The medical weirdness started when she was pregnant with a severe rash that covered her entire body but not her face. She described it as intensely itchy. To me, it looked like an episode of Star Trek when one of the "Away Team" contracts an alien virus and morphs into another humanoid species. There was no clear definitive diagnosis on that -- just some sort of vague reference to "pregnancy rash" and that it only happens once. It reoccurred four months later, although not a severe.
The next episode happened in 2006. Both parotid glands swelled. Again the medical community was stumped. One doctor even suggested that it was a stone, forgetting (or ignoring) the fact that both sides of her face were affected. Antibiotics were prescribed and taken with no improvement. Then it was determined to be viral, so treatment involved alleviating the pain. Then when she complained of dry mouth, a doctor suspected Sjögren’s Syndrome and prescribed prednisone. The symptoms went away but came back. The test for Sjögren’s Syndrome was negative.
We're still dealing with the after effects of the next event, the attack of Transverse Myelitis. It started when she woke me up to tell me that she couldn't pee. She was released from hospital four weeks later barely able to walk and with severe pain.
Fed up with allopathic medicine, we consulted with a Naturopathic Doctor who made a diagnosis of Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. Although he couldn't treat her pain, he suggested a variety of supplements, two of which were NatureThroid, non-synthetic thyroid extract, and Isocort, a non-synthetic adrenal extract. The supplements had a terrific effect on her mood.
Still, we needed pain relief so we stuck with the neurologist at the hospital that she was initially treated in. Concerned about leg weakness, they mentioned spinal stenosis and MS.
Well, I'm getting angry and upset again. Suffice it to say, some more bumbling doctors made some more diagnoses. And the latest of these is fibromyalgia. This diagnosis was based on tenderness of all the pressure points and a negative test result for anything else. (Thank goodness that she never got a false positive for Lyme disease as I did. Otherwise, she'd get a two-week course of antibiotics and a pronouncement of being cured.)
I think her fibromyalgia is due to improperly managed pain. She was given too few quick-acting opioid pills and then left with no coverage at night. Thus she has been suffering from insufficient sleep for several months.
In his 2004 book, "Arthritis: Fight it with The Blood Type Diet Dr. Peter D'Adamo writes about people with type A blood, such as my wife,
One of the effects of high cortisol is a disruption of the sleep cycle, which, in turn, places extra stress on the body. Studies show that many people with arthritic conditions such as fibromyalgia experience a type of sleep disturbance called alpha delta sleep disorder. People with alpha delta sleep disorder experience a disruption in sleep patterns. They don't obtain enough deep sleep -- the phase in which muscles are repaired.
Anyway, even though this is yet another incurable disease that no one understands, maybe it will at least allow my wife to get better pain management.