Animal Magnetism: Ear Acupuncture & A Chemical Menopause

Due to some unfortunate experiences over the years I would usually say an emphatic ‘no’ to any medical treatment that that upsets my body’s hormonal balance.  But after my last trip to the emergency room, I realised that I had to reconsider my position.

This was not my first dance with the drug PROSTAP, but unlike so many of the other hormonal treatments I’d had in the past, it didn’t exacerbate my symptoms (everything else caused excessive bleeding) or create a slew of hideous side effects (the Mirena Coil issues are a blog post unto themselves).  PROSTAP in effect creates a chemical menopause, switching my ovaries off (or turning them down to a point where their effects are negligible) and thus curbing most of the worst symptoms of Endometriosis.

I was still quite reluctant when the idea was originally floated, but it was made quite clear to me that it would be disastrous for my internal organs to continue being bathed in hot, trapped menstrual blood on a regular basis. So even though I was technically being offered a choice between wrecking my internal organs or disrupting my hormones, it was clear that only one option was actually viable.  Figuring that perhaps enough time had passed since my last dalliance with this kind of medical intervention, I took the plunge. Continue reading “Animal Magnetism: Ear Acupuncture & A Chemical Menopause”

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Let’s talk About Stress, Baby…

Much as I hate to admit it, I’ve been feeling a little s******d of late (yes, the word makes me very uncomfortable).  Having a prolonged and confusing flare-up of my Endometriosis has led to me slipping into a strange and disconcerting existence where the Fibromyalgia doesn’t have to fight so hard to retain dominance.  The additional issue that my GP appears to believe that Fibromyalgia doesn’t need to be treated at all has left me having to figure out my own regimen without access to any kind of safety net or physical support network. Continue reading “Let’s talk About Stress, Baby…”

The Patient By Gaslight

Due to an interesting encounter with another GP, I made a second Subject Access Request in order to actually see the values of cortisol in my blood, plus whatever statements the previous GP had made about my condition.  Gentle reminders usually have to follow the initial request, and this approach has worked in the past, but even with the nudges, all I was getting was silence. As the blood results were my real concern I decided to try and get that information in isolation from the rest of the records: and getting my tetanus booster provided the perfect opportunity.  Continue reading “The Patient By Gaslight”

A Hidden Agenda?

I’ve detailed in the posts here and here how difficult it was to get someone to take my symptoms seriously. One of the most important aspects of that journey was how convinced the doctor was that I was suffering from some kind of anxiety – to the point of talking over me when I tried to protest. At the time, I just believed that he was making a huge assumption based upon one blood test. Nearly nine months down the line inconsistencies have surfaced that suggest something else may have been at play. Continue reading “A Hidden Agenda?”

Better Living Through (Neuro) Chemistry

Fibromyalgia is a complicated and challenging syndrome, and living with it is something that I’m having to learn through a fair amount of trial and error.  There are things that I thought, for years, were my body’s own ‘quirks’, that turned out to be quite well-known symptoms; but, simultaneously, it appears that every sufferer is a unique case.  This poses a very obvious problem for patients, who will have to learn what their bodies are doing, and why they’re doing it: but it also poses a problem for physicians as a treatment that’s good for the Goose could actually be disastrous for the Gander.  Initially, I believed this was why, after my initial diagnosis, I was immediately discharged from the Rheumatology clinic and left to my own devices.  (I wasn’t exactly thrown to the wolves; I was put on a waiting list for a pain clinic assessment at the end of last year, but there’s no guarantee that they will accept me as a patient.)  On the other hand, being left in treatment limbo may have less to do with the clinician who diagnosed me and more to do with the findings of more and more research.  Rheumatology is a muscular-skeletal and autoimmune speciality, but a vast amount of evidence suggests that Fibromyalgia is a neurological condition: it really is all in our heads, but not in the way some overly dismissive people would have us believe.  And, most importantly, it gives me a finer explanation as to why watching Ice Hockey sends me into temporary remission.  Allow me to expand a little on that last sentence…

Continue reading “Better Living Through (Neuro) Chemistry”

The Uphill Struggle For A Diagnosis Part 1

A lovely woman I used to work with saw me wince as I tried to close a door.  She asked all the usual, polite questions – was I okay, had I been injured – to which I replied that my shoulder was just inflamed, as all my joints were wont to do. No big deal; I was coping.  A few more delicately presented but probing enquiries led me to explain that I had pretty much given up on getting any help from my GP: Osteopathy, yoga, and the Endometriosis diet were holding my body together, despite all the pain.  She then told how all of her mother’s symptoms were dismissed as being related to old age, so she decided to keep a pain diary.  Lo and behold, a pattern emerged, and her doctor could no longer continue to ignore Continue reading “The Uphill Struggle For A Diagnosis Part 1”