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Pre everything - adrenal fatigue??

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kelly_1979:
Hello fellow sufferers (heh). I'd like to thank beforehand anybody who has the courage to read through this essay and hopefully reply.

Writing again after some time in the forum, but not for the reasons you might think. I've been battling with the TG beast for a long time. I've tried to continue my PhD but it seems I'm going to be the only one to drop out after 5+ years struggling (stupid I know).Due to stress and bad conditions in the lab I've made numerous mistakes. Every few months I've had this urge to drop everything and say "eff it I quit*. Still, for various reasons I didn't. It's not to say I hate my PhD or my science, rather I hate the situation I've gotten trapped myself in. So now I'm almost 40 and have never worked (outside of academia). To top it of, the PhD I enrolled myself in is unfunded.

Now, let's go to a more serious issue. As I've written before, my aging parents are  unsupportive on the TG matter and their health condition has worsened a lot presumably due to worrying about me.
Due to constant stress (balding, not having any money, unable to transition, the gender psychiatrist I went 2 years ago not really helping me etc) I've unfortunately developed health problems myself (I would never have thought things could go downhill so fast). The past two years I've had skin problems (constant now) breaking and brittle nails and most important of all, rapid muscle loss and fat gain. Also, I'm tired all day and wake up early and tired despite sleeping. I'm literary getting worse every day. I've gone to my regular doctor who found " nothing wrong ", another doctor who still didn't know what to do and to a endocrinologist who said I'm " fine " and just need to rest and eat well. The endo tested morning serum cortisol (not 24h saliva test), t4, tsh, TG & TPO antibodies, fsh, lh, prl, morning atch, testosterone and he found them " normal and within limits ".Ofcouse this made me even more depressed. I asked him if I should do a saliva 24h cortisol test but he denied saying I don't need it. I'm very weak now. I must have lost 8 kg of muscle and replaced some of it with fat. A week ago I had a shin splint on my right leg after trying to walk briskly for 1 km. Right now I can't even walk.
Sorry for painting such a bleak picture but I feel like I'm going to die (I don't want to but I'm afraid of it). I haven't been able to laugh or cry (especially the later) for years despite feeling like it and wanting to.

In hindsight I know I should have quit my PhD long ago but I couldn't bring myself to. Now it seems I will have to after wasting the best years of my life. Half my 20s and all my 30s down the drain.
Today I'm going to a psychiatrist (not gender related ) to see if he can help me. I don't know what to do about my health issues. My parents, who are paying for all this (facepalm) say things (actually my mother does) like since I know more than doctors I don't need them or that if should study medicine.... (Hah ha ha).
I feel I need to go to another endo. Somehow I doubt that just by taking antidepressants (maybe I'll start today after I go to the psychiatrist) will fix my health problems
.
Any suggestions wholeheartedly welcome!!

Sonja:
@kelly_1979
Hi Kelly,  First - your tiredness - A few years ago I found I was getting mega tired to the point I would wake up and feel I hadn't slept at all - went to the doc. got tested including haemochromatosis (iron overload) - fairly common in people of european descent and found - yes I had it - after weeks of getting my iron levels back down to normal I felt much better. Have you been tested for this?
PHD wise - very difficult to say without being able to see all the work -  is it still relevant? I'm going to say something that might sound peculiar but having done it I know it works - a job, a part time job, a temporary job does WONDERS to lift your spirit and your soul, the money helps But actually having an easy clear focus of task and being around other people while you do it is really really good for you! 

It sounds like something has to change for your own well being, only you can decide what, but I suggest you do it very soon.

Take care,

Sonja.


kelly_1979:
No, my iron is actually rather low. Lately I've been eating red meat but it hasn't really helped.
Regarding the PhD, I really don't know. Half the apparatus is broken, my cultures been getting contaminated, my PCRs don't work correctly and I don't know why....
I feel this urge to start banging the wall until I break it (or break my hand) but I've never have done anything like that Also never smoked, no alcohol, no drugs so all this probably is due to constant stress.

Considering the type of work in my PhD, I'll either have to pause or stop it to get a job (I'm practically all day in the lab- plant pathology - molecular biology, forgot to mention).

Sonja:

--- Quote from: kelly_1979 on September 20, 2018, 12:49:26 am ---No, my iron is actually rather low. Lately I've been eating red meat but it hasn't really helped.
Regarding the PhD, I really don't know. Half the apparatus is broken, my cultures been getting contaminated, my PCRs don't work correctly and I don't know why....
I feel this urge to start banging the wall until I break it (or break my hand) but I've never have done anything like that Also never smoked, no alcohol, no drugs so all this probably is due to constant stress.

Considering the type of work in my PhD, I'll either have to pause or stop it to get a job (I'm practically all day in the lab- plant pathology - molecular biology, forgot to mention).

--- End quote ---
@kelly_1979 - one particular friend of mine was running a successful restaurant but was very unhappy about his life for various reasons, he sold it and mowed grass for a close to a year simply to clear his head, after that he started a large coffee shop that he really enjoys - and is very busy. There's noting wrong with stepping right out of an environment when you need to,  and it really sounds like the stress has smashed your concentration and your health  - If i were you I would set yourself a period of time - the maximum possible - and leave your lab and go get a simple but enjoyable job - waiter, coffee shop, outdoors, anything thats bright and easy. give your mind a complete rest.  I wouldn't even go to another lab setup - you need a break from it.

Later on decide with a clear head what you want to do.

Just my thoughts,

Sonja.

Cindy:
Hi Hon,

That all sounds very sad and worrying. Is there anyway to write up what you have? Remember that results don't really matter for a PhD, it is the following of scientific method that examiners look for. I've been an examiner of many a sorry story and I have supervised 9 PhD students.

Your health issues certainly sound a bit more troublesome than the medics are giving credence for. I'm thinking of a few differential diagnoses based on what you have reported and I would push for another opinion both endocrine and I would be sorely tempted to get a MRI. The two things I would be concerned to rule out would be a Cushing's Syndrome type of issue and I would want to rule out a malignancy hence the scans. Have you had a haematology work up? As for the current medics are they aware of your TG status? If they are and if they are dismissive I would be very afraid of TG broken arm syndrome.

Do keep posting and lets us all try and give you support to get through this horrible time.

Cindy

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