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15+ years of bleh, with Fun New Symptoms
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15+ years of bleh, with Fun New Symptoms

Hey there!  I'm not sure what's relevant and what's not, so here's the long story.  I'm a 33 year old male.  Around 17 I started wrestling with depression.  I've become more and more anti-social, tired literally all the time, sleeping weird hours - way too much or not at all.  Anxiety and Panic attacks.  Standard depression / anxiety stuff I suppose, but I hide it very well (or used to anyhow).

Also had a lot of back/knee and joint pain as a kid, and was told I may have Ankylosing Spondylitis (HLA B27 positive, mother had been diagnosed with AS but they now say it's Fibromyalgia).  Blah blah, Asthma, and used to get Bronchitis every year (had pneumonia once).

With all that in mind... The first of the newer symptoms started about 4 years ago.  I had Prostatitis - Hurt so bad I couldn't even stand up straight and finally left work to go to the doctors.  Since then, it's pretty much been recurring, though much less severe.  They've given me antibiotics on a couple of occasions which makes it feel better temporarily, but it always comes back.  I've given up getting it treated, since my doctors just skip over it any time I mention it now anyhow.  There's some discomfort on urination, but more so with bowel movements and errr... other activities, which is a bit of a drag.

Then maybe 2 years ago, I started to get a lot of blood in my stool.  Which was a good time to bring up my general discomfort and bloating any time I eat food (heating pad helps)... Difficulty passing stool, yet not 'constipated' per se... more like mud-ish most of the time I guess.  Kind of gross, sorry.  Never feels like I actually 'finish' going either.  Anyhow, had to do a colonoscopy, and they said it was ulcerative colitis, but then went back for some other scope-thing weeks later and they didn't see anything.  Still getting a lot of blood to this day, but it comes and goes in phases.  Haven't had a 'good' BM for as long as I can remember.

With all that going on, I haven't really thought much about talking to my doctor about the sleep problems, which have continued to ruin my life.  I have difficulty waking up in the mornings for alarms, or sometimes I just shut them off in my sleep.  I get very confused, and don't fully understand what's going on.  I've lost several jobs because of this.  I failed out of college for sleeping through mid-terms.  Roommate used to see me get out of bed, walk over to the alarm, shut it off, and go back to bed.  Often, I'm tired but can't sleep and stay up all night and am useless at work the next day.  When I do sleep, it's usually at random hours.  5pm-10pm, up for a bit... 2am-6am... tired by noon. etc.  Always tired though.  Too tired to go pick up medicine I need, or appointments I should be at... Too tired to grocery shop most of the time, so I either don't eat or just have dry Special K or something.  I sometimes have severe lower back pain when I lay down for more than 5-6 hours... When I was younger, it felt like muscle or joint pain, but for several years now it's felt more 'internal'.  Pain makes it hard to breathe, but a couple aspirin helps after 10-15 min.

I've had so many blood tests and everything usually checks out.  Kidneys, liver, thyroid, and so on.  Only one that's out is my low Vitamin D count.  Big surprise there.

All of my activities for the past 15 years or so are 1 step removed from sleep... playing on my computer... watching movies... reading books.  Yet, in high school, I was ranked #2 in the state as a sprinter in track with the school record in the 100m and 200m... I was involved in Tae Kwon Do, and had several tournament trophies etc... I was on the basketball team.  I used to be fairly active, but that all seems like some other distant life.  It's probably important to note that I don't smoke, drink, or use any drugs.

Only thing I still participate in is my band, which I've been singing in for 12 years.  Even they want to strangle me for lack of progress.  I have trouble with memory, concentration, and staying on task.  Writing can be extremely frustrating.

My primary care doctor told me all of my symptoms are probably stress-related, so I finally went to a therapist, and have been on 300mg Wellbutrin, 150mg Effexor, and Ativan as needed for a few months now.  They gave me sleeping pills as well, but I haven't used them... seems like it's never a good time.  If I just slept from 6am to 8pm, when exactly am I supposed to take a sleeping pill?

I have a decent job with a great insurance plan... a job I'm probably about to lose after 5 years.  I'm great with people, and everyone likes me, but I was recently suspended for oversleeping (surprise), and they told me I had to go on FMLA which is a medical leave of sorts that uses my sick days.  So... been taking my meds... sleep is still all over the map.  I'm miserable and never leave my place... I'm moving out at the end of the month, since my work contract ends in June and I doubt they'll give me a new contract at this point (they can't 'fire' me, but, being year-to-year, they can just not rehire me I assume)... No idea where I'm moving to yet, since my lease is up.  The thought of finding a new job and being productive seems completely out of the realm of possible.  I haven't even checked my mailbox in months - everything gets returned to sender.  It's like I've given up and just don't care anymore.  Completely exhausted and overwhelmed with the smallest things.  I've gone from 170 lbs down to 138 lbs in about 3 months.

And now, for the past few days, I've been dizzy and somewhat motion sick... things look kind of 'surreal' like it's a 3D movie.  I've always been pretty light-sensitive, but it seems worse at the moment.  More so when I look at my computer or TV.

So - there's my life's story.  I've got a month or two of insurance to grasp at new straws medically, so any thoughts?  I plan on keeping with the medications I'm on, but they just don't seem to be helping much.

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5 Comments
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Avatar_f_tn
hi ryan
i am a mom of a 20 yr old and he sleeps alot too. the diffierence is the medical issues you have on top of sleep difficulty. Your question as to when to take it when you sleep from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm would be, i think, to force yourself to stay awake until at least 8:00 the first day and take your meds, go lay down. if that is too hard even taking them at 6:00 pm and take your meds then. just slowly spread out the time until you feel like it is at a somewhat normal routine and STAY with it. You may want to take a look at the other meds you are currently taking, read their side effects and maybe talk to your doctor or pharmacist what would be a good time to take them as you are struggling with sleep problems.What really concerns me is your weight loss as well as the fact that your doctor has not been concerned about this. i really think you should write down all the issues you have, discuss them one by one,(leave space between each one to write down his suggestions. Don't be embarassed to take a note pad in - trust me you won't be the first and definitely nnot the last. besides it shows you really are serious and want to get some help. .....and please try your sleep meds as lined out.....talk to the pharmacist about what you take now...and make another appointment with your doctor ok? i know that i probably sound like a mom , but, well ..... I am.

good luck and please let us know how you make out!

mixedblessings
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Avatar_f_tn
My son(15) also had the same sleep issues, all over the place.  Since starting a vitamin D supplement though his sleep has evened out, sleeping at night and not all day.  
My son also has some of your other symptoms and he has been diagnosed with dysautonomia.  The autonomic nervous system, which runs everything in your body that is involuntary(digestion,heart rate, blood pressure, body temp,etccc), may not be functioning properly.  It can cause a wide variety of symptoms.

Dinet.org and ndrf.org are two good places to read up on.  The symptoms are listed there.  Many doctors are unfamiliar with this, so many people go years without a correct diagnosis.  It took us 3 years of constantly go from doctor to doctor to finally get the right diagnosis.  Most doctors thought it was all in his head, anxiety or depression.

Do some research and see if any of it makes sense to your case.
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Avatar_f_tn
I would suggest asking for the colonoscopy test again, I have Crohn's disease (fortunately mild) and your symptoms sound very similar to that of Crohn's/Colitis.  It could also be IBS but that doesn't explain all the symptoms (I have that too).  

Is the blood dark (in which case it's coming from your insides) or bright (in which case it will be more like from hemorrhoids or a closer-to-external source).

The other possibility is you're Coeliac.  Again they can test for this although it's a longer process than for Colitis.  The doctor will initially do a blood test but even this can come back negative, you can then go for a test of your internals which can determine it better.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for all the replies!  Pherstun, as for the blood, it's not dark, but there's quite a bit of it usually.  Sometimes enough to turn the water pink-ish.  My doctors would probably be more concerned if it were dark.  Sometimes, there's just a phlegm like bloody discharge (pretty gross heh, sorry).  In the results of the first exam, it mentioned ulcerative colitis affecting the lower rectum, but they didn't see that on the second one.  Whatever it is seems to come and go, but maybe that's the case with some of the things you mentioned.

I'll check out those websites Christy - Part of my problem is that I'm not assertive enough when I'm at the doctor's office.  Something I need to work on in general.

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Avatar_f_tn
    Slippery Elm is very healing and soothing to the digestive tract. I would definitely recommend trying it. It healed my mom's diverticulitis. She drank it as a tea. It's very safe, been around for centuries. Health food stores carry it.

You might try getting a Metametrix stool test done through a nutritionist. I had this done for both my kids. It might reveal specific pathogens or problems that are being missed by other tests, such as parasites, clostridium overgrowth, probiotic deficiency, mycoplasma, etc. I believe the test is called "Microbial Ecology Profile".  The test comes with a brief interpretation of the results, enough to give your doctor a good idea of what treatment you may need.  One word of warning though, or rather, frustration. Most regular docs don't use this lab, and don't know how to interpret the results, and may not treat you based on the test results! You will have to be assertive if you run into this problem. I was, and it paid off.

Enzy


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