Hi everyone, my name is Thomas, I'm 20 and this is my story:
My physical problems started last August when I started college. I noticed that as the fall progressed, I started getting more and more out of it, and my vision started getting "fuzzy". I also felt a general sense of malaise but just figured I was sick. By the time January rolled around, I was mentally out of it all of the time, and started having fatigue. The fatigue got progressively worse, and mentally it felt like someone was slowly pulling a blanket over my mind. My emotions also got dulled and I become unable to feel anything. I've had problems with Depression
in the past so I thought that was all it was, but it was different this time. By the time February came along, my fatigue was severe. I also started losing some of my memory at that time. My muscles started getting really sore and my arms and legs started twitching all the time. I started missing class and sleeping excessively, but no matter how much I slept I still felt exhausted. By the end of the school year I was so exhausted that I just barely made it through finals. When I came back home for the summer I literally fell onto the bed and just stayed there. My memory was very blurry at this point and I slipped into a state where I was dreaming even though I was awake. My vision also started getting shaky and I had trouble keeping my eyes open. I started getting really scared and called my dad and to my room. I started crying and told him that I couldn't wake up. He didn't know what to say and that I was just being lazy since I didn't get a job for the summer. The entire summer I spent all day in bed, moaning from the fatigue. Mentally I was stuck in a dreamworld, and I started losing my grip on reality. By the time July came around, I was in a living hell. I struggled even taking a shower because it was so hard to lift my arms up and I felt like my insides were rotting. When it hit August, my dementia worsened. I became totally apathetic and decided to take a year off school to try to address this physical problem. I went to the doctor and got a bloodtest and they said I had a low thyroid and put me on synthroid for it in July. I waited for 2 months for something to happen but I just got worse. At this point I tried to stay awake long enough to research different conditions online, but I just couldn't keep my eyes open. I also completely lost the ability to concentrate and my short time memory got so bad that I would eat dinner and then 10 minutes later could not remember what I ate. At this point I also started having panic attacks at night. One night my heartrate got up to 150 beats a minute for 4 hours. I also felt several drops in blood pressure which felt like my body was caving in on itself. I was very afraid that my heart was going to collapse. I called an ambulance 4 times in one week and they did a mobile EKG but said nothing was wrong with my heart. My dad put me in the psyc ward because he thought I was causing the panic attacks. At the hospital I got tons of blood tests, and echocardiogram, and a CAT scan of my head, all of them came back normal.
From the time I got out of the hospital, I became totally separated from reality. I had periods of time where I didn't know where I was, and it was extremely terrifying. I would try so hard to focus to try to figure out what was going on with my body, but my mind was like quicksand, I couldn't focus for more than 5 seconds. At this point I also started having problems breathing. One night I woke up and felt like I was getting short of air, and a couple minutes later, I felt this rush in my body and my hands and feet curled up. I thought I was going to die. I called the ambulance again and they said I had hyperventilated from anxiety and it had caused the carbon dioxide in my blood to drop, which had made my muscles curl up. Anxiety, yeah right. This happened several times throughout the next month and it was a living hell. Night after night I would stay up all night struggling to breathe. Finally the breathing problems passed but my overall condition worsened. I got to where I was sleeping 22 hours a day. I would sleep all morning, eat a spoon full of soup for lunch, then sleep again until dinner, eat another spoonfull of soup, and then sleep until lunch the next day. I had to start taking baths instead of a shower because I could no longer stand up. My legs just started buckling right under me. I couldn't even sit up for more than 30 seconds. When I went to the hospital for an echocardiogram I had to lean the seat all the way flat because I couldn't sit up. It felt as if I had done 100 pushups and just couldn't get my abs to contract. Whenever I wanted something to eat (and that was rarely) I would have to crawl to the kitchen. I felt like I had entered a new world where my only purpose was to sleep. All day I would be sleeping , and when I would wake up it would be in my dark room with the curtains closed. For months on end. During these months I tried so many supplements but nothing worked. I finally got to the point where I was ready to end it all and I took a bottle of 30 sleeping pills. After about 30 minutes I got really scared and told my dad what I had done. He rushed me to the hospital and they had me drink two glasses of charcoal. Once again I was put in the psyc ward for a week. When I got out the second time I felt completely devoid of hope. By some miracle, however, I chanced upon the website stopthethyroidmaddness.com, which mentioned adrenal fatigue. I did the pupil test they mentioned and my pupils went nuts! I thought, my God, this whole time it was my adrenals, not my thyroid! I got connected to this support forum and ordered hydrocortisone from the UK pharmacy online that someone had listed on one of the threads. It took two weeks for the medicine to arrive, but 30 minutes after I took the first dose, it was like night and day! I felt this huge rush to my head and suddenly I could open my eyes! The first day I was able to stay awake all day for the first time in over two months. I started on 20 mg for two weeks and noticed great improvements. 1) The daytime dreaming STOPPED COMPLETELY. 2) The confusion cleared up completely. 3) My memory returned. 4) My appetite returned to eating 3 hearty meals a day from eating 2 spoonfulls of soup a day. 5) I could walk again! I started on this medicine a month ago and in the mean time I've increased my dose of hydrocortisone from 20 to 35 mg for two weeks and then to 60 mg this last week. I'm now able to stay awake all day and do different activities. I still have fatigue but I am no longer SUFFERING and I have so much optimism for the future. For anyone who's suffering severe adrenal fatigue and ready to give up on life, don't give up! There is hope! If I can help just one person with this post, my struggle will not have been in vain.
And one final note. If you are going to order hydrocortisone, be very gradual with the dosing. It is a very strong hormone and you need to do your research on the side effects. I would recommend having a doctor's supervision if you can, but if they are like my doctors and tell you it's all in your head, you may be forced to self medicate like I did. The other thing is that the HC may give you intense nausea, but this is only temporary and it will pass! Good luck to all in your journey to get better!
P.S. - If you have any specific questions for me, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org