use MAY be a causative factor in the development of CFS. I weighed 160lbs. on the meds, and dropped down to 110 or 115 lbs. since stopping them, which also could've been stressful for my body, although it wasn't in that short a period of time.

Anyway, I am totally and completely ineligible for ANY health insurance through the State or anywhere as my mom makes JUST over the allowed limit, and they cut me from State insurance when I was 19. I desperately need disability as my mom can't afford to pay for any doctor's visits for me, and it basically really stinks having NO INCOME at the age of almost 21 and being totally unable to work at this point. I am very much in debt from the few doctors I was able to afford at one point. I am stuck because I can't get disability because I can't see a doctor to prove I am disabled right now. So, here I am, not being treated at all, and young, and watching my whole life go by. I was told that when I 21 the State will decide on my eligibility based upon MY income ONLY, which is none, so I may be eligible for some kind of insurance very soon.

In the meantime, though, is there anything I can do for myself? I do take online college courses and am working toward a bachlor's degree, so I am doing SOMETHING with myself, but the depressing part of this illness is finally hitting me since I can't STAND sitting on the couch and not being able to do anything. I am the type of person that wants to be on the go, and it's incredibly frustrating that I am being held back by my own body. I barely have any friends at all since half of them think I'm crazy or exaggerating how bad I feel, but I do have my boyfriend and the support of my parents. When I feel better for a little while (which is strangely mostly VERY late at night), I am the happiest person you will ever meet. But I have to say, the frustration IS getting to me, and I'm becoming quite angry at the fact that I can't get help in this day and age in the United States, and because I'm limited at such a young age. Can anyone else relate?

It's nice to meet you all,
Katalina :wave:

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