My big long list of symptoms

I mentioned in an other post that I got sick in October, 2014. It started with sudden hearing loss, a lot of neck, head and jaw pain, followed by episodes of a pounding heart and sleeplessness that would last for days. Things only got stranger from there, so I started keeping a list of all my symptoms. It’s amazing how long it got in such a short period of time.

Between October, 2014 and February, 2015, I developed:

  • Total exercise intolerance
  • Extreme muscle stiffness, spasticity and spasms – muscles seize up at slightest provocation
  • Raised and sore muscle knots known as trigger points
  • Jaw fatigue and pain
  • Chest pains
  • Joint pain
  • Extremely stiff neck
  • Fatigue
  • Plugged / pressured ears
  • Light headedness upon standing
  • Anxiety / fear without cause
  • Episodes numbness in face/mouth, sometimes paired with arm weakness
  • Blurry eyes
  • Fatigued eyes – often found myself just not focusing at all
  • Aching sternal pain that comes and goes
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Hair loss
  • Sudden one-sided hearing loss
  • Ringing in ears
  • Crackling / popping / noisy ears
  • Twitching eyelids
  • Sharp pain in my salivary glands when I begin eating
  • Extremely dry skin
  • Episodic acne
  • Poor healing of wounds
  • Easily bruised
  • Menstrual irregularities (breakthrough bleeding even on the pill)
  • Episodes where I feel “off” and like I MUST eat sugar
  • General increase preference for sugary foods
  • Under-performing thyroid (high TSH, low FT3 and very low FT4 + positive for anti TPO antibodies)
  • Dizziness
  • Balance Trouble
  • Bouncing vision (oscillopsia)
  • Early Waking
  • Insomnia (would last days/weeks)
  • Vivid dreams
  • Shortness of breath
  • Heart palpitations
  • Exaggerated / fast swinging emotions (fast temper, fast tears, too much laughter, occasional euphoria)
  • Nausea
  • Complete loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Confusion / trouble concentrating / trouble multitasking / trouble with complex comprehension
  • Achy eyes / dry eyes
  • Frequent tension headaches
  • Migraine with Aura (vision loss)
  • Icepick headaches
  • Feeling of fullness in throat and tonsil area
  • Sore throat
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Occasional “vibrating” feeling in muscles

My symptoms come and go by the day, but also change over months (my insomnia, for example, was rampant for 4 months then went away for about 2). I have good days and bad days. The only constant is inconsistency itself.

When my western blot test came back IGG positive from Igenex (indicating an old Lyme infection), I looked back past October. My MS diagnosis in 2005, and the myriad of symptoms attributed to it, obviously came to mind. Neurological Lyme disease is frequently misdiagnosed as MS, and I’m just further proof of that. But looking back, it goes even farther, all the way into childhood. Here are a few of the health issues I had over time that I now know Lyme frequently causes:

  • Exercised induced asthma (had at 11, went away within about a year)
  • Migraines with aura (had at age 12, went away at 17)
  • Arthritis (had at 13, went away within 2 years)
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome (had at 19, resolved within 2 years)
  • Terrible knee pain (had at 20, went away after surgery)
  • Very poor dental health in spite of good habits (lasted about 5 years and mysteriously resolved)
  • Multiple Sclerosis (diagnosed at 21, it was very active for 5 years before calming down)
  • Optic Neuritis (attributed to MS, I’ve had 3x and in both eyes, a very odd presentation)
  • Plantar Fasciitis (had at 29, ongoing)
  • Incredible low back pain, comes on without any trigger, non responsive to treatment (had at 30, ongoing)
  • Most recent diagnoses include: Sudden Sensioneural Hearing Loss, Vestibular Disorder (suspected viral labyrinthitis), Panic Disorder, TMJ Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Autoimmune Thyroid Disease (Hashimoto’s and Grave’s), Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Making this list, I wasn’t looking for an event that kicked it all off. But I think I found one. My earliest recollection of all of these symptoms is around age 10, and it just so happens that at age 9ish we adopted 2 feral cats. A wicked flea infestation came with them – so bad that you’d walk into our living room and your socks would turn black with the presence of excited, biting bugs. We also got ringworm. I remember looking down at my arm at the large red ring, hoping the kids at school wouldn’t notice. But was ringworm right? Or was that a bulls eye rash?? I wish I had pictures to show a doctor now. Potentially related, in December 1992, I also came down with a full body rash and a fever so bad I spent several days hallucinating. I was diagnosed with Scarlet Fever, and we never looked into it further. Maybe early manifestations of systemic Lyme disease? The old medical records are on their way. Maybe I’ll be able to piece this together, maybe I won’t.

I can’t help but wonder, was that the start of this all??


5 thoughts on “My big long list of symptoms

  1. Karla, you and I are on a similar path in terms of timeline! I got bitten by a bug while camping in Sept 2014 and crazy almost identical symptoms to you started happening. Finally after scores of medical hoops I was diagnosed with lyme, but I’ve had all these health issues before, too, since a tick bite and bull’s-eye rash when I was 6. It’s interesting going over your life memories and re-processing everything, isn’t it?!


    • Wow that is quite the parallel!! And you’re so right. I never would’ve guessed I’ve been infected so long. But when that test result came back I just started putting the puzzle pieces together and it hit me. Sheesh. I hope this means you’re on your way to healing!!


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