Fatigue, a fiery trial

by Koh

Apologies for the long post but I feel the need to paint a full picture that was 15 years in the making.

I'm currently wrestling with God to deliver me out of stage 3B/C housebound adrenal fatigue (based on Dr Lam's). My worst crash is in early December 2018 and 3 months on, I'm still shaky, unpredictable and vacillating between 'i can conquer it' days to 'lets jump down' depression.

I asked God repeatedly why did this happened to me but looking back at the last 15 years of my life, I know deep down much of this mess was self induced. In point form for clarity.

1a. penchant for unhealthy processed food diet since young
1b. irregular meals causing gastric issues and blood sugar spikes
2a. sleeping late (11-2am ish) and waking early (6-8am ish) since 8 or 9 years old
2b. sleeping in non-pitch dark room for years, affecting melatonin production
3. academic stress living in Singapore
4. losing my dad at age 14
5. living with a depressed, critical, bipolar mother, even now
6. overexercising to get rid of emotional/historical stress
7. work stress since 22
8. repeated flu and infections
9. sun avoidance, low vitamin D (tested to be 14, minimum 30, optimal 50)
10. colonoscopy at age 17. had piles from constant constipation due to magnesium/fiber deficiency
11. first and last blood donation at age 17 and dr diagnosed the side effects of donation as just chest pain, panic attacks, given muscle relaxant. actual cause is lowered blood volume (common in AF/CFS patients) leading to heart pumping harder.
12. exposure to xenoestrogen (teflon pans, microwave, boiling water in plastic containers etc)
13. carpark facing room with wifi router and printer in room (EMF and toxic printer ink)
14. fomo attitude, always pushing myself to go out with friends even when tired
15 fibroid keyhole surgery at age 27 (10cm fibroid, severe estrogen dominance)
16. being my own harshest critic
17. trusting conventionally trained doctors! I waved off numerous tell tale signs of fatigue and hormone imbalance for years and adopted a passive wait and see approach as advocated by most doctors

My symptoms:

1. heart palpitations, at my worst 215 bpm at mild exertion (e.g: showering, going up 1 flight of stairs), confirmed by cardiologist (who dismissed me with beta blocker, bisoprolol fumarate) and Apple watch
2. insomnia, unable to maintain sleep
3. debilitating fatigue, worst was bed bound, currently housebound
4. constant bloating, burping, indigestion, constipation
5. photo sensitivity, unable to look outside the window in the afternoon without sunglasses as well as blue light from devices, much better now after supplementing vitamin D
6. cold extremities, muscle twitches esp in legs
7. breathlessness, chest pain
8. weight gain of 5 kg, esp around the waist
9. severe depression esp the few days before period when estrogen and progesterone plummet
10, acne, bacne, very dry skin and premature graying of hair, more hair loss now
11. increase in allergies and sensitivities (gluten, medications)
12. 2mm bilirubin deposit in eye due to congested liver, causing an unsightly yellow spot in the white of my eye
13. muscle loss, unable to carry the load I'm used to, also due to inability to exercise for now

This list is a nightmare for me, some days are excruciating and as everyone here knows, most conventional medicine is of no use for AF. I've been dismissed by doctors many times (blood tests all normal) and currently seeing a traditional Chinese medicine physician who has helped me greatly with heart palpitations and also self supplementing with 500mg magnesium, 10-110 billion probiotics, vitamin B, C & D. Detoxed with milk thistle for liver for 4 months and currently consuming chlorella for heavy metals detox.

AF is an emotional roller coaster as the temporary burst of energy gives optimism but eventually you realized you've been taken for a ride. In my younger days, I was active and athletic, playing basketball, badminton, gym and swims couple times a week. I was a bit of an adrenaline junkie also, tried skydiving and did ATV ride in Death Valley in the Vegas summer with 0 experience or friends (most participants were guys with ATV skills). I probably used up all my adrenal reserves in my youth unfortunately! It took A LOT literally for me to come to terms with this sad state of paralysis by fatigue, heart palpitation and breathlessness.

AF is a tough and slow uphill battle, recovery is never linear, some days i feel great, accidentally overdid and then a crash. As much as I'm very very far from 100% but I'm not bed bound now and I try to rejoice in small improvement. I pray for God's grace and patience in the fiercest trial of my 29 years. I'm extremely blessed to have a supportive bf who held my hand every single step and a loving auntie who cooks for me every day. I'm grateful for the support and resources that God has given (internet is a Godsend, able to buy groceries, clothes etc and find AF articles online), I'm unemployed and taking a break while relying on savings and very grateful for this period of rest sans responsibilities. Read the story of Joni Eareckson Tada, Amy Purdy and many others who have given me encouragement. Ever learning to be patient with my body and that gratitude makes a tough day a wee bit lighter!

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Nov 24, 2021
I can relate so well! NEW
by: April

Thank you for sharing your story, Koh. It’s a relief to read of other people’s healing journey. Unfortunately I can relate all too well, your story is my story too I’m so many ways. This strange disease is hard to believe, for me and my family. It reminds me of the Middle Ages when people didn’t know about so many illnesses that we can treat now. People just had to suffer and either live or die. Someday this will be better understood, but for now we have to rely on prayer.

Apr 02, 2019
Encouragement from a fellow weary traveler... NEW
by: Elayne

I too have had a long slow heal from this frustrating condition. As a fellow believer it helps to know that He has a plan for this rough patch in our lives. If nothing else to help encourage and to better relate to others who also suffer with this strange mystery disease. I try to encourage people I know to slow down and get off the caffeine rollercoaster now before they end up like me.😬 When I get frustrated I just think back to when I was worse and it helps. A journal helps remind us of our little victories.

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