I've been going through a lot lately in the health department. From the "normal" fibromyalgia pain and fatigue, to the neck & low back pain with radiating nerve pain, to the daily grind of headaches and migraines, and the new fun addition of swollen lymph nodes in my armpits for no apparent reason. Then there's still the ongoing GI issues that I just try to ignore, because good god, I can't fight these battles on every front.
When test after test is coming back "normal", it can get pretty frustrating. You know something very NOT normal is going on, but the tests aren't finding what it is. I have found myself at times thinking, "Please just let this test show something!" Let there be some concrete measurable evidence we can name, and treat.
Well, today seemed to be that day.
My new PCP ran a number of blood tests to check into my rather extreme fatigue which is on par with how I felt in college when I had mono. Turns out my iron level is low. Like very low. Thank god. Something tangible! Something we can take action on! Iron supplements prescribed for 2 months and then recheck. Ok - I can do that!
Then I had a follow up with the neurologist. Turns out when he had me track my headache and migraines every day for 2 months, I have a lot of f*ing headaches. Like 50% of days I have a headache. I didn't realize that had become kind of the baseline I was living with. I was completely under reporting my headaches prior to this, and I think it's honestly because this had become my new normal. So the diagnosis is that I actually have chronic migraines, which apparently are a different kind of process in the brain than getting migraines from time to time. Not fun, but ok, at least we can name it. We can measure it. We can, hopefully, treat it (or at least make it slightly better). Turns out the most promising treatment for this is actually to get Botox in muscles around the face, head, and neck. If it works it should cut my number of headache days in 1/2. Ideally it will reduce them even more than that, but if I can have 3/4 of the month without headaches, that's still a vast improvement.
Still no idea why my lymph nodes were swollen (they are getting better), but hey you can't win them all. And the testing my PCP did pretty much ruled out all the really scary options, like cancer or some systemic infection.
So we shall see where this leads, but here's to hoping it leads to a headache free and energetic me in a few months!