Dr. Pain has some very interesting theories about how all my symptoms fit together and exacerbate each other. It's a little complicated, but it makes sense to me. Basically, he told me that the adrenal insufficiency has made it so my body can't regulate my autonomic nervous system. The ANS controls heart rate, digestion, breathing, temperature regulation, etc. - all the subconscious stuff. When I've had severe pain or stress or fatigue, my ANS goes nuts, causing my high heart rate, sweating, fevers, stomach "dumping," shaking, etc. Additionally, the episodes actually worsen perception of pain because my nerves are going nuts... so I'm caught in a vicious cycle. The inflammation in my body and the arthritis causes pain, which can set off my nervous system, which causes my weird episodes, which causes more pain. I'm supposed to try to identify what exactly is triggering the episodes. He wants to figure out what specific labs are out-of-whack before the episodes so we can try to correct them. Hopefully we can prevent or at least anticipate when things are getting out of control. At the very least, what he said helps me understand a little better what's going on in my body!
Dr Pain and I are both pretty frustrated that nothing is really helping me feel better. We know that the bottom line is that I need something to decrease the inflammation that's causing the GI issues, fevers, joint pain, etc. The stuff I'm on now can mask the pain to some extent, but that's it. I bet that a couple Advil would do more for my pain than all the narcotics in the world, because it would treat the inflammation. The bummer is that pretty much all of the traditional things used to reduce inflammation aren't options for me for varying and complicated reasons, so my choices are limited. The other bummer is that the options I do have can take months to kick in. I'm hoping to start something new this week... so I just have to hang in there until it kicks in. Getting the adrenal/ANS stuff sorted out will be a long-term thing, but it is supposed to be easier to manage once my body is less sick and stressed from inflammation.
Twitchy is doing okay. Not as good as he was a few weeks ago, but still a lot better than he was back in March, yay! I'm dumping a lot (I know I keep using that term - it's really what it's called! Basically, when I'm dumping, anything I swallow just goes right through me and my body doesn't absorb it, which is quite problematic for my weight, hydration, blood sugar, and taking pills), but overall I'm having less tummy aches and nausea, so I'll take it!
I just have a bit more school left... a final on Monday, some make-up quizzes on Tuesday, and another final on Friday. Then I'm done. Just one more week. I just hope I can do it. I'll still have to finish up my physics class in the fall, but that's okay. I'm kinda bummed and feel like a loser to STILL not be graduating, but God is in control of all that! I haven't been able to study at all since Wednesday because I've been feeling really terrible. So I'm gonna go attempt to now...
Please thank God that the sleeping stuff is working! That's a really big deal. I'd also really appreciate prayers for encouragement and a break from the pain. It's very disheartening when there is really nothing they can do to make you feel better. Even my ER runs really only helped for a few hours. Once again, it's a good reminder that my trust and hope doesn't rest in any medicine or doctor, but in God alone. He is the one in control here, and so I know that He is working for His glory.