Before I start, I do want to apologise for this self-pitying post. I've written bits over the months and deleted them each time. I'm getting to breaking point now and just need to rant.
I've mentioned a few times that I haven't been well for a while now. Since mid-November actually. For a long time I avoided going to a doctor as I haven't had good experiences with the ones here. For months I put up with the extreme fatigue, dizziness and nausea 24-7. I kept telling myself that it would all go away soon.
About two or three months ago, the tingling began. Just a strange little sensation in my toes to start with. It quickly spread and had been up to my knees for a while now. It's become really quite painful and often sleeping or walking is difficult. After a day of standing in class (luckily only three a day) I'm almost crying from the pain. About a month ago, the tingling began in my fingertips, that's now spread up as far as my elbows, a few weeks ago, it began in my face. On top of this, breathing is becoming more difficult and I get the occassional chest pain. With all of this, other symptoms have been getting worse and I can no longer make it through a whole day. Luckily my work has been really supportive and I've been able to cut down my hours a little every day.
But what gets me really upset with all of this, is the %^$#@*) doctor's here. The first one was just horrible, you can read about some of the appointment here. A couple of weeks ago I found another doctor and had some hope. Things were done at a snail's pace however, one or two tests done at a time, then a week's wait to see the results and then another one or two tests after that. All the while he'd mumble that it looked to be autoimmune, but not testing or referring me to anyone else for tests.
At this week's appointment, in my frustration about the lack of answers, I made the mistake of telling him that I was getting really down about it all. He got excited, "That's it! That's the problem! You're depressed!" He'd set his mind to it and I could not convince him that I was depressed BECAUSE of the pain and inability to do things. In Japan, women are often considered to be silly hypochondriacs, so of course, (male) doctor knows best. He's now decided on my diagnosis but has indulged me with one last test.
After I get those results next week, I have to look at trying to find another doctor and go through it all again, in the hope that someone will listen to me and to get me back to my usual self.
Of course, while some positive results are scary, the not knowing can be much, much scarier.