I have returned from Jacksonville with as many answers as before I left. Guess blood work is infallible and if it says nothing is wrong, then that is the supreme word.
It would be nice to know why I feel so fatigued. I go to bed exhausted and wake up exhausted. Most mornings I lay in bed with my eyes closed, not because I don't want to open them, they are closed because I cannot open them. My eyes are so dry that the eyelids adhere to my eyeballs. I keep eye drops on my nightstand next to the bed and grope about trying to find it so that I can force a drop or two under my eyelids to lubricate my eyes enough to get them open.
My mouth also is dry and has made eating a choir and not a pleasure. The act of swallowing food is much like swallowing a mouthful of cotton balls. My throat too is dry, many times food sticks and I find myself choking and gagging. The same goes for swallowing pills, I've resorted to purchasing chewable vitamins because I've had vitamin tablets lodge in my throat and block the passage to my tracheae. Thought I was going to die of asphyxiation. Only a person who has experienced chocking knows what it's like to try to take a breath and not be able to inhale . . . believe me, it is a terrifying experience. But nothing is wrong - doctors say it is not Sjögren's syndrome.
I have problems with dry nasal membranes and have tried a multitude of saline nasal sprays and aloe gels. I recall going to a doctor about 6 years ago because I had a bad case of the flu. I didn't mention anything about my dry eye, nose, mouth, throat problem, but as soon as the physician viewed my nasal membranes he prescribed a round of antibiotics for my flu and a steroid nasal spray for my nasal dryness. It would have been nice had I been able to use it but, like so many things, I had a reaction to it.
I have reactions to many medications. Where once I was able to take anything without worry, I now have reactions to even simple OTC meds. My dry mouth and throat have led to heart burn, acid reflux and there are signs of damage to my esophagus. However I cannot take Nexium because of allergic reactions and side effects. I took Prochlorper (for nausea) and suffered extreme restlessness, which I later found out was a serious allergic reaction called "akasthesia".
I get sharp little pains, like a pin prick (if you've pricked yourself while sewing you know what it feels like - startling yes, but on the Richter scale of pain it rates, at best, a 2) these sharp pricks can occur anywhere, from my scalp to my feet. I also get really quick, intense stabbing pains, mostly in joints (could be arthritis) and then there are the intense cramps in my feet, where my toes bend in directions that I never knew were possible. Yet again, there's "nothing's wrong" with me.
Some time back I began noticing things left permanent indentations on my skin. I have marks from ten years ago caused by a pair of reading glasses, marks on my arms merely from having crossed my arms. I cannot wear reading glasses, sunglasses, visors, hats that rest on my forehead, or socks with elastic tops (I've spent hours pulling out the elastic from the tops of socks). Also cannot wear tight belts or clothes that have elastic waistbands or sleeves with elastic in them.
Three months ago I wore a soft, stretchy, sports bra (one that I've had for years and thought it was pretty much all stretched out) but when I took it off I found it had made a depression from my left shoulder all the way to my armpit. The impression is almost an inch wide at the shoulder and widens to about two inches alongside my left arm and breast . . . that was 3 months ago and yes the impression is still there. Well, so much for my ever wearing a bikini top . . . or for that matter strapless dresses or spaghetti strapped tops. But . . . according to the doctors there's nothing wrong, I do not have an auto-immune disease.
I am paranoid about going to the dentist or the ophthalmologist. The last time I saw my dentist, he rested his wrest on my left eyebrow. Since his hand was in my mouth there wasn't much I could say or do at the time. But that simple act left me with a left eyebrow that sags and is lower than the right brow, creating the illusion that my right eye is larger than my left eye, because there is more space between the right eyelid and the brow than between the left eyelid and its brow. I hoped no one would notice but not long ago a friend looked at me and said; "My god, Anna ! What's wrong with your right eye? It is huge ! "
Well, Sandra, that's a long story, but I'm perfectly normal. Really, I am! There is nothing whatsoever wrong with me.
Since my condition is not "life threatening", only "life altering", the doctors aren't concerned and the only thing they could suggest was that I see a psychiatrist so that I can "cope" with the situation. I've been coping with it for over 10 years and don't need a therapist to sit back and ask me; "And how does that make you feel?"