Self diagnosing myself.


I last mentioned my health problems two entries ago (here), where I shared the list I’ve started keeping of my doctor appointments. I’ve been trying to make up my mind about how much information I want to discuss on this blog, and I’m still trying to decide, really only because it’s been rather depressing and would I really want to come back to read depressing blog entries? I’ve been whining all over my Twitter because I feel that’s what Twitter’s for, stream of consciousness and general “I’ll probably delete this at some point but I had to get it out of my head.”

Long story short, I still don’t know for sure what’s wrong with me, and I’ve been attempting to avoid having a nervous breakdown because of it. I’ll admit I’ve stopped seeing doctors for now other than my acupuncturist, I wanted a break from people prodding me only to focus on some random symptom that isn’t even bothering me, or ordering tests that end up not giving any sort of answer. I had to get an MRI and the results literally said “You have swelling under the skin. Here’s a list of diseases that might be the reason.” So I’ve been Googling my symptoms a lot in an attempt to figure out what could be wrong, or at least get suggestions on home remedies that might work. Baths with epsom salt help the swelling, so far that’s been about it. Swelling’s been an off-and-on symptom. Other home remedies included drinking apple cider vinegar mixed with honey, and dry brushing. Both are just gross and I couldn’t tell if either was helping, so I gave up for now.

This week I feel I made a tiny breakthrough regarding what has technically been an attempt to self diagnose myself. I have bursitis in both shoulders. Today I went to my acupuncture appointment and mentioned it to him, and he said a bad case of bursitis would definitely cause the kind of swelling that would block lymph nodes. He jabbed needles straight into both shoulder bursae which was as pleasant as the word “jabbed” makes it sound, but I’m hopeful that it’ll make a difference and I actually feel it already has, I’m not sitting here in almost paralyzing pain like I normally am by this hour. I should really be resting my arms but I’m not so good at sitting still and I’m even worse at self discipline.

I know self diagnosis is a horrible thing to do, but it’s been quite a wild ride. Bursitis seems to be a definite, if not the only issue. The test came back negative, but lyme disease could still be a possibility (false-negative results are annoyingly common for lyme disease). Also, maybe lymphedema. I finally managed to convince myself I do not have a flesh eating disease. There’s actually quite a list of diseases I’ve thought I might have, thanks to having the habit of looking up “symptoms of –” at 3am when I can’t fall asleep. You just haven’t lived until you’re attempting to get a decent night’s rest after being convinced you have “stone man syndrome.”

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