This may possibly be one of the happiest posts I will ever write. I FINALLY have an answer to my chronic health issues. And best of all it can be treated.
I went back to the doctor today to get the results of my blood test. She printed it all out for me and it was all fairly normal - I had a really high HDL reading (yay) and elevated bilirubin levels (I have Gilbert's Disease which is really a condition not a disease and is fairly benign). But the thing that stood out most was testosterone deficiency. I don't have enough of it and I have a hugely elevated SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin) which is basically making whatever testosterone I produce ineffective.
No wonder I can't run like I used to. My muscles have become weak and pathetic and I can't recover after sessions.
The reason why my SHBG is so high is because I've been on the pill for the past two years. Apparently this is a side-effect of the pill that only occurs in some people but I was totally unaware of it.
So the next step is treatment. I nearly cried when my doctor said she wanted to send me to a specialist. The last thing I want to do is wait again. It took me almost two months to see the gastro-enterologist. She could see how disappointed I was so she rang up someone while I was with her and spun a big sob story and the upshot was that I got an appointment this Friday.
I LOVE MY GP!!
I got home a little while ago and rang the specialist just to find out exactly the location of their office and in the meanwhile someone had cancelled their appointment. I get to see her tomorrow. Tomorrow will be the day when I start to get better again.
It's going to take some time. It's taken a long time to get to this point so I can't expect to feel better overnight. BUT I can expect to feel better.
The upshot of this post, though, is that ultimately it is up to you to keep pushing for a diagnosis if you feel like the one you've been given doesn't quite fit. I know doctor's hate it, but use the internet for research. If I hadn't kept looking I would still be clueless about my condition. I'd still be thinking it was post viral fatigue even though I couldn't remember having a virus. Keep looking till you find answers.
The other thing that I learnt through this process is that women are not routinely tested for testosterone levels. So if you're having unexplained fatigue and weakness, not sleeping well, have low libido, incontinence and even sore breasts you might want to get it tested - especially if you're on the pill.
And last but not least - I was right!