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Monday, September 30, 2013

Half a Life


The pain is unbearable, yet somehow we bear it. 

Our bodies fight with themselves and we are the war torn battlegrounds. 

After some time with this illness you start to notice things that are not part of the medical diagnosis, assorted unestablished symptoms that happen every cycle. The patterns emerge. Dots connect and you talk to other sufferers who confirm your theory, often never having realized the connection until you mentioned it. 

We are discovering our own disorder, blazing trails and pissing off doctors as a whole to try and get the medical field to take us seriously. In an attempt to get them to find a reason and a cure that does not involve removal of major organs. As of yet my doctors have been unwilling to address my concerns that PMDD involves an auto immune factor. 

I don’t need a doctor to confirm that every month as the hormones shift at ovulation I get sick. Not just the list of mood issues and extreme pms symptoms, but inflamed sinuses, excess fluid in my ears, sneezing, itchy eyes, sore throat, patches of eczema, slightly elevated temperature, body aches, muscle soreness, joint pain and stiffness. Allergy medicine has provided some relief, confirming the histamine part of the reaction. 

As a doctor once said to me, ‘I don’t understand it, your seasonal allergies are not seasonal.’ 

Nope, they are cyclical and always in the luteal phase (the time from ovulation to menses). I am allergic to my own hormones. This can be the only conclusion after 15 years of tracking and 26 of dealing with it. It does appear to progress with age. This pattern seems to indicate that it is my own progesterone my body is treating like an invading allergen. Unfortunately stopping your own hormones is not easily done and can be risky. Surgery is not an option, I am quite attached to my ovaries and I plan to keep them right where they are. That leaves me treating the symptoms and unable to find a real solution.

As I sit here typing this my fingers are stiff and swollen at the second knuckle. It is difficult to make a fist when two weeks ago my fingers were as flexible and limber as ever. The searing pain makes me pause periodically as I perform daily tasks that are easy for me at other times. I drop and break things because my normal grip has left me for two weeks. Same thing in my toes this month, every step is excruciating no matter the shoes or surface. My knees are creaking and popping like the floor in an old house. Wrists, elbows, shoulders, spine; you name it and it is crackling and aching.

In a few days it will all go away leaving me feeling like my young bodied self. 

And then it will come back. 

Half able, half disabled. Saddled with pain 50% of the time. Living half a life.

There must be an answer out there somewhere. 

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