Friday, May 29, 2009

Health Timeline

Please Note: The information below may be out of date by the time you read this post. Additionally, some of the ages are rough estimations.

Following is a rough timeline of my major medical diagnoses given by general practitioners, internists, and specialists (including ENT, pulmonary specialist, allergist, dermatologist, OB/GYN, GI). I have undergone countless blood tests and throat cultures and have had CT and MRI scans, two colonoscopies, allergy and asthma tests, and numerous other tests and procedures that resulted in my diagnoses. I say all this to emphasize that I have not self-diagnosed any of my conditions.

I have listed approximate ages to the best of my memory. I have included every diagnosis I can remember, even ones I find somewhat embarrassing, for any future or current health care practitioners, fellow patients, and any others who might be interested. I have not included details about symptoms because it would cause this posting to be too long.

Childhood: diagnosed with thalassemia minor, developed chronic strep throat infections and allergies

18: had laser tonsillectomy that partially removed tonsils; diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease (also called GERD or acid reflux)

19: diagnosed with asthma

20: diagnosed with non-specific colitis (treated for ulcerative colitis) and hemorrhoids

21: diagnosed with mononucleosis

22: diagnosed with scabies, developed eczema as a result

23: had recurrence of colitis, experienced frightening side-effects to mesalamine (hair loss, tremors, vertigo, balance problems, numbness in toes); suffered from influenza and 101+ degree fever

24: diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome; suffered from influenza and 101+ degree fever

24-25: developed chronic strep throat infections, had complete surgical tonsillectomy followed by complications (throat would not heal, unable to swallow) and visit to Emergency Room

26: officially diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome; developed allergy (rash) to quinolone class of antibiotics

28: diagnosed with mild sleep apnea; developed migraines

30: had recurrence of severe hemorrhoids; developed iron deficiency anemia; developed vitamin D deficiency; new GI doctor concluded I no longer have non-specific colitis but do have lactose intolerance and irritable bowel syndrome (Update July 2009: my iron levels are no longer an issue.)

Additional Illnesses: I have had colds, respiratory infections, and additional throat infections that I did not list because they were too numerous to list. Sometime along the way, I developed allergic contact dermatitis to all types of earrings, as well as the glue of band-aids. I have suffered on and off from mild to moderate depression. I have had chronic vaginal yeast infections over the years, in addition to recurrent athlete's foot. I suffer from bouts of insomnia, having difficulty falling asleep. I have experienced tinnitus (ringing in ears) and had numerous canker sores as well as one or two painful outbreaks of cold sores.

Comments: It is clear that several of my illness/conditions can (and often do) cause fatigue. Iron deficiency, for example, is something I have been tested for numerous times, but I only recently developed it. Based on my overall health history, as well as symptoms and test results I have not listed on this posting, my main diagnosis is CFIDS. I'll discuss my symptoms and test results in a future post.

Illnesses I Don't Have: (I'm listing these because people sometimes ask if I've been tested or screened for these): thyroid disease, lyme disease, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, celiac disease, narcolepsy, HIV/AIDS, lupus and a myriad of other autoimmune diseases. I also do not suffer from major depressive disorder or hypochondriasis.

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