A Health Update!

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve had a post up, and this time, I have a legitimate excuse: I was sick. Not like fatally sick (thank God), but still sick enough that even looking at a computer screen made me sick.

I’ve always tried to be very open about my health. From the beginning, I’ve talked about my struggles with PCOS with all of you and how that has impacted my life.

I’m learning that sometimes doing what’s best for your health is more important than your responsibilities.

Now, I’ve been sick for the last five weeks, and I want to keep you guys in the loop with this, too. Also, we still don’t have all the answers as to how to deal with what I’m feeling, so maybe someone out there could be of some help!

The Beginning

Everything really hit out of nowhere. I woke up one morning five weeks ago feeling nauseous and a little dizzy. A few hours later, I was sitting in a meeting with a professor when I felt like I was going to faint. I had to go lay down in an empty lounge for two hours and have my brother (who also goes to Stony Brook) come check up on me. My mom even drove 45 minutes to come and bring me home. When I saw the doctor the next day, he couldn’t find any reason as to why I was feeling the way I was. He chocked it up to a virus, which made sense because my only symptoms were nausea and dizziness. I stayed home for a few days to try and wait out the virus. I quickly went off Whole30 so I could eat foods that might be easier for me to stomach, like saltine crackers.

I returned to school a few days later, but quickly started feeling sick again. I woke up and fell asleep nauseous and dizzy every day and also developed a chesty cough. Before long, I also started vomiting and also had a fever. It honestly sucked. I went home again so I could see the doctor, who, once again, said it was a virus. He did, however, prescribe me a steroid called prednisone for the cough.

My cough went away quickly, as did the fever and the vomiting, but the nausea and the dizziness stayed. I also saw my chiropractor, who is also a holistic wellness doctor, who gave me probiotics for my stomach. They helped the nausea, but didn’t make it go away entirely. After missing two full weeks of classes, I had no choice but to go back to school and force myself into some sort of normalcy.

So, What Could It Be?

Throughout the next week and half, I still felt nauseous and dizzy, and on top of that, I completely lost my appetite. Even the idea of eating made me feel sick. But I had to force myself to keep going about my normal schedule. I just couldn’t afford to miss any more class time.

Every time I would start feeling crappy, I would try to figure out why I was feeling the way I was. Could it be anxiety? Could it be my blood sugar? (I am pre-diabetic, a condition very closely tied to PCOS.) Could it really be a long-living virus?

Take Two

After a week and a half, I finally thought I could move on with my life. The symptoms were starting to seem manageable, at least for the time being.

Then, I got really shaky. My hands, arms and legs were shaking uncontrollably, to the point where I felt like I couldn’t stand up or hold anything. I even had to miss an event I was really excited about. I was petrified that my blood sugar had finally reached the point of no return and that I had crossed from “pre-diabetic” to “diabetic.” But I just went back to my room and went to sleep.

I was sick to my stomach the next morning, not to mention dizzy. After a few hours of the symptoms not subsiding, I decided I should at least try and eat something. I picked up the sushi and brought it back to my room. I took my first bite and immediately felt like I was going to throw up or pass out. I quickly lay down before I fell over. What the hell was going on?

Two hours later, I couldn’t stand up without feeling like I was going to tip over. My dad came to pick me up and take me home, but took me to my grandparents’ house first to check my blood sugar on their glucose meter. It was high, even with only eating a bite of food and having taken my blood sugar medication. Again, I was terrified that I had become diabetic.

How Many Doctors Appointments Can I Make in a Week?

I saw my doctor the next day, and all he could do was say that everything seemed fine on his end. My blood pressure was normal. My vitals were normal. Even my blood sugar came back normal. (Thank God.) He suggested that I seek the advice of specialists who might be able to get down to the root of the issue.

And so began a week full of many appointments. I saw an endocrinologist who knew before he even spoke to me that my symptoms had nothing to do with PCOS or my endocrine system (though we did have a good chat about my options for dealing with my PCOS at this stage). Then, I saw a neurologist, who tortured my poor little head and finally deduced that I (probably) have been suffering from vertigo, a disease that both my grandmothers, as well as my mother and two of her three sisters, suffer from.

The neurologist said that vertigo could be responsible for all the symptoms I’ve been feeling, and could also have stemmed from a virus like the one I may have had a few weeks back. She also said, though, that my symptoms could be caused by migraines (which I have a history of) presenting themselves in an atypical manner, a cyst or other growth in the brain, or even a vitamin or mineral deficiency. She gave me medicine that makes me very sleepy but will hopefully “reset” my nerves.

She also sent me for bloodwork and an MRI, which were my projects for the last two days, which also meant I missed even more class. I would’ve much rather had been in class because I absolutely hate needles. In fact, I was telling my MRI technician today that I don’t mind the actual MRI machine at all. It’s the IV they stick in me beforehand that’s the worst part.

So What Now?

So for now, unless I hear anything back from my neurologist, we are treating whatever I’ve got as if it’s vertigo. I’m still dizzy and nauseous and have very little appetite, but I’m starting to feel a bit better thanks to the medication. I’m tremendously grateful that this problem isn’t related to my blood sugar and that we finally found what the cause of the issue is.

I’m hopeful that I’ll be back to 100% shortly, but in the meantime, I’m trying to take things easy and relax. I’m even implementing this 20 Day Mental Wellness Challenge that I found on Pinterest to help me mentally destress and feel better. If anyone happens to know any tips or tricks for dealing with vertigo, I’d love to hear them!

Usually I do monthly fitness challenges, but I thought mental wellness was important for this month. I’m on day two so far!

Thanks for reading and for all your well wishes over the last few weeks!



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