The last 2 and a half years for me have been hellish. I mean from a health and wellness aspect, my life overall is great. The symptoms started to occur in March of 2013. I was actively involved at the gym, training with a trainer 2x a week and hitting the cardio machines for another 3 days. I’d go to the gym, and start doing something easy like stretching, then either going for a few track sprints or doing a quick 500m row to warm up, something I’d done many times before. But on this one particular day I wasn’t feeling right, I figured my body was tired, but tried to push through anyway.Before I could tell my trainer I was dizzy I just collapsed after a warm up sprint. Pushing through had me down on the ground with my trainer panicking because I was as white as a ghost and sweating profusely, like I was suffering a heart attack or stroke. The whole episode lasted about 30 mins from start to finish, by finish I mean able to stand up unassisted by my trainer and walk, I stayed conscious the entire time. My shirt and shorts were soaking wet like I’d just run through a sprinkler a few times or done a killer work out. I haven’t trained since. So began my 2 year (and counting) testing with various doctors from cardiologists to neurologists.
When I went for testing at the heart clinic they said “You’re just a healthy girl who needs to add more salt to your diet!” But prescribed me some bullshit medication to help my body retain salt. I took the medication for 1 year none of the symptoms changed, in fact, they got worse. I went back to the cardiologist who then said,” I’m not sure its your heart, I think its best you go in to see a neurologist”
As I mentioned my symptoms got worse, workouts would trigger dizzy spells. Now just living a normal average day I was plagued with pain all over my body, headaches, foggy vision, hearing loss, numbness in my hands, pain that surged straight up my arm if I picked up anything cold, memory loss, loss of words, speech issues, and weakness in my extremities, the list goes on, but I think this gives a small example of obstacles I’ve been facing. I had a CT Scan and it was requested I have an MRI done. Results came back saying it was Chiari Malformation I. Which a number of people live with from a day-to-day basis with no symptoms. The neurologist said, It’s really not serious enough to have a surgery consult. Great, so I’m supposed to live with these ailments forever? Or when are the symptoms bad enough that a consult is necessary?He also is unconvinced that it is causing my symptoms, is if it’s not that, what is it? Last time I went to see the neurologist he thought it could be a heart condition, so back to the cardiologist, where I was hooked up to a 48 hour heart monitor that came back normal.
I go for another MRI in September and I hope and pray something substantial shows up on the scan. I hope that something that can be treated shows up, I hope that I can get my life back. I’ve become a shell of a person I once was. I went from being active and fit to a person who is exhausted all the time and a simple task of emptying a dishwasher is taxing, or folding laundry requires a power nap. It’s really quite pathetic going from Athlete to this, at least to me. So while I may occasionally complain about my frustrations of living this hell, I want people to understand what it is; I’m not lazy, being a hypochondriac, or attention seeker but someone who is looking to have a normal life again. Someone who doesn’t want to cancel plans because they’re exhausted, someone who wants to live freely and feel alive. Right now, it feels like a slow boat to death.
I pray I get an answer. I’m not sure what else I can do, but for now that is my story.
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