I want to preface this post with a quick apology for being long-winded. LOL
At any rate, I'm a 34 year old male. I'll start my story off back in 2005, the year my health took a strange, unexplained turned. When I graduated college (2002) I went to work for a restaurant. I quickly moved my way up into a corporate training position, so when I wasn't waiting tables I was flying around the country to new locations to train the staff. Waiting tables was as physically demanding as it gets, but it was nothing compared to those trips. They would last 4 weeks. I would work 6 days a week and 12-13 hour days. For the first time in my life I was drinking/abusing energy drinks and Starbucks in order to keep up. It didn't help that I wasn't getting very much restful sleep and on many nights I'd go and grab some drinks with the other trainers.
I was on the last leg of a west coast trip up in Seattle when I suddenly became extremely ill. It was the worst I had ever felt in my life. I came down with a fever of 100+, my body hurt all over, my gums were bleeding, and I developed some kind of infection near one of my wisdom teeth. The bizarre thing is I kept trying to work through it because I wouldn't get paid unless I put in my hours. After about 2 weeks I couldn't take it anymore. I checked myself into a local hospital. The doctor really couldn't tell me what was going on. He prescribed me some Antibiotics for my mouth infection and requested I fly home to rest up.
So I flew back home and after about 2-3 weeks the infection was gone and I thought I was feeling better. That's when I started experiencing a constellation of symptoms that simply did not make sense. There were so many it was freaking me out. Nausea, migraines, fatigue, numbness in extremities, swollen tongue, brain fog, bloating, body aches, no libido mood swings, inability to handle stressful situations, strange cravings for salty and sugary foods .... and many many more. I spent the next 2-3 years seeing various general practitioners looking for answers, but pretty much all of them were trying to force anti-depressant/anxiety meds on me.
I gave up going to doctors. I also had to stop waiting tables because I physically couldn't hold up anymore. I started working a desk job at a local bank and have since become self-employed working from home. I don't even remember what it feels like to physically feel good. I feel like I'm constantly rationing what energy I do have. I never get restful sleep, as I wake up at least 3-4 times a night. I always feel so anxious right after I wake up and again around bed time at 9-10pm. Basically, I feel like I'm stuck in 1st gear all the time.
While I've never been bedridden, at it's worst times there were days when I didn't even have the energy to go take a shower. Even the littlest things seemed like they'd require too much energy. I used to be the most organized person you'll ever meet, always kept things clean and orderly. It's like I completely flipped personalities and suddenly I just didn't have the desire to be that way anymore.
I should note that while going through this, I've still forced myself to workout. It's pretty much all weight lifting because cardio is so hard on me. I notice my body takes soooooo much longer to recover from my workouts too. I literally have to give body parts 6-7 days recovery and my strength levels suck. I force myself to workout because I can't bare to imagine letting myself go. If you looked at me you'd see an athletic guy who couldn't possibly feel the way I do. One of the strange things is that as athletic as I am over most of my body, I have developed this bloating/lower ab fat that simply will not go away. My face/cheeks are also so puffy. It makes me paranoid to take pictures.
Long-winded enough? All I know is I don't feel like a healthy person. I've admittingly lived a very stressful life over the last 10-12 years, but it was that trip to Seattle which is the moment I always look back at where it all turned for the worse. I've always assumed what I'm going through has to do with my adrenals, thyroid, hormones, or somewhere else in the HPA Axis. Previous docs never ran comprehensive panels to find out. The one time my total testosterone was run it was 359, which is on the low end of the range. My free testosterone was 11.9, also on the low end. TSH hovered between 2.4 and 3.4. T4 was always low end of the range. LDL cholesterol was elevated. I had mono back in college (lasted 6 months), but my EBV titres were still elevated at 1616.
Every time I think I'm starting to feel alright, nope it just reverses again. I hate feeling this way. I seriously can't handle stress. Even the littlest arguments set me off, I get warm/shaky and my mind gets foggy. The newest thing (the hair shedding and thinning) has made me somewhat depressed. My stomach is so damn finicky. I swear if I eat carbs I go straight into a coma. So I've been forced to eat mostly really lean. This may sound strange, but I feel like I never get enough air (shallow breathing) and my arms sometimes go numb when I sleep.
I wish I had answers, but I don't even know who to talk to anymore. This has been a vicious cycle for too long now. I worry about what I'm setting my body up for in the future given the medical history my family has.