A Big Health Update: Prediagnosis

Hey pals,


I’ve been laid up in bed since my trip to LA. 10k steps minimum for 7 days straight and two 10-12 hour flights kind of killed me. A lot has gone one and this post has been written on the fly. I just want to give a general health update because I can’t really focus on anything else right now?


My mental health has quite a dip with my physical health. My body has been so inflamed that even my mild asthma (still to be officially diagnosed) was rearing its head. My chest felt restricted and heavy until a couple of days ago and my peak flow meter readings have been lower than normal. The peak flow is back to my normal range and my chest feels better. When this post goes up, I’ll have seen the asthma nurse again. I saw her before my trip and put my dose up on my inhaler to see if that would help. It’s difficult to say if it has because my health is always fluctuating and one thing affects another thing, which affects another thing, and so on.


I felt like someone had taken a bat to my knees after all the walking, and I actually popped a rib whilst I was still away. At Disney Land no less, the happiest place on earth my arse. Most of my pain was in my lower body. I walked 66,721 steps over 7 days, which works out to 31.5 miles. Now you may see why it’s taken me over a week to recover. The bottoms of my feet still hurt from the pressure of standing, a different part of my foot will hurt every day and my ankles swell and throb on and off. I think I may have re-injured my left knee, the original injury is from 2012 or 2013 during college doing a movement class. It was so minor I didn’t actually notice it at the time but repeated use of it when it needed rest made it worse, so over-use of that knee makes it start popping again and not able to hold any weight or walk up and down stairs.


Surprisingly my lower back wasn’t too bad on this trip. I think I was good enough with regularly stretching it out and I think the activity helped it.


We spent so much time on coaches my travel sickness was pretty bad. I used these acupressure wristbands trying to avoid more pills (plus I’d forgotten to pack any…) I actually found it somewhat difficult to eat and just wanted plain things most of the time, and that’s not really a thing in America. Everything has something on it. I couldn’t just order toast at the hotel diner for example. And everywhere we went for food only had one veggie or vegan option. Not and, not one of each, just one of them. So I struggled eating things that weren’t going to set my stomach off and definitely spent the week trying to manage my symptoms of bloating and, well, inconvenient toilet needs. It has taken a while to get to a better place with my stomach but I still feel a bit like I might have some travel sickness as I’ve not had much of an appetite compared to usual, but then that could also be linked to my stomach problems.


Speaking of, I finally saw a surgeon about my stomach issues. We drove half an hour for a 10 minute consultation a few days after I had returned from my trip. He referred me for two tests, which involve MRI’s, dye and needles, yay. Oh and prep for to days before the scans, so that’s going to be great. I’ve been told how awful this stuff tastes for pre-scan prep and I have a pretty sensitive gag reflex. Plus, I’m going to have a cannula in my hand during the scans, or before them, which completely cringes me out. I warned the surgeon so it isn’t my fault if I pass out before I even get started.


My rib has been playing up ever since it popped out on my trip. It had been alright for quite a while before that, I feel like I’d been managing my activity well that it hadn’t been a huge issue but now it gets really painful again. My three-hour nap today was mostly to get away from the pain.


My blood pressure remains low. So low that my mum’s blood pressure machine literally does not register me as a living human most tries. This isn’t exactly bad, but it comes with dizziness and whatever.


I got my letter back from the rheumatologist about some tests I did towards the end of last year (took him long enough to get back to me), good news, I don’t have a heart problem or a trapped nerve in my neck. Bad news, we still don’t know why I’m having these symptoms. Sick one! So I have to go back and see him but that wont be for months.


I went to my GP for sleeping pills because of the jet lag, I’ve had a few nights awake and numerous afternoons asleep for 3-6 hours. I’m still not quite there with it all but it’s getting better. I think mostly my body wants to sleep to do some of the healing it couldn’t do when I was away coz we barely slept.


I then went to the GP again asking for a referral to a podiatrist to possibly get some ankle supports or insoles or whatever they are. I’ve always been told pain in your body often starts with the feet and this is something I haven’t yet tried. I have quite a high arch and I’ve been told that can lead to some issues. I’ll keep you updated.


And I think the final point I have is that I am going to try some CBD oil for pain and sleep management. I’ve read it is supposed to have anti-inflammatory affects and, considering my whole body is inflamed, I think I could do with that. My GP said that he can’t really advise on using it because there’s so little evidence and not a lot of studies done over here, so he can’t tell me if it might affect other medication I’m on etc. but I’m going to give it a go anyway, maybe start with evening doses to be safe. I’ve seen so many people in America talk about CBD products and how great they have been for chronic pain of all kinds, I feel like I need to give it a shot. Apparently the oil is gross but that’s my only option in the UK. There is an organisation that provides CBD treatments but it’s for a very small amount of chronic pain illnesses/general illnesses and it would be impossible for me to even be seen by anyone.


Hyper-mobility Syndrome is so under researched that people want to keep changing my diagnosis and can’t offer me more than basic physio and a variety of painkillers. Even medical professionals don’t understand how I am in so much pain or why. And everyone you tell wants to put their two-cents in and tell you to exercise or go swimming or change my diet as if I haven’t heard that before. It gets really fucking tiring dealing with this all the time… The days I want to be normal I can’t and the days I want to be treated like I’m disabled are days when no one bats an eyelid about our activities that day or don’t notice me flagging.


I wish I was a normal 24 year old.


~ Artie

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