This week saw me going to the doctor for yet another set of new symptoms. Living with M.E./CFS presents a whole combination of symptoms, some of which you get used to, some of which you aren’t sure about.
Whenever I go to the doctor, I’m never convinced whether they’ll just say my new symptoms are part of the ME or whether they need further investigation. Luckily, the GP surgery I go to are thoroughly fantastic. They do always take new symptoms seriously and do like to investigate them.
This is great in that I know I’ll always be taken seriously but not great in that I have to visit the various different hospitals around here on a regular basis.
Note, if you are in this situation too and don’t already have a blue badge, make sure you get one to ensure you get free parking. (Please make sure you check the signs at the car park for its exact rules.)
This week’s symptoms have actually been a development of conditions I’ve had for years.
I’m beginning to wonder if I’ll need to change my blog name to Mummying and …..!
I’ve always had bad skin. Worse in my teenage years obviously but the spots never fully went away. In the last few weeks my skin has flared up to such an extent I look like a pubescent teenager, advertising for Clearasil. (Does Clearasil even exist any more?)
Proper full on adult acne. Annoying but didn’t bother me hugely other than the fact that I look pretty hideous. Until a few days ago…
The itch! Oh my word I never knew acne could be so itchy! Turns out it’s infected! Again, who knew! When the GP suggested antibiotics to sort it out I thought he was joking. Month long course of antibiotics. Great.
Again, this is something I’ve had for years but never thought much of it. Definitely didn’t realise it had a name.
For years one side of my jaw has clicked each time I chew. Sounds gross doesn’t it but it never hurt so again, didn’t really think much of it. It bothered my husband more than it bothered me.
The clicking, the locking of my jaw would just naturally disappear within time. However, last few weeks, it hasn’t gone anywhere.
I can’t open my mouth fully, forget trying to eat a big doorstop style sandwich. Ouch. Turns out this is called TMJ dysfunction, or dysfunction of the temporomandibular joint. Treatment is simply eating on the opposite side of my mouth, taking ibuprofen to reduce inflammation and avoid opening my mouth too wide.
I’ve had nasal polyps for years. Polyps are painless, soft growths on the lining of your nasal passage and sinuses. Sinuses are the air-filled cavities behind your cheekbones and forehead. Nasal polyps are common in people with asthma and allergies, both of which I have. The polyps can be seen when a doctor shines a light up your nose.
The annoying thing about me having to treat my nasal polyps again is that I’ve already had surgery to remove these polyps twice. Twice!
The first surgery was a septoplasty to straighten my deviated septum with removal of the polyps at the same time, and the second was FESS surgery, or Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery. Basically, my FESS surgery involved the surgeon effectively drilling away half of my sinuses as they simply were unable to clear themselves anymore. Gross eh?
(Note these surgery options are only given if the treatment with nasal sprays isn’t working. Please note these aren’t the nasal sprays you buy in pharmacies, these are prescription ones. The ones you buy over the counter shouldn’t be used for longer than 7 days as they can make the inflammation worse.)
Unfortunately, in the last few weeks the tell-tale signs of my nasal polyps have come back to bite me in the proverbial backside. Blocked nose, constant need to swallow (post-nasal drip), snoring. I’ve been on a nasal spray for years after each surgery but it obviously hasn’t been working. So nasal drops it is!
Friends often ask how I remember to take all my different medications. Tricky one to answer that, but when I keep the meds in full view in a dosette box, it’s hard to forget.
(Dosette boxes are pill boxes with different sections for how many times a day you take medication. I have morning and evening sections but you can get ones with 4 sections a day.)
This has been the most scary one. I’m not claustrophobic but that certainly challenged my mind! Hats off to all those people who have to have regular MRIs and get used to them.
An MRI is a machine that uses magnets (I think!) to create images of whatever part of the body it is scanning. Not the best explanation I realise but to be frank, I don’t really understand how it works.
I was needing an MRI of my head because I have been having vertigo (dizziness), balance problems, headaches and vision problems. All symptoms that aren’t to be taken lightly (apparently).
It was the GP who had first suggested an MRI, as ME is a condition that affects many bodily systems including the neurological system but unfortunately, they couldn’t request one themselves directly. It had to go through a neurologist.
Luckily, we have private health care and could see a neurologist relatively quickly. All very simple, turns out I have vestibular migraines, but he needed to check my brain and pituitary gland anyway. The pituitary gland is the size of a pea, located just behind the bridge of the nose and attached to the base of the brain by a thin stalk.
Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and none of what I write should constitute medical advice. Please consult a medical professional if you are concerned about anything I’ve raised.
As I write, I’m awaiting the result of the MRI scan. Who knows what it’ll show up. If anyone with ME has had an MRI do let me know what kind of things it showed!
Wishing you all a lovely weekend,
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