Monday, 26 September 2011


I am so confused. So, my duty today, is to share that confusion with you.

I'm just so sick and tired of being constantly ill. If it isn't one thing, it's another, and for the most part I can't even figure out which thing it is causing the symptoms, and therefore what to do about that which is going on with my body. 

What am I talking about? Well, this may not actually make sense, until you've read all of it ... possibly twice.

I have M.E., as we already know. I may have PMDD. I also may be gluten intolerance. (There are other things, but these are the ones confusing me presently).

If you're familiar with my blog, then you're already familiar with some of the ins and outs of M.E.. But what is PMDD? Pre-menstrual Dysphoric Disorder.
"The symptoms of PMDD are similar to those of PMS. However, they are generally more severe and debilitating and include at least one mood-related symptom"
This was first suggested to me as a problem early last year, by my counselor. I had come off anti depressants just before Christmas 2009. In the January I had what I can only refer to as a funny turn. It's very hard to describe, but I became extremely irrational, I lashed out at friends, and people I interacted with on a daily basis (ironically, not Ian). I thought I was losing the plot, but it went away after a few days. Then it happened a few weeks later. It was my counselor whom identified that it was happening prior to menstruation. It was extremely scary. I talked to one of the doctors at my surgery about it. The notion was dismissed. I had one more episode, and then it stopped happening. I haven't thought anything of it until the last few weeks.

A few months ago, during the extreme stress of the Atos medical assessment procedure, I completely lost awareness for about twenty minutes; when I regained awareness I found I'd been self harming, and apparently harming the carpet also. A few weeks ago I had another 'episode', and again, last week I turned on my friends. It's horrible. You don't know you're doing it; the feelings of irrationality and paranoia creep in so gradually, that it feels rational, it feels like what you're thinking is right. And then it suddenly stops, and your mind feels like it has been released from a clamp, and you feel so stupid, guilty, and sheepish.

For me, the day that those feelings stop, they are replaced by a rush of OCD. I need to clean, tidy, obsess over something. So of course, I completely exhaust myself, and crash. Then I have period pain to deal with. I'm at the introductory period pain at the moment, which I've now had for three days. I'm expecting the extreme agony to kick in some time today or tomorrow. I have my kick-ass anti-inflammatories by my side awaiting their destiny as saviour of the month.

I finished the three month gluten free trial ten days ago. I gradually started introducing gluten to my diet again. The idea was to see whether I noticed any difference to my health with no gluten in my diet. I had failed the blood test for Coeliac Disease. I had thought that there was no difference to my health. I have now changed my mind.

I gradually introduced gluten back into my diet. I had Chinese pancakes the first day. A slice of bread the next day. Nothing much seemed to happen. I don't remember what I ate on the third day, but I spent most of the day flaked out exhausted and asleep; I thought this was simply an M.E. reaction to some of the activity from the previous day. I kept falling asleep wherever I sat or lay down.

So, I've eaten gluten fairly normally for about a week now. I didn't really think much was happening. I've been exhausted all week, but I put it down to an M.E. crash and stress. It was only yesterday when G came over and watched me fade extremely fast after I ate stuffing with my lunch, that I realised that I am reacting to gluten.

I had decided to not go over to his place for the weekend. I was feeling grumpy and exhausted when I made this decision. So here's my confusion...

Why was I grumpy? Was it because I am pre-menstrual? Was it because I am reacting to gluten? (One of the symptoms of gluten intolerance is lowered mood following gluten consumption). Was it because I am exhausted by M.E.?

Why am I so exhausted? Is it because I've been pushing myself too hard with M.E.? Have I been pushing myself too hard? Is it because of the stress of everything going on around me? Is there so much going on anyway, or is that just PMDD making it feel that way? Am I exhausted because of hormones preparing my body for menstruation? Or is it because I am reacting badly to eating gluten again?

How is my doctor ever supposed to work out what is going on with me, if I can't figure anything out to give him a lead to start with? This is just ridiculous. I am struggling so hard to cope at the moment.

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