More Than Just Exhausted

So here it is. Years later, I wasn’t kidding that I ate myself sick. As much as I have come back to this blog month after month, adding drafts, changing themes, deleting posts. I have not been able to keep up, begin writing weekly posts. Here it is, post 1, week 1 “more than just exhausted.”

I’ve been sick, really sick, for the last few years and it all started second year of University. I knew I had burnt out that year, I was doing too much, helping too many people and not myself. However, here I am graduated! Bachelor of honours in English Literature! I graduated, found a job for a large company and started out part time to ease myself out of school and into work. Four days a week, eight hours a day. The job was fairly active, and lots of fun, kept me busy but not stressed. I dropped 40 pounds in 4 months without trying.

That may seem exciting and unfair however I was exhausted, moody, never felt well, more than just losing a lot of weight tired, I was sluggish, grumpy, headaches, sinus problems, sore heavy muscles, I could never get warm, brain fog, sore eyes, I wasn’t healing well, I wasn’t sleeping well, I was burning out again. So I started eating healthy, cut out coffee, most sugar, limited carbs as much as I could at the time and took up going to the gym again. Regular exercise and healthy eating is all I needed. All the doctor told me I needed, I was just tired.

I was more than just tired.

The gym made every symptom worse, I crashed so hard I almost lost my job, my newly started relationship, my friends and my family. I looked fine day to day, I had no reason to be sick, all the tests came back negative, or at least the ones my doctor was willing to do.

I started to realize I was not just unhealthy or lazy or normal person tired, something was wrong, I was sick. So I looked back on the last few years to when I started feeling this bad, I logged all of my symptoms, and triggers every day. I googled, and googled, through all the “you’re dying of cancer” or “some rare never heard of disease” to mold.

There it was. Back in second year, I was living in a black mold infested house for almost two years, I tried everything to get out of there as quickly as possible but with school it took time. So into the rabbit hole of mold poisoning I fell, every article, blog, book and forum about it. The doctor said no, can’t be. Family said no, it’s not. Stop being lazy, you’re just tired, everyone feels this way. Even “K” we’ll call him, the most important person in my life asked, is it maybe all in your head? I don’t blame him, how would you know? Maybe it was?

Months later

Suffering all the way I had my yearly physical. Abnormal cells. Not cancer. The doctor – “you probably have an infection or something that never healed completely” No Sh*t. So I ask for the complete run down of the pap, every little thing they found, all the medical jargon she thought was unimportant.

Here it is ladies and gents, yeast in the body but no vaginal yeast infection. (I know TMI!) You know what yeast is? A fungus, you know what mold is? Fungus. You know what causes yeast overgrowth in the body that not even healthy eating can’t fix? MOLD. My doctor “not possible, it’s not that” and a refusal to treat it.

So here I am 20 days in to a self treatment plan and feeling a million times better. Is it permanent? Dunno. But it’s helping, it seems to be working. not only am I full time and thriving in my job, but my relationship is doing better, I feel better, I have more energy and all the weird and wacky symptoms (I’m sure I’ll blog about those too) are all but gone.

The down side? This is permanent, not the cure but the illness, because I waited so long and let the doctor treat symptoms and not the underlying cause I will have to be extremely careful for the remainder of my life, it will come back or flare again if I am not careful.

Don’t give up

I’m not saying believe everything Google tells you. However know that sometimes doctors aren’t always right, like teachers. We are all human.

Keep fighting for a diagnosis while following your doctors advice. Mine was to get healthier. Eat healthier, exercise more, stress less. This is never bad advice, it’s just not always the answer.

If you’re more than just exhausted

Talk to your doctor, talk to your family and friends and find similar people online with the same story. Find your support and work on getting healthier. The more you rule out, the easier it’ll be to diagnose.

Get a journal or day planner. Record everything, and I mean everything.
Your daily temperature (mine is a low 96 daily) which is lower than normal so a fever for me is a normal temperature for others. This helped my doctor know it was a real symptom. Write the day and time you had symptoms, what they were, how long they lasted and anything that might be relevant. If you have or haven’t eaten and what it was. Did you sleep well or not that day? Did something stressful happen? Were there allergens around?

Work with your doctor, no matter how frustrating it can be. Trust me, I’ve been there. “Do everything right” and you’ll either get better or get taken seriously. Because sometimes, we are more than just exhausted.

However, here I am writing, back at it hopefully to stay!

Stay different, stay beautiful!

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