Disclaimer: Since this blog is about living with chronic illness, I have made the commitment to write about all aspects of this part of my life including my symptoms (the good, the bad, and the ugly). This post includes some of the "ugly" symptoms.
The past couple of weeks have been physically challenging. I had an energy crash midway through last week and am still struggling to get back to my "normal" tired but not exhausted energy levels.
I have had varying degrees of headaches every day for the past week. Fortunately, none of the headaches have turned into migraines (which can sometimes put me out of commission altogether). The last few days I have been able to fall asleep pretty easily, yet I've had trouble sleeping through the night -- waking up at least three times per night. The mornings have been dreadful; it's been extremely difficult (more than usual) for me to get up.
To add insult to injury, last night I started my period with an explosion of cramping and heavy bleeding (which certainly doesn't help my iron levels)...which has continued today. When the cramping is really severe, it forces a bowel movement. The combination of my having PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) can be particularly unpleasant.
On the upside, the consistency of my bowel movements have been much more normal the past couple of weeks. That is, I have not had much constipation or diarrhea. As a result, my hemorrhoids have had time to heal (finally). I suspect my increased doses of acidophilus probiotic supplements and increased intake of yogurt combined with fiber supplements has helped the IBS and consistency of my bowel movements. I'm also convinced that the acidophilus has decreased the frequency of the vaginal yeast infections that I get.
These little milestones -- normal bowel movements, healed hemorrhoids, and fewer yeast infections -- have improved my quality of life somewhat. I'll take every bit of an increased quality of life that I can get...even if it's just baby steps. (Though I would really like to improve in all areas, rather than getting better in some areas and worse in others.)
I am hopeful that I'll start feeling a little better once my period ends.
Unfortunately, however, I suspect that my poor energy levels might be related to my new treatment plan (see Starting a New CFS Treatment Plan). There were tons of warnings that the treatment could make people feel worse at first. I was hoping that my experience would be different, but I think it's safe to say that my last two weeks would fall under the category of "feeling worse." I suppose only time will tell. For now, I'm not going to modify my treatment plan.
Today's Activities: work (with more walking around than usual). Today's Symptoms: exhaustion, moderate headache, mild nausea; severe cramping (due to menstruation); active eczema on right ankle; rash on back and abdomen almost gone.
Mood (10 is best): 5
Energy (10 is best): 3
Physical Discomfort (10 is worst): 7