It is now September 1. I have been sick for 5 months.
The worst neurological symptoms of M.E. (myalgic encephalomyelitis) have subsided in the past couple weeks (though this disease is unpredictable and they could come back at any time). I finally started to work again on the programming project which was interrupted by the sickness and the WIPP catastrophe, though I have to pace myself and I am much slower than I used to be. The cognitive aspects are getting better, but the physical aspects of the disease (pain & fatigue) are still there and are worse in some ways.
This has been the damndest thing, everything I have done to cope with this disease I have learned myself, through trial and error, but especially going to Pubmed and trying to figure out what the hell is going on based on the symptoms I was having. This is a distinct neurological disease, but the medical establishment insists on confounding it with an inflammatory syndrome called CFS, or chronic fatigue syndrome. They even call it ME/CFS. This intentional confusion on the part of insurance companies and psychiatrists has caused untold suffering for people with severe ME. I have had a taste, just a taste of these very bad symptoms, and it is torture. There are people who have been suffering this torture for decades with no treatment, nothing to relieve the misery whatsoever. This is in spite of medications avaliable that are already in use for other diseases which have potential to relieve this suffering.
I have no doubt that oxidative stress from internal radionuclides is the cause of this disease in my case, but it was triggered by the flu-like virus that hit me 5 months ago. Something funky happened to my fingers a couple days before I got sick, they got pruney like they had been submerged in water. I also got minor Raynaud’s-like changes on the cuticles and nails. This is not a normal thing for flu or ILI (influenza-like illness) viruses. Perhaps I ws infected with two viruses. Usually ME is associated with enteroviruses or herpes viruses, which have a Th2 profile, and suppress Th1 cellular immunity. This suppression is augmented by the oxidative stress from radiation. When cellular immunity is deficient, the body cannot clear the viruses out.
Or it could be that the violent illness brought out the HHV-6 virus that hides in the brain, and that everyone has. According to the HHV-6 Foundation,
Like the other herpesviruses—Epstein Barr virus, varicella zoster virus, etc—HHV-6 establishes life-long latency and can become reactivated later in life. This reactivation has been associated with many clinical manifestations that can be seen in the “Associated Conditions” section of this site. Reactivation can occur in locations throughout the body, including the brain, lungs, heart, kidney and gastrointestinal tract. In some cases, HHV-6 reactivation in the brain tissue can cause cognitive dysfunction, permanent disability and death.
A growing number of studies also suggest that HHV-6 may play a role in a subset of patients with chronic neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis, mesial temporal lobe epilepsy, status epilepticus and chronic fatigue syndrome.
I had incredible skin and joint inflammation since WIPP. And I had a pituitary tumor for over two years that shut down cortisol production. Dr. Martin Pall has said that inflammation and low cortisol are major risk factors for ME.
I am taking it one day at a time. Just barely hanging on.
“My bone cleaveth to my skin and to my flesh, and I am escaped with the skin of my teeth.” – Job 19:20